|Composer profile from MelBay|
I didn’t compose in a planned way until middle-age. I have written music since I was a boy and some pieces were very successful but my work was never structured. When I was 51, my wife and I had our first son – Ben – and a few weeks after he was born I looked at him in his cot and realised that to support him I would have to increase my income. On reflection I realised that composition was all that I could do (apart from choral conducting at which I made my living ) and I decided to work hard at it and I’ve never looked back. (My colleagues tell me that most composers give up composition when their children appear)! I’ve been lucky.
I specialise in choral and organ music with a bit of orchestral thrown in. I write organ music at two levels: virtuoso recital music and pieces for church organists who are restricted in practice time. My organ music is published by Kevin Mayhew Ltd., EurArte and Edizioni Carrara. I have been much influenced by Gregorian chant and this goes back to my time as a choirboy and then Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral.
I was delighted last year when the virtuoso Massimo Nosetti gave the first performance of my Simphony of Praise (Carrara) at the Festival Organistico Internazionale Di Santa Rita in Turin on 21st September 2003. He is giving the first performance of my Humorous Carol Rhapsody (EurArte) in Milan in December 2004. On October 3rd 2004 D’Arcy Trinkwon is giving the first UK performance of my Triptych (Kevin Mayhew) in Westminster Cathedral, it was previously played by Simon Dearsley at Hiroshima University.
My music is performed all round the world (I’ve even had a choral piece published in Chinese in Hong Kong) and it has been successful beyond my expectations. It is informed by a religious faith which is most important to me. When I write I aim to communicate with the listeners. I was recently at a Study day on my composition and I was much moved to hear the chairman remark: “We should all thank Ben” – I certainly do.
136 High Street
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