BOB CHILCOTT (b 1955 )
Bob Chilcott, described by The Observer as ‘a contemporary hero of British Choral Music’, has become one of the most widely performed composers of choral music in the world. He has a large catalogue of works published by Oxford University Press which reflects his wide taste in music styles and his commitment to writing music that is both singable and communicative.
From his catalogue of larger works, Salisbury Vespers, written in 2009, was first performed by over 600 singers and players in Salisbury Cathedral. His Requiem of 2010 has now been performed in sixteen countries, and his large-scale cantata, The Angry Planet, had its première in the 2012 BBC Proms with 550 adult and young singers. In March 2013 his St John Passion was first performed in Wells Cathedral by the cathedral choir conducted by Matthew Owens. Most recently he wrote The King shall rejoice for the service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Of his smaller works, A Little Jazz Mass remains a favourite with choirs around the world as do many of his pieces for children’s choir, including the piece with sign language, Can you hear me?, which was performed at the 2004 Song Festival in Estonia by over 7,000 children. Between 1997 and 2004 he was conductor of the chorus of the Royal College of Music in London and, since 2002, he has been principal guest conductor of the BBC Singers. He has been privileged to conduct many choirs in some thirty countries over the last ten years.
There are recordings of Chilcott’s music by the BBC Singers, the King’s Singers, The Sirens, and the NFL Wrocław Philharmonic Choir. His Requiem is recorded by the Choir of Wells Cathedral, who also record his St John Passion in 2014. This Christmas album is the second disc of his music on the Naxos label. In spring 2013 Everyone Sang was released by the Wellensian Consort (8.573158). His music has been recorded by many other choirs and groups including Tenebrae, the Cambridge Singers, the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and the Choir of Westminster Abbey.