JAMES MACMILLAN (b 1959 )
James MacMillan was born in Scotland in 1959, and after enjoying full family support in his musical career, he went to Edinburgh University where his gifts as a composer were soon recognised. He later went to Durham University, in the north of England, where he studied with John Caskin.
He was appointed to the staff of the Royal Northern College in Manchester, where he lectured for four years in the 1980s, but has since concentrated on a career as composer, having received a number of high-profile commissions.
Many of the early works were for chamber groups and solo instruments, until Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, which was given a high-profile première with one of Britain’s top selling performers, Evelyn Glennie, caused a sensation at the London Promenade concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall. He had received some success with the 1990 composition, The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, a large-scale orchestral work which the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra has championed, and has since played at the Promenade concerts to critical and public acclaim.
He has written operas, ballet, orchestral, music theatre, and choral works. His style has been established as basically melodic, yet still totally modern, and above all, written in a very personal style that is listener-friendly.