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James MacMillan

Country of origin: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Birthday: July 16, 1959

About James MacMillan

James MacMillan was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1959 and studied at Edinburgh University and with John Casken at Durham. After working as a lecturer at Manchester University he returned to Scotland in 1988, settling in Glasgow where he composes and teaches part-time at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. In 1990 he was appointed Affiliate Composer with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and from 1992 to 2002 was director of the Philharmonic Orchestra's Music of Today series in London. Increasingly active as a conductor internationally, he was appointed Composer/Conductor with the BBC Philharmonic in 2000.

MacMillan's music, including the much-acclaimed 1990 BBC Proms commission 'The Convession of Isobel Gowdie', has been notable for its extraordinary directness, energy and emotional power. References to Scottish folk music imbue MacMillan's work with a strong sense of the vernacular, while religious and social concerns inform both the spirit and subject matter of his music.

MacMillan's output ranges widely from chamber pieces such as the clarinet quintet 'Tuireadh', via a corpus of choral music, to large-scale works including three symphonies, the opera 'Inés de Castro' and 'Quickening' for voices and orchestra. He has written concertos for celebrated soloists including 'The Berserking' for pianist Peter Donohoe, and 'Veni, Veni, Emmanuel' for percussionist Evelyn Glennie which has received over 300 performances. James MacMillan's music can be heard on the Chandos, BIS, Hyperion, BMG/RCA, Black Box, Koch and Naxos labels.