MacMillan, James, Scottish composer, conductor, and teacher; b. Kilwinning, July 16, 1959. He was a student of Rita McAllister at the Univ. of Edinburgh (1977–81) and then pursued postgraduate studies in composition with Casken at the Univ. of Durham (Ph.D., 1987). He was a lecturer in music at the Univ. of Manchester (1986–88). In 1989 he served as composer-in-residence of the St. Magnus Festival in Orkney. In 1990 he became affiliate composer of the Scottish Chamber Orch. in Glasgow and a teacher at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama there. In 1991 he was a visiting composer of the Philharmonia Orch. in London. In 2000 he became composer/conductor with the BBC Phil, in Manchester. He developed an accessible style of composition that found inspiration in his Roman Catholic faith and Scottish nationalism.
dramatic: Búsqueda, music theater (Edinburgh, Dec. 6, 1988); Tourist Variations, chamber opera (1991); Ines de Castro, opera (1991–95; Edinburgh, Aug. 23, 1996); Visitatio Sepulchri, music theater (1992–93; Glasgow, May 20, 1993). orch.:The Keening (1986); Festival Fanfares for Brass Band (Ayr, May 1986); Into the Ferment (Irvine, Dec. 19, 1988); Tryst (Kirkwall, Orkney, June 17, 1989); The Exorcism of Rio Sumpúl for Chamber Orch. (1989; Glasgow, Jan. 28, 1990); The Berserking, piano concerto (Glasgow, Sept. 22, 1990); The Confession oflsobel Gowdie (London, Aug. 22, 1990); Sowetan Spring for Wind Band (Glasgow, Sept. 23, 1990); Sinfonietta (1991; London, May 14, 1992); Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, percussion concerto (London, Aug. 10, 1992); Epiclesis, trumpet concerto (Edinburgh, Aug. 28, 1993); They saw the stone had been rolled away, fanfare for Brass and Percussion (Edinburgh, Aug. 27, 1993); Mémoire impériale (1993; Edinburgh, Feb. 13, 1994); Britannia (London, Sept. 21, 1994); Triduum, triptych comprising The World’s Ransoming for Orch. and English Horn Obbligato (1995–96; London, July 11, 1996), Cello Concerto (London, Oct. 3, 1996), and Sym., Vigil(London, Sept. 28, 1997); t (A Meditation on lona) for Strings and Percussion (1996; Glasgow, Feb. 21, 1997); Ninian, clarinet concerto (1996; Edinburgh, April 4, 1997). chamber:Study on 2 Planes for Cello and Piano (1981; Edinburgh, March 4, 1984); The Road to Ardtalla for Sextet (1983; Manchester, Nov. 6, 1987); 3 Dawn Rituals for Chamber Ensemble (1983; London, Nov. 2, 1985); 2 Visions of Hoy for Oboe and Chamber Ensemble (Manchester, June 16, 1986); Litanies of Iron and Stone for Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Trombone, and Tape (Glasgow, Sept. 14, 1987); Untold for Wind Quintet (1987; Ayr, Sept. 13, 1988; rev. 1991); After the Tryst for Violin and Piano (1988; Glasgow, Sept. 19,1990); Visions of a November Spring for String Quartet (1988; Glasgow, May 3, 1989; rev. 1991); The Cumnock Orcadian for Chamber Ensemble (Kirkwall, Orkney, June 16, 1989); ...as others see us...for Chamber Ensemble (London, April 5, 1990); Tuireadh for Clarinet and String Quartet (Kirkwall, Orkney, June 25, 1991); Intercession for 3 Oboes (Huddersfield, Nov. 26, 1991); Kiss on Wood for Violin and Piano (1993; Harrogate, Aug. 6,1994); Memento for String Quartet (N.Y., Oct. 13, 1994); Adam’s Rib for Brass Quintet (1994–95; Edinburgh, March 28,1995); A Different World for Violin and Piano (London, July 22,1995); 14 Little Pictures for Piano Trio (London, May 21, 1997); Why is this night different? for String Quartet (1997; London, April 23, 1998). keyboard: piano: Sonata (1985; Radio Scotland, Sept. 1987); A Cecilian Variation for J.F.K.(Washington, D.C., Nov. 22, 1991; 2nd movement of Kennedy Variations, in collaboration with G. Victory, W. Mathias, and M. Berkeley); Barncleupédie (1992; Edinburgh, Feb. 28, 1993); Angel (Edinburgh, Oct. 31, 1993); Lumen Christi (Milan, April 11, 1997). organ:Wedding Introit (1983); White Note Paraphrase (1994). vocal:Beatus Vir for Chorus and Organ (Norwich, July 2, 1983); St. Anne’s Mass for Congregation and Organ or Piano (1985); Variation on Johnny Faa’ for Soprano, Flute, Cello, and Harp (Edinburgh, Aug. 1988); Cantos Sagrados for Chorus and Organ (1989; Edinburgh, Feb. 10, 1990); Catherine’s Lullabies for Chorus, Brass, and Percussion (1990; Glasgow, Feb. 10, 1991); Scots Song for Soprano and Chamber Quintet (Brighton, May 10, 1991); Divo Aloysio Sacrum for Chorus and Optional Organ (1991); So Deep for Chorus and Optional Viola and Oboe (1992); ...here in hiding...for 4 Men’s Voices (Glasgow, Aug. 10, 1993; also for Chorus); 7 Last Words from the Cross, cantata for Chorus and Strings (1993; Glasgow, March 30, 1994); Ballad for Voice and Piano (Glasgow, May 15, 1994); Christus Vincit for Chorus (London, Nov. 23, 1994); Mairi for Chorus (London, May 19, 1995); The Children for Mezzo-soprano or Baritone and Piano (BBC Radio 3, London, July 23, 1995); Sànie Mari moder milde for Chorus and Organ (Cambridge, Dec. 24, 1995); A Child’s Prayer for 2 Treble Soloists and Chorus (London, July 4, 1996); The Galloway Mass for Unison Voices, Chorus or Cantor, and Organ (1996; Ayr, March 25, 1997); The Halie Speerit’s Dancers for Children’s Chorus and Piano (1996; Glasgow, April 28, 1997); On the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin for Chorus and Organ (1996; Cambridge, April 27, 1997); The Gallant Weaver for Chorus (Paisley, April 14, 1997); The Prophecy for Children’s Chorus and Instruments (London, Oct. 11, 1997); Raising Sparks for Mezzo- soprano and Ensemble (London, Oct. 5, 1997).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
"MacMillan, James." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (January 18, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/macmillan-james-0
"MacMillan, James." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved January 18, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/macmillan-james-0
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