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James MacMillan: Credo at the BBC Proms and Grafenegg

(July 2012)

James MacMillan's new festive setting of the Credo is premiered at the BBC Proms on 7 August and is a highlight of the composer's residency at the Grafenegg Music Festival in Austria between 23 August and 9 September.

The BBC Proms unveils James MacMillan's most recent work for choir and orchestra, his first-ever setting of the Credo, on 7 August at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The new score is performed by the BBC Philharmonic which has collaborated closely with the composer through his past role as Composer-Conductor, with combined forces of three choirs from Northern England under the baton of Juanjo Mena. The 25-minute work is a four-way commission between BBC Radio 3, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Grafenegg Music Festival and De Doelen Concert Hall in Rotterdam.

The world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and will be telecast on Friday 10 August on BBC4 TV.

Following its premiere at the BBC Proms the Credo travels to Grafenegg in Austria, where it is performed on 9 September as part of a MacMillan residency at the festival, with the composer conducting the Arnold Schoenberg Choir and the Niederösterreichisches Tonkünstlerorchester. The French premiere is scheduled for 26 February 2013 with John Nelson conducting the Jeune Choeur de Paris and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, and the Dutch premiere will follow at De Doelen Concert Hall in Rotterdam in a future season.

MacMillan's new Credo is his first setting of this core text from the Mass, and the work is festive in mood and large in scale. Set in three movements, reflecting the Trinitarian aspects of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Credo moves from simple choral intonation through to a complex fusion of plainsong, motet and cantus firmus techniques, capped by a joyous orchestral coda.

MacMillan's residency at the Grafenegg Music Festival (23 August - 9 September) combines conducting, a series of composer-conductor workshops entitled 'ink still wet' and performances of six works including three Austrian premieres. The programme including Credo also features The Sacrifice: Three Interludes and MacMillan joins the Tonkünstlerorchester with the area's youth orchestra for the Scottish high jinks of Into the Ferment. Marin Alsop conducts the Oslo Philharmonic in a performance of MacMillan's percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel with Colin Currie as soloist.

A new recording of Veni, Veni, Emmanuel with Colin Currie launches a new series of MacMillan recordings on the Challenge Classics label. These feature the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic which recently appointed MacMillan as its guest conductor. The first disc, released on 23 July, also features the first recording of MacMillan's concerto for solo violin, ensemble and tape, A Deep But Dazzling Darkness, with violinist Gordan Nikoic and I (A Meditation on Iona) for string orchestra and percussion (CC72540). A second disc is scheduled for release in November, and a third in Spring 2013.

> Boosey & Hawkes at the BBC Proms
> BBC Proms website
> Grafenegg Music Festival website


> Further information on Work: Credo

Photo: Philip Gatward

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