Anthologising: Sacred Choruses

The year was 1968 and I was a young postgraduate music student walking down King’s Parade in Cambridge when I saw the revered figure of David Willcocks, director of King’s College Choir, striding towards me.

Sacred Choruses

The biggest project of my entire career is about to come to fruition with the publication in November of Sacred Choruses, a 384-page volume I have been working on as editor for the past two years, plus its companion 240-page volume of organ accompaniments. Work is finally almost complete, and I must turn my attention… Read more »


Once again, a royal wedding, and we all wish the young couple well. But here’s a confession: as a musician I find weddings chastening and sometimes depressing. Musicians experience large indoor crowds mainly at concerts – where people sit quietly, pay close attention to the music, applaud when appropriate, comment intelligently afterwards, and generally give… Read more »

Music: Nature needs Nurture

No one knows why some human beings have a musical gift and others do not, any more than we know why some are destined to solve Fermat’s last theorem and others can barely add up a column of figures. But one thing that seems to stand out among those who have become renowned in music:… Read more »

What’s in a name?

The wide-awake young manager of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, James Williams, recently suggested that we should drop the term ‘classical’ when we apply it to music. The description ‘classical music’, he maintains, is a turn-off for young people, denoting ‘boring old stuff your parents used to like, by dead composers you’ve never heard of’. James… Read more »