Composer Of The Week: James MacMillan

Monday 15 July to Friday 19 July



Across the week Sir James MacMillan reflects on his prolific life in composition as he celebrates his 60th birthday this week

He was born 16 July 1959 in Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, but grew up in the East Ayrshire town of Cumnock. His grandfather introduced him to brass band music and his primary teacher taught him the recorder. The combination of these musical experiences sparked a lifelong passion in James to make and create music of his own.

Monday – A grandfather, a recorder and a confession
James MacMillan discovers music in his Catholic family and East Ayrshire community.

Tuesday – Happy 60th Birthday!
MacMillan discusses the birth of his political and religious views plus the writing of his Cello Concerto for Rostropovich and Veni Veni Emmanuel for Evelyn Glennie

Wednesday – A dawn, a community and a ring
MacMillan criticises Scotland in a public address and his music: A Scotch Bestiary and his Second Piano Concerto, the last movement of which is entitled Shamnation 

Thursday – A dawn, a community and a ring
MacMillan considers his connection with his listeners and the process of composition.

Friday – A tryst, a grief and a dream
James's festival, the Cumnock Tryst brings musical sharing to his community in Ayrshire.

BBC Radio 3 Publicity