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The Royal Academy of Music

Donald Macleod focuses on Mackenzie's being appointed principal of the Royal Academy of Music. With Pibroch, Op 42; Britannia - A Nautical Overture, Op 52; Scottish Concerto.

Alexander Mackenzie is appointed Principal of the Royal Academy of Music. Presented by Donald Macleod

Sir Alexander Mackenzie rose from humble beginnings in Edinburgh, to become not only a celebrated and international composer, but also the Principal of the Royal Academy of Music. Along with Parry and Stanford he was a significant player in the renaissance of British music, and was pivotal in establishing the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. During his career commissions regularly came his way, including concertos, oratorios and operas. He eventually returned to London, after further spells in Edinburgh and Italy, where he remained for the rest of his life, composing and managing the RAM. He was honoured by Queen Victoria for his services to music, and he received the Gold Medal from the Royal Philharmonic Society. During his long career his music was premiered by the likes of Sarasate and the Carl Rosa opera company. W.S Gilbert and Lewis Carroll both approached Mackenzie with collaborative projects in mind, and as a conductor he worked with Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Liszt, and Saint-Saëns to name only a few.

By 1885, Alexander Mackenzie was living in London, where he'd taken on conducting a series of concerts promoted by the Novello publishing firm. Through his concert work, he came into contact with other composers such as Dvorak. Commissions were continuing to come Mackenzie's way including for another opera, called Troubadour; however he soon tired of London and returned to Italy. Mackenzie didn't remain there for long. In 1888 he was appointed Principal of the Royal Academy of Music, where he made quite a stir instituting changes - such as insisting that he should have his own office. Despite his now busy workload back in London, he continued to compose. His Pibroch Suite was premiered in 1889 and just a few years later came Britannia, a Nautical Overture, composed to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Royal Academy of Music.

Shall I compare thee (Three of Shakespeare's Sonnets, Op 50)
Kathryn Rudge, mezzo-soprano
James Baillieu, piano

Pibroch, Suite for violin and orchestra, Op 42
Rachel Barton Pine, violin
Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Alexander Platt, conductor

Britannia, A Nautical Overture, Op 52 (excerpt)
New Queen's Hall Light Orchestra
Alexander Mackenzie, conductor

Britannia, A Nautical Overture, Op 52
English Northern Philharmonia
David Lloyd-Jones, conductor

Scottish Concerto, Op 55 (2nd movt. Molto lento)
Steven Osborne, piano
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Martyn Brabbins, conductor

Is the Moon Tired; A Motherless Soft Lambkin
Kathryn Rudge, mezzo-soprano
James Baillieu, piano

Producer Luke Whitlock.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie

    Three Of Shakespeare's Sonnets Op 50 - Shall I compare thee ...

    Performer: James Baillieu. Singer: Kathryn Rudge.
  • Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie

    Pibroch - Suite Op 42

    Performer: Rachel Barton Pine. Orchestra: Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Alexander Platt.
    • Cedille:CDR90000083.
    • Cedille.
    • 1.
  • Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie

    Britannia - A Nautical Overture Op 52 (extract)

    Orchestra: Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie.
    • Columbia: 9338.
    • Columbia.
    • 1.
  • Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie

    Britannia - A Nautical Overture Op.52

    Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North. Conductor: David Lloyd-Jones.
    • HELIOS : CDH-55088.
    • HELIOS.
    • 7.
  • Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie

    Scottish Concerto Op 55 - Molto lento

    Performer: Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Performer: Steven Osborne. Conductor: Alexandra Gibson.
  • Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie

    Is the Moon Tired

    Performer: James Baillieu. Singer: Kathryn Rudge.
  • Sir Alexander Campbell Mackenzie

    A Motherless Soft Lambkin

    Performer: James Baillieu. Singer: Kathryn Rudge.

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