James Whitbourn was described by The Observer as “A truly original communicator in modern British choral music.” He is a GRAMMY-nominated composer who, after graduating from Magdalen College, Oxford, started his career in broadcasting, composing many works for the BBC. His works are admired for their direct connection with performers and audiences and, through his imaginative treatment of voices and instruments, he manages to “expand the experience of classical music beyond the edges of the traditional map of classical styles” (NPR).
James Whitbourn says: “I am honoured to be joining such a vibrant publishing house, known and respected across the world and based in a place I love. I’m thrilled to be working with OUP’s exceptional team on a range of exciting projects coming up in the years ahead.”
Ben Selby, OUP’s Director of Music Publishing, comments: “We’re thrilled to have James joining our illustrious list of Oxford composers. His writing brings an original and distinctive voice to our catalogue and a breadth of style and interests which is recognized at the highest level. We are greatly looking forward to working with him.”
The first publication with Oxford will appear over the summer. Solitude, a choral setting of an early poem by John Henry Newman (the 19th century Oxford priest who will be canonised by Pope Francis on 13 October 2019) was commissioned by Oriel College, Oxford, where Newman was a fellow. The work will be available for both SATB and upper voices. Written originally for choir and guitar, the work is published with options also for piano accompaniment in addition to the original scoring. In November, OUP will then publish Apollo, a work for solo organ and part of The Oxford Organ Library. Apollo brings together two stories of discovery spanning 2000 years. It takes as its musical theme the first notated piece whose composer is known: a hymn to Apollo composed by Athénaios in around 128 BC. The theme is transformed into a narrative that traces the first ever human spaceflight mission to leave Earth and to voyage to another celestial body—the Moon. Apollo will be premiered as part of the Space City New Music Festival, Houston, Texas, on 13 July