‘McDowall’s work has qualities that include a communicative gift that is very rare in modern music, a composer well worth seeking out; she is very gifted, and always knows exactly what she is doing, and why.’

GRAMOPHONE

‘Cecilia McDowall’s music constantly tweaks the ear with her range of spicy rhythms and colours, then suddenly produces a highly atmospheric and grippingly expressive interlude which is just as compelling.’
GRAMOPHONE

‘McDowall’s work has qualities that include a communicative gift that is very rare in modern music, a composer well worth seeking out; she is very gifted, and always knows exactly what she is doing, and why.’

GRAMOPHONE

CECILIA McDOWALL

‘Cecilia McDowall is another of the new generation of highly communicative musicians who favours writing which, without being in any way facile, is brightly cogent, freshly witty and expressive in its own right.’
GRAMOPHONE

‘The life-affirming, restorative strength of her direct and unaffected speech is fully communicated in these carefully prepared, joyous performances.’
TEMPO

FEATURED WORK

‘There was nothing lacking in invention, in this new work. The musical and emotional contrasts were tangible. At the outset, the glowering darkness of the Philharmonia’s woodwind, taken up by rich textures in the chorus, with a periodic rocking motion, and the alternation, then unifying, of the soloists all had a mesmerising effect.’
CHURCH TIMES

 

‘There is much sparkling and shimmering in McDowall’s writing. Cadences quiver and shiver unresolved, then vaporise as though overcome by their mysteriousness.’ 
THE TIMES

EVENTS

Forthcoming Concerts

6 December 2021 | Edinburgh University Graduation Ceremony

Location: Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

6 December 2021 | The Monteverdi Singers

Location: The Old Courthouse, Caernarfon, Wales, UK

8 December 2021 | Pacific Chorale

Location: Newport Beach

10 December 2021 | London Oriana Choir

Location: St Clement Danes, Strand, London, UK

FEATURED RECORDING

Recorded by the superb Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, conductor Stephen Layton, the Hyperion label releases a CD of Cecilia McDowall’s sacred choral music on 2 April.

McDowall’s keen sensitivity to text and her flair for writing vocal lines that are grateful to sing are just two of the virtues which justify the success of her choral music. Her original and distinctive voice is well served by Stephen Layton and his Trinity College forces.

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LATEST NEWS

Gala Concert | Cecilia McDowall At 70

Gala Concert | Cecilia McDowall At 70

The London Festival of Contemporary Church Music 2021 presents a Gala Concert to celebrate Cecilia McDowall at 70. This birthday celebration programme performed by the LFCCM’s own Festival Singers includes a selection of Cecilia’s unaccompanied choral works alongside...

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BBC Radio 3 Music Matters Interview

BBC Radio 3 Music Matters Interview

On BBC Radio 3, Music Matters, Saturday, 3 April, Tom Service interviews Cecilia McDowall about the new Hyperion release of her sacred choral music sung by The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, conductor Stephen Layton. The programme is at 11.45am and may be found...

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Cecilia McDowall honoured at The Ivors Composer Awards

Cecilia McDowall honoured at The Ivors Composer Awards

The Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Works Collection recognises her exceptional body of classical works. In presenting the ‘Gift of the Academy’ award to Cecilia McDowall the Academy said that Cecilia is “a highly skilful and captivating composer who communicates...

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OUP CATALOGUE

‘During the past few years the music of this British composer has been heard more and more, and her output has impressed audiences, players and critics alike. It deserves to.’

‘During the past few years the music of this British composer has been heard more and more, and her output has impressed audiences, players and critics alike. It deserves to.’

‘She constantly tweaks the ear with her range of spicy rhythms and colours then suddenly produces a highly atmospheric and grippingly expressive interlude which is just as compelling.’
GRAMOPHONE

‘She constantly tweaks the ear with her range of spicy rhythms and colours then suddenly produces a highly atmospheric and grippingly expressive interlude which is just as compelling.’
GRAMOPHONE