‘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

20 Oct 2019 | Premiere in Paris

Location: Paris, France

22 Oct 2019 | Choral Evensong, Oxford

Location: New College, Oxford, UK

25 Oct 2019 | Choral Evensong, Oxford

Location: New College, Oxford, UK

26 Oct 2019 | Choral Evensong, Oxford

Location: New College, Oxford, UK

FEATURED RECORDING

The disc contains numerous gems, including the explosively sonorous Colour is the Keyboard for solo piano, sparked by the work of Russia’s famous synaesthetes Kandinsky and Scriabin, while Cavatina at Midnight for piano trio is an achingly beautiful homage to the nightingale.’
CLASSICAL MUSIC.COM

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‘Sometimes richly tonal, sometimes more exploratory in harmonic range, her music is always full of invention… a welcome collection of McDowall’s powerful, imaginative works.’
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

LATEST NEWS

Brightest Star | Paris world premiere 20 October

Brightest Star | Paris world premiere 20 October

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) was founded in Paris in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I. The war had shown the need to strengthen cooperation between Red Cross societies and build on the large, invaluable volunteer base. To...

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BBC Choral Evensong from King’s, Cambridge

BBC Choral Evensong from King’s, Cambridge

On 3 July the Choir of King’s College, conductor Stephen Cleobury, gave the world premiere of Cecilia McDowall’s, O sing unto the Lord a new song on BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong. This Evensong marked the retirement of Stephen Cleobury. The work is published by OUP. ...

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Wimbledon Choral Society premiere | Da Vinci Requiem

Wimbledon Choral Society premiere | Da Vinci Requiem

Wimbledon Choral Society commissioned the Da Vinci Requiem to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death in May 2019; this large-scale work was premiered by the choir, Kate Royal, soprano, Roderick Williams, baritone, The Philharmonia Orchestra, conductor...

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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