About

‘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

BIOGRAPHY

Cecilia McDowall (b.1951) is one of the UK’s leading composers of sacred and secular choral music and has won many awards including, in 2014, the British Composer Award in the Choral category for her haunting work, Night Flight. McDowall’s distinctive style fuses fluent melodic lines with occasional dissonant harmonies and rhythmic exuberance.

Her music has been commissioned and performed by such leading organisations as the City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Chorus, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, BBC Singers, The Sixteen, Tenebrae, Oxford and Cambridge choirs, Kansas City Chorale and at festivals worldwide.

 In 2020 McDowall was presented with the prestigious Ivor Novello Award for a ‘consistently excellent body of work’. This was a ‘Gift’ from The Ivors Academy. Many of her works have been recorded, including her sacred works by the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2021. Also in 2021, McDowall was given the coveted annual commission by King’s College, Cambridge, to write the carol for the Choir of King’s College and their music director, Daniel Hyde, to be part of the much-loved Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast world-wide on Christmas Eve. The carol, There is no rose, is published by Oxford University Press and has been recorded by St Martin’s Voices on Resonus Classics, 2023.

In 2023, Signum released a CD of McDowall’s Da Vinci Requiem and orchestral song cycle, Seventy Degrees Below Zero, performed by Roderick Williams, Kate Silver, Ben Hulett, Wimbledon Choral with the City of London Sinfonia, conductor Neil Ferris.

 International Record Review has praised her for “a communicative gift that is very rare in modern music”.

“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

GALLERY

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