On trying something different...
By Reason of Darkness
Phillip Cooke was born in Penrith, Cumbria in 1980, spending the first 18 years of his life in the Lake District. He studied composition in Durham and Manchester Universities and for a PhD with Anthony Powers at Cardiff University. He has had works played across the country by many of the country’s top choirs and ensembles. He was artistic director of the London Contemporary Music Group (LCMG) from 2004-10, and wrote five works for them.
Recent works were featured in the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, Lake District Summer Music Festival (LDSM), Tête à Tête Opera Festival, Musica Sacrae (Poland), Sound Festival (Aberdeen) and the John Armitage Memorial (JAM) concerts. Works were performed at St Paul’s, Lichfield, Ely and Liverpool Cathedrals and in various towns and cities including Oxford, Cambridge, Chester and Eton. The US premiere of his first set of Preces and Responses was given in July 2012 and has been performed by several choirs across the country. As of 2011 some of his choral works will be published by Novello. In 2012 he was a winner of the ‘Musica Sacra International Composers Competition 2012’ which led to performances in Poland and Lithuania. His second set of Preces and Responses was premiered on BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong. Future commissions include a large-scale choral/orchestral work He Who Made The Starry Skies which will be premiered in Chester Cathedral in November 2015. A CD of his choral works performed by the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge will be released on Regent Records in January 2014.
He is strongly influenced by his native Lake District and by history. His main musical influences are found in continuing and reconciling a pastoral British tradition; he has written articles on the Liturgical music of James MacMillan and the canticles of Herbert Howells. He has recently co-edited a book of essays on Howells which will be published by Boydell and Brewer in October 2013. He is married with one daughter, lives in Aberdeenshire and supports Everton. From 2007 – 08 he was a Career Development Fellow at the Faculty of Music, Oxford University and a Junior Research Fellow (2007 – 10) at The Queen’s College, Oxford University. He was head of composition at Eton College from 2011-12. As of January 2013, he was appointed a Lecturer in Composition at Aberdeen University.