In this Musical Moment, VocalEssence artistic director and founder Philip Brunelle shares insider information and beautiful music by the composer Giles Swayne.
Giles Swayne is an eminent British composer whose choral output features a wide range of sacred and secular texts. He began composing when he was ten and studied the piano with Gordon Green, Phyllis Hepburn-Lee, James Gibb, and Vlado Perlemuter. In 1964 he attended Guido Agosti’s classes at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. On leaving Cambridge in 1968 he won a composition scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he studied with Harrison Birtwistle, Alan Bush, and Nicholas Maw. In 1976-77 he made visits to the Paris Conservatoire to study with Olivier Messiaen. In 1978 the BBC commissioned CRY for twenty-eight voices. The work premièred by the BBC Singers under John Poole in October 1980 and remains widely hailed as a musical landmark. From October 2001 to June 2014 he taught composition at Cambridge University. Swayne remains popular among European and American audiences and his works are performed frequently throughout Britain.
Suggested Choral Pieces:
- Jesus, Springing (Gonzaga Music, Ltd GZ096)
- Magnificat I (Novello)
- Lonely Hearts (Gonzaga Music, Ltd GZ043)
For more information about Swayne, please visit his website: http://www.gilesswayne.com/gs/