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James Whitbourn

"A truly original communicator in modern British choral music"
The Observer

James Whitbourn is a GRAMMY-nominated composer described by The Observer as 'a truly original communicator in modern British choral music'. After graduating from Magdalen College Oxford, he started his career in broadcasting, composing many works for the BBC. His works are admired for their direct connection with performers and audiences. Through his imaginative treatment of voices and instruments he manages to 'expand the experience of classical music beyond the edges of the traditional map of classical styles' (NPR).

Annelies, the setting of The Diary of Anne Frank, is among the most performed large-scale choral works of the twenty-first century. Other scores reflect his eclectic interests, from a planetary portrait of C. S. Lewis (The Seven Heavens) to a portrayal of Ada Lovelace, a Carnatic-influenced work for dance (Luminosity) and a narrative work on the NASA Apollo missions. He has written for several national occasions, including D-Day and the Queen Mother's funeral.

There are six complete discs of his choral music. Among the renowned ensembles who have recorded his music are the choirs of King's College, Cambridge, Magdalen College, Oxford, Clare College, Cambridge, Wells Cathedral, the Princeton-based choir Westminster Williamson Voices and the Oxford-based Commotio.

James Whitbourn is also an award-winning conductor who, as a member of Oxford University's music faculty, directs the university's choral summer courses.

James Whitbourn's website


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We are delighted to announce that James Whitbourn has signed a long-term publishing agreement with Oxford University Press. James Whitbourn was described by The Observer as 'A truly original communicator in modern British choral music'. He is a GRAMMY-nominated composer, who after graduating from Magdalen College, Oxford, started his career in broadcasting, composing many works for the BBC. His works are admired for their direct connection with performers and audiences, and through his imaginative treatment of voices and instruments he manages to 'expand the experience of classical music beyond the edges of the traditional map of classical styles' (NPR).

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