Journals Higher Education
Important OUP's Response to COVID-19 Learn more
  • News
    • James Whitbourn signs with Oxford University Press

James Whitbourn signs with Oxford University Press

Released on July 11, 2019

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).

James Whitbourn says: "I am honoured to be joining such a vibrant publishing house, known and respected across the world and based in a place I love. I'm thrilled to be working with OUP's exceptional team on a range of exciting projects coming up in the years ahead."

Ben Selby, OUP's Director of Music Publishing, comments: "We're thrilled to have James joining our illustrious list of Oxford composers. His writing brings an original and distinctive voice to our catalogue and a breadth of style and interests which is recognized at the highest level. We are greatly looking forward to working with him."

The first publication with Oxford will appear over the summer. Solitude, a choral setting of an early poem by John Henry Newman (the 19th century Oxford priest who in autumn 2019 is due to be canonised) was commissioned by Oriel College, Oxford, where Newman was a fellow. The work will be available for both SATB and upper voices. In November, OUP will then publish Apollo, a work for solo organ and part of The Oxford Organ Library. Apollo brings together two stories of discovery spanning 2000 years. It takes as its musical theme the first notated piece whose composer is known: a hymn to Apollo composed by Ath'naios in around 128 BC. The theme is transformed into a narrative that traces the first ever human spaceflight mission to leave Earth and to voyage to another celestial body—the Moon. Apollo was commissioned by James Roman, an organist working in Houston, Texas, close to the NASA base. It will be premiered as part of the Space City New Music Festival on 13 July.

Notes for editors

Review copies of works to be published will be available on request from August.

For more information on James Whitbourn, contact Jenny Wegg, Head of Repertoire Promotion at

James Whitbourn's OUP web page:

James Whitbourn's web page:

About Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

OUP is the world's largest university press with the widest global presence. It currently publishes thousands of new publications a year, has offices in around fifty countries, and employs some 6,000 people worldwide.

It has become familiar to millions through a diverse publishing programme that includes scholarly works in all academic disciplines, bibles, music, school and college textbooks, children's books, materials for teaching English as a foreign language, business books, dictionaries and reference books, and academic journals.