Flower of Scotland: James MacMillan

Classical Academy | Composers | Around the World | James MacMillan


James MacMillan is Scotland's most famous contemporary composer. He was born on 16 July 1959 and many of his works feature scottish stories and influences, such as the "Confessions of Isobel Gowdie" (1990), about a 17th Century Scottish woman who was tried as a witch. His "Strathclyde Motets", named after the Scottish county, won him a British Composer Award for Liturgical Music in 2008.


MacMillan's influence as a composer strech far beyond Scotland. The legendary Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich asked MacMillan to compose him a Cello Concerto, which Rostropovich premiered in 1997. His most performed work is a percussion concerto for Evelyn Glennie "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel" (1992).


MacMillan enjoys that rare privilege of being both accessible and highly esteemed by his fellow musicians and composers. You can explore MacMillan's works below - from choral works performed by Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, to some of his chamber works. Don't miss his "Fourteen Little Pictures" - a kaleidoscopic series of musical minatures for Piano Trio!