Warming up the New Year with Bob Chilcott

We're only a few weeks away from A Luminous New Year's Eve! Tickets are going quickly, so reserve them now!

Our program will have two works composed by Bob Chilcott. The British composer has a large catalogue of works, especially of choral repertoire. Born in 1955, Chilcott sang in the famous Choir of King's College, Cambridge, as well as the King's Singers, a popular ensemble with whom he sang from 1985 to 1997.

 Bob Chilcott ( BBC Music Magazine )

Bob Chilcott (BBC Music Magazine)

Chilcott started composing more prolifically in 1997. Today, he is regarded as "one of the finest choral composers at work in Britain today" (Gramophone Magazine) and "a contemporary hero of British Choral Music" (The Observer). His works continue to be widely programmed by choirs of all ages around the world.

"I write music I think people will be able to sing and that they might enjoy," Chilcott said in an interview in 2015. "I’ve gained a lot of practical experience of what people are able to do and how to transport that feeling into writing something that will motivate them to sing. It’s important to be very encouraging to others and really enable people to do things."

We asked a few of our Luminous Voices about what makes Chilcott's music so popular to program.

I write music I think people will be able to sing and that they might enjoy. I’ve gained a lot of practical experience of what people are able to do and how to transport that feeling into writing something that will motivate them to sing. It’s important to be very encouraging to others and really enable people to do things.
— Bob Chilcott (2015, BBC Music Magazine)

"Chilcott's compositions are tuneful, imaginative, accessible and effective," says Paul Grindlay, Artistic Director of the Calgary Boys' Choir and a bass-baritone with Luminous Voices. "There is usually enough spirituality or pathos in his music to make it thoughtful, but enough humour to keep it light and playful, so it appeals to many. You often find yourself wanting to snap your fingers in a lot his music!"

"Chilcott’s music is just *fun* to conduct," says Fabiana Katz, a Vancouver-based conductor and mezzo-soprano who will sing in her first production with Luminous Voices at A Luminous New Year's Eve. "It is rhythmic, and full of variety. He gives the conductor a lot of opportunity for calling out interpretive expression and articulation in the music, which is fun and engaging for the conductor, the singers and the audience!"

For Timothy Shantz, founding artistic director of Luminous Voices, Bob Chilcott is a "singer's composer".

"Chilcott knows how to write for singers and it feels natural to sing his melodic lines," says Shantz. "I think of Chilcott as almost like a natural heir to John Rutter, because of his tuneful and approachable style."

Luminous Voices audiences may remember the song Sun, Moon, Sea and Stars from our Love's Joy Awakened concert in June 2017. We loved it so much that we're bringing it back for New Year's Eve! Listen to that June 2017 performance, which features baritone Jordan Van Biert and soprano Benila Ninan