Brussels Philharmonic | Happy Birthday, James

Happy Birthday, James

Scottish composer James MacMillan is turning 60! Cause for a celebration: experience MacMillan's Larghetto for orchestra live in the concert hall during Mahler 5, for only half the price! Feeling more like vocal music? The Vlaams Radiokoor brings together MacMillan's Miserere and Seven Angels, conducted by the composer himself at a unique location: the Basilica of Koekelberg!

Promo code: JAMES60

valid from July 16 till July 22 (23:59)

How do we characterise the phenomenal concert given on Saturday night by the BBC SSO, with a string of premieres, all conducted by the man himself? The night featured music that was beguiling, intriguing, poignant, hilarious, electrifyingly exciting, challenging and, for those who know a little about MacMillan's music, comprehensively revelatory.

60 years of music

2019 is a festive year for Sir James MacMillan: at age 60 he is undeniably one of today’s most successful composers and is also internationally active as a conductor. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian and Eastern European music.

“One of the most remarkable things I’ve witnessed over time has been the emergence of superb professional choirs that have transformed the musical landscape and the lives of composers. Forty years ago, few serious composers thought much about choral writing: it was instrumental music that generated modernism. But that’s changed. And choral singing packs out halls.”

“I believe there’s an umbilical connection between music and the divine, but does God direct my hand when I put the notes on the page? I wouldn’t claim that. Nor can I look back over my output and see a guided, seamless progression. It’s more like I’ve just stumbled on from day to day with false starts, dead ends and a few mistakes.”