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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » M » McCabe, John



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John McCabe (b4/21/1939)

A prolific composer from childhood, John McCabe studied in Manchester and Munich, and embarked on an international career as composer and pianist. He has worked in almost every genre, though large-scale forms lie at the heart of his catalogue. Apart from full-length ballets such as Edward II and the two-part Arthur, his seven symphonies, at least twenty concertante works, and music such as Notturni ed Alba (for soprano and orchestra) and The Chagall Windows for orchestra place him at the centre of the repertoire. Cloudcatcher Fells has become a classic of the brass band repertoire. His output of chamber music, including seven string quartets and numerous quintets and trios, is equally outstanding, and he has made a major contribution to the fields of piano and vocal music, including a wide range of choral work. Artists who have performed McCabe’s music include the BBC Singers, Barry Douglas, James Galway, the King’s Singers, Truls Mørk, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York, the William Ferris Chorale of Chicago, Stile Antico and the conductors Barbirolli, Boult, Elder, Groves, Haitink, Hickox, Vasily Petrenko, Previn and Solti. McCabe’s mature style is characterised by dramatic post-tonalism, and vivid orchestration, combined with both accessibility and integrity. In his distinguished career as a concert pianist, he has performed and recorded widely, including the landmark set of complete Haydn Piano Sonatas on Decca and many British works, and he is noted for his generosity to his

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