Cecilia McDowall has a distinctive style which speaks directly to listeners, instrumentalists and singers alike. Her instrumental and choral output has been described as having a ‘freshness, brightness and fidelity’ about it, combining flowing melodic lines and occasionally astringent harmony with rhythmic vitality.
Born in London in 1951, she read music at Edinburgh and London universities, later continuing her studies at Trinity College of Music. She has studied composition with Joseph Horovitz, Robert Saxton and Adam Gorb and has won several major composition awards.
She has received many commissions which include those from London Musici, London Mozart Players, Presteigne Festival of Music and the Arts, Susan Milan, Fibonacci Sequence and Ensemble Lumière.
Recent commissions include Stabat Mater for the St Albans Choral Society, Radnor Songs for the soprano Rachel Nicholls and Paul Plummer (piano) for the 2005 Presteigne Festival, Lonely Hearts, for equal voice choir for the Canterbury Chamber Choir, a choral work for New College Choir, Oxford, for the 2005 Yoxford Festival and Century Dances for The Thorne Trio.
McDowall’s music has been widely performed throughout the United Kingdom and abroad, and at a variety of festivals including, Aberystwyth MusicFest, Presteigne, Dartington International Summer School, Deal and Hampstead and Highgate. Her works are regularly broadcast on BBC Radio and Television. As well as a highly successful CD of her choral music, Dutton Epoch recently recorded a CD of McDowall’s orchestral and instrumental music with Orchestra Nova and the Tippett Quartet for release in autumn of 2005.
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