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Sir James MacMillan – Catholic Composer and Conductor visit

July 23, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm


4-8pm, Sunday 23 July 2017

St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Manchester Street



Our Diocesan Sacred Arts Team is pleased to announce that Sir James MacMillan is coming to Christchurch in late July. He will conduct singers in his St Anne’s Mass at the 5.30pm Mass in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. Sir James is one of the world’s most successful contemporary composers and a globally renowned conductor. He is coming to New Zealand to conduct the National Youth Orchestra and warmly responded to our invitation to come to Christchurch to lead us in his music and give a talk after Mass in the Music Centre, adjacent to the church.

Sir James MacMillan

Sir James MacMillan was first internationally recognised in 1990. His prolific work has since been performed and broadcast around the world. He was Composer/Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic from 2000-2009 and Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie until 2013. Sir James composed a congregational setting of the Mass which was used when Pope Benedict XVI visited the UK to beatify Blessed John Henry Newman. A CD of MacMillan’s work was recently featuring in the top ten on Radio New Zealand Concert’s Classical Chart. Our own Cathedral Choir and Orchestra was privileged to be conducted by Sir James on their visit to his parish church in Glasgow in 2015.

Sir James MacMillan is an ardent Catholic and his music reflects his Faith, Scottish heritage, social conscience and close connection with Celtic folk music. He is an articulate commentator on the Church’s sacred music, underpinned by his thoughtful understanding of what the Church asks of Her musicians, particularly in the Post-Vatican II context.

MacMillan is convinced that “the most authentic way forward for Catholic music, is to combine the participatory ethos of Vatican II with the deep history and traditions of the music of the Church.” He is encouraged by the more recent realisation that there are such considerations as “good and bad practice, authentic and inauthentic approaches, attributes of holiness, goodness of form and universality.” He observes that “These considerations should always be at the forefront of the minds of anyone who is responsible for the liturgy, whether priest or people.” He asks the question: “Can we be inspired to reach out to the objective beauty of a timeless, archetypal Catholic praise?”

To sing with and hear from our leading Catholic composer is indeed a great opportunity for anyone involved in Catholic music. Do not miss this unique event. For further information, or to register interest, contact Ken Joblin on kjoblin@chch.catholic.org.nz .


July 23, 2017
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm


St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral
373 Manchester Street
Christchurch, 8013 New Zealand
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