News Archive

• Performances postponed/cancelled (March 2020)
Sadly, the performances of my works that were to take place on 19 March and 3 April have been postponed or cancelled owing to the pandemic situation. Hopefully better news for everyone will be on the horizon.

Carol of the Passion

Carol of the Passion Première (February 2020)
I am amazed and delighted that my recent Carol of the Passion has been selected for performance at JAM on the Marsh’s launch concert, at St. Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, London, on 19 March 2020. The choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, will perform the work, conducted by Michael Bawtree. Details and tickets are available at

Fallen, first page

Fallen Première (January 2020)
I am thrilled that my song cycle for tenor and violin to poems specially commissioned from John Greening, Fallen is to receive its first performance at the Ludlow English Song Weekend. Tenor Toby Spence will perform the work, alongside violinist Michael Trainor, at St. Laurence’s Church, Ludlow, on 3 April 2020. Details are available on the Ludlow Song Weekend website. I have also written something about the making of the piece on my blog.

• Crowdfunder: Crow (September 2019)
I am developing a new project to create a new song cycle–melodrama based on poems from Ted Hughes’s Crow. To start things going, while he completes several funding bids, he has launched a Crowdfunder. If you would like to support I would be enormously grateful. Please visit the Crowdfunder page to find out more about the project. Thank you!

• OUP Gurney (September 2019)
Having just dealt with the first page proofs and index for the first volume of my and Tim Kendall’s forthcoming edition of The Complete Poetical Works of Ivor Gurney, it is pleasing to see the volume already listed on the publisher’s website. Take a look, and even pre-order the book, here!

• New Score & Recording shop (August 2019)
Select scores and recordings of my works are now available for sale on this site, on the Shop Page.

• Canticle Première (July 2019)
My collaboration with poet Euan Tait, our canticle, Miriam’s Exile, was premièred in Bristol in June, with soprano Charlotte Newstead and pianist Stefan Hofkes. A recording of that performance can be found on my Soundcloud page — do have a listen. It was an powerful and emotional performance, and I am so grateful to both Charlotte and Stefan.

• Canticle Première (March 2019)
The Canticle for soprano and piano, Miriam’s Exile — a setting of a new poem by Euan Tait completed last year — is to be performed twice in June. It will be premièred on Sunday June 9th at St. Paul’s Church, Clifton, Bristol, 3pm, and receive a second performance as part of the Gloucester Music Festival on Friday 14 June, 12.30pm. Charlotte Newstead (soprano) and Stefan Hofkes (piano) will perform a programme on the theme of ‘Refuge and Exile’; the plight of those torn from their homes by war and persecution.

• First Publication! (March 2019)
I have just signed the contract for my first published work as a composer, Into the Tomb — a choral setting of William Blake for Good Friday — which is to be published in due course by Stainer & Bell, as part of their ‘Choral Now’ series.

• Francis Chagrin Award (January 2019)
I am delighted to have been given a Francis Chagrin Award from the new music charity, Sound and Music. This award is to support my newly completed song cycle, Fallen. The money will pay for a workshop session with violinist Roger Huckle, working through the instrumental part to refine its technical practicability, seeking advice on bowing and other matters. Thank you Sound and Music!

• New Words for New Music (January 2018)
Philip has launched a Crowdfunder campaign through which he hopes to raise commission fees for two poets to be set to music. Euan Tait has already provided the words which Philip is setting at the moment — a Canticle for soprano and piano, Miriam’s Exile; and John Greening is to provide new poems for a song cycle for tenor and violin, titled provisionally The Sighing Poplar. If you would like to find out more about this, or perhaps even make a donation towards the projects, please visit Thank you.

• New Works (Autumn 2017)
Philip’s recently completed Lenten motet, We are but Dust, is now arrived from the printers, and will be available through this website soon. Also in the pipeline is the score of Philip’s recent seasonal piece for two-part trebles and string quartet, Aubade for Christmas Morning. Please do get in touch if you would like to see either of these works. With the coming of the Autumn, Philip has been able to return after several months to his first canticle collaboration with Euan Tait, and has also begun drafting ideas for his long-planned work for string orchestra, Exultation.

• Singings and speakings, Autumn 2017
Philip has just given the sixth annual British Academy Lecture at the Leeds Humanities Research Institute at the University of Leeds, co-hosted with the Ilkley Literature Festival; a lecture–recital on/of Gurney’s music and poetry, given alongside pianist Gavin Roberts. In the coming weeks, Philip is appearing on the concert platform in Abergavenny (Gwent Bach Choir, 18 November) and Lichfield (Lichfield Cathedral Chorus, 9 December), singing the soli in Messiah on both occasions.

• Song now available
Philip’s recent Whitman song, premiered at the Ludlow Weekend of English Song in May, is now available through the Score shop on this website.

• Concerts and talks, May to July 2017
Philip is going to be in action in the coming few months, singing two concerts with the Proteus Ensemble (including one at the Three Choirs Festival in Pershore Abbey on 27 July) and will be singing the baritone solo in Harold Darke’s An Hymn of Heavenly Beauty in Abbey Dore, Herefordshire on 29 July, in the final concert in Paul Spicer’s English Choral Experience. Philip is also speaking on Whitman at the Ludlow Weekend of English Song on 20 May (where his new Whitman song receives its premiere — see below), is talking to the Finzi Friends and Ivor Gurney Society about Gurney and Finzi on Chosen Hill on 3 June, and on Thursday 13 July is giving a lunchtime lecture-recital in Gloucester at St. Johns Northgate as part of the Gloucester Classical Music Festival. Having been talking on Gurney and Edward Thomas recently (April) in Arras, France, it is a busy few months!

• A new work is at hand! (April 2017)
Philip has just completed a new work for unaccompanied 8-part choir: a substantial Lenten motet, We are but Dust, which draws together words from Psalm 103, Edward Thomas, and the visionary writings of William Blake. At 6'30 in duration it is not perhaps for the faint-hearted, but if you would be interested in seeing a copy of the piece, please do get in touch.

• Song performance (April 2017)
Just a couple of months after its premiere, Philip’s recent Whitman song, A Noiseless Patient Spider is to receive its second performance, at the St. Endellion Festival. It is one of the songs featured in the late evening Whitman programme on Sunday 30 July.

• Song premiere in May (January 2017)
Philip is delighted that his new song, A Noiseless Patient Spider, is to receive its first performance during the 2017 Ludlow Weekend of English Song. This Whitman setting will be performed by soprano Soraya Mafi and pianist Iain Burnside in a programme devoted to Whitman to be given in Ludlow Parish Church on the evening of 20 May 2017. Booking is now open. Full details are available on the Ludlow Song website.

• Song premiere
Philip is delighted that his new song, A Noiseless Patient Spider, is to receive its first performance during the 2017 Ludlow Weekend of English Song. This Whitman setting will be performed by soprano Louise Alder and pianist Iain Burnside in a programme devoted to Whitman to be given in Ludlow Parish Church on the evening of 20 May 2017. Booking is now open. Full details are available on the Ludlow Song website.

• Talks and recitals in October: London, Malvern & Gloucester
On Thursday 6th October Philip will be giving a lecture—recital with pianist Gavin Roberts at the British Academy in London, exploring the work of Ivor Gurney. Details here. On 15 October he will be talking at the Autumn in Malvern Festival, again on Gurney (Details), and on 17 October will be giving a lunchtime recital at St. John’s Church, Northgate, Gloucester, with Jonathan Hope at the piano, with a programme of songs by Beethoven and Schubert.

• Bach and the Sentry at the St. Marylebone Festival
Philip's song, Bach and the Sentry is to receive its London première on 22 July 2016 at 7.30pm in a recital at the inaugural St. Marylebone Festival at St. Marylebone Parish Church. Jonathan Hyde (baritone) and Gavin Roberts (piano) will be performing the work in a programme commemorating WW1, 'War on all fronts'. Details here.

• Diary update (June 2016)
A recital and lecture-recital have just been added to the diary: in London Philip will be marking National Poetry Day, October 6th, with a lecture—recital with pianist Gavin Roberts at the British Academy, speaking about Ivor Gurney and performing his songs and poetry; and on 17 October Philip will be joined by Jonathan Hope in a recital of Beethoven and Schubert in Gloucester.

• CD Release (June 2016)
A new CD has been released featuring Philip's editions of Ivor Gurney's Ludlow & Teme and the slow movement of his 1924-25 string quartet in D minor. The Bridge Quartet are joined by Charles Daniel and Michael Dussek. Details on the EM Records website.

• War Passion Premiere
Philip is thrilled to announce that his new chamber oratorio, a setting of the Passion with commentary taken from the words of ten War Poets, is to be given its first performance on 24 July 2016 at Cirencester Parish Church as part of the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival. It is a huge privilege to have this work programmed in such a prestigious festival. The War Passion will be performed by the Saint Cecilia Singers and the Bristol Ensemble, conducted by Jonathan Hope. Full details about the performance are available on the Three Choirs Festival website. I am also giving a talk about the work on the previous day of the Festival (23 July) in St. Mary de Lode church, Gloucester. Further information about the War Passion is available here.

• New WW1 song for baritone and piano now available for purchase
In June [2015] Philip completed a setting of Ivor Gurney’s war poem, ‘Bach and the Sentry’ — a setting dedicated to the memory of the poet and scholar Jon Stallworthy. Further details can be found on the Works page, and scores of this song are now available to purchase from this site.

• Gurney choral work on CD (December 2014)
Philip’s edition of Ivor Gurney’s motet for double choir, Since I Believe in God the Father Almighty, has its first commercial CD release in a new disc of Evensong sung by Gloucester Cathedral Choir, for which Philip has also supplied the sleeve note. It is released on Priory Records and is available here: Music for Evensong at Gloucester Cathedral commemorating the start of the ‘War to end all wars’

• US Premiere for Western Playland edition (October 2014)
Philip's edition of Ivor Gurney’s song cycle for baritone, string quartet and piano, The Western Playland (and of Sorrow) will receive its US premiere under the auspices of the New England Light Opera on 9 November, with further performances on 15 and 16 November. Details can be found here.

• Naxos Recording (11 July 2014)
Philip's orchestration of Ivor Gurney’s choral setting of Edward Thomas, The Trumpet, has been recorded for CD release by Naxos. Hilary Davan Wetton conducted the City of London Choir and the London Mozart Players in a programme that also includes Gerald Finzi’s Requiem da Camera and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Oxford Elegy. I'll post the release date when known.

• Poetry Book Published (1 June 2014)
Philip's first poetry collection, Fulcrum, was published on 1 June. Click here for more details.

• Postdoctoral Fellowship at Exeter University (May 2014)
Philip has been awarded a prestigious British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to continue his work on Ivor Gurney under the aegis of Exeter University's Dept. of English. The post will begin in September 2014, and will enable Philip to undertake, with Tim Kendall, the complete edition of Gurney's poetry for the Oxford University Press, and to write a monograph on Gurney's work.