Philip Lancaster is emerging as a composer of profound and original voice. He finds particular inspiration for his works in literature, and poetry in particular, growing out of his work as an academic, singer and poet. This has led to a dominance of vocal pieces in his steadily growing catalogue of works.

In January 2014 Philip was awarded a Finzi Scholarship by the Finzi Trust to embark upon the composition of a major chamber oratorio, a War Passion, the completion of which was subsequently commissioned for performance at the 2016 Three Choirs Festival. This major 68 minute work, scored for soloists, choir, and 14 piece ensemble, received its première on 24 July 2016 in Cirencester Parish Church as part of that festival. Full details can be found on the Three Choirs Festival website. On the preceding day of the festival, Philip was in conversation about the piece with the conductor of that performance, Jonathan Hope, in an event at St. Mary de Lode Church, Gloucester.

In the midst of the writing of the War Passion, Philip recently completed a song setting of Ivor Gurney’s Bach and the Sentry, which received its first performance at the English Choral Experience, Abbey Dore, Herefordshire, in July 2015. Immediate plans include two song cycles (one with cello), a short choral setting, and a work for string orchestra, Exultation.

As an arranger and orchestrator, Philip’s work has been performed at festivals around the country, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and released on CD. At present he is completing and orchestrating a major post-war cantata by Ivor Gurney, Anthem of Earth.

Canada's Golgotha

Detail from Francis Derwent Wood's sculpture of the crucified soldier, 'Canada's Golgotha'