Forever? Music by composer Roderick Williams

We are excited to hear the news that writer Rommi Smith has now finished creating the words for the new composition to mark the 250 anniversary of the hymn Amazing Grace and now composer Roderick Williams is setting them to music.

Currently there are creative communications and discussions flying between Roddy, Rommi, the Chineke! Ensemble and AG250 Voices musical director Craig McLeish ready for the premiere on Saturday 22nd July 2023 to be held at The Stables.  Such anticipation …

You can find out more about Roderick Williams on his website

Better known to some as a baritone soloist, Roderick Williams’ reputation as a composer is growing steadily.  His Advent antiphon O Adonai has received numerous recordings and performances around the world and his motet after William Byrd Ave Verum Re-imagined, commissioned and recorded by ORA, was awarded the BASCA prize for Choral Composition in 2016. 

He has also written many solo songs for himself as well as for friends and colleagues.  His song A Coat appears on the NMC Songbook disc, a survey of British song writing in 2009.  Several of his songs were premiered over the years at his own recitals in Three Choirs Festivals and at London’s Wigmore Hall.  Roderick broadcast his own orchestrated arrangements of Ol’ Man River and Joshua fit de battle of Jericho on the BBC Last Night of the Proms in 2014.  A whole album of his sacred choral works was released on the Signum label in 2017. 

Commissions have included O Brother Man – A New England Symphony for Yale Schola Cantorum premiered in Spring 2015, Per Ardua ad Astra, a large-scale cantata marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Air Force which was premiered at the Barbican Centre, London in 2018, and a joint commission for the BBC Singers and the RIAS Kammerchor of Berlin to celebrate the centenary of the Armistice, entitled World Without End, premiered in Berlin and London in the Autumn of 2018.  Recently he has been commissioned for new music by Tenebrae, Ex Cathedra, Voces8 and the BBC Singers (who have recently appointed him Associate Composer) and the Hallé orchestra are releasing a recital survey disc of English Song, orchestrated and sung by Roderick, conducted by Sir Mark Elder.

Most recently, Roderick has been commissioned to write a work for the King’s Coronation as well as singing at it! Find out more here.

Selected music is published by OUP and Edition Peters.

With thanks to funding support from Arts Council England and Milton Keynes City Council

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