James MacMillan

Dancing to the SNP’s tunes

Scottish music and culture is playing second fiddle to an increasingly nationalist and socialist agenda

The therapy of forty voices

My attempt to emulate Tallis was initially terrifying, but now that the work is finished I am quite bereft

Music makes us socially mobile

Scottish nationalists seem out to destroy a precious musical heritage built up over many generations

In composer’s Sistine heaven

To hear my Stabat Mater sung in Michelangelo’s chapel was the high point of my musical life

A constant search for the sacred

Religion plays an integral role in modern music even when it is composed by non-believers

The ring of authority

Ernest Newman’s towering biography of Wagner helped to shape my own view of the composer

The quality of divine mercy

Look to Beethoven to answer Adorno’s famous post-Holocaust critique of Western culture

In search of perfect pitch

Many composers, including me, love football so much that we are inspired by the beautiful game

Sweet singing in the choir

Dumbing down church music and liturgy has emptied the pews. Our tradition deserves better

Psalms in Praise of Scotland’s Past

Thomas Wode’s part-books show the centrality of music in Scottish life just before the Reformation

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"