James MacMillan

Why I worship these local heroes

From choirs to colliery bands, the Cumnock Tryst festival celebrates the social aspect of music

What really unites Europe

The work of the Continent’s great composers is rooted in a culture long predating the age of revolution

The Beat Goes On

Young composers are still gripped by the urge to make music, and now to break down cultural barriers

Music And The Quest To Rediscover The Sacred

Despite the retreat from faith, many modern composers are inspired by true spirituality

The Symphony: A Moral Vision Revealed In Music

Beethoven set the bar impossibly high but composers like myself still regard it as the ultimate challenge

The Red Roots of Folk Music

Folk music has long been influenced by ultra-Left politics. Yet as the example of composer Cornelius Cardew has shown, even those with Communist sympathies have things to teach us about community music

The Music Of Love

A working-class Scottish upbringing taught James Macmillan about music and fatherhood. If only more artists would take up the mantle

Music and Modernity

"The prophets of Marxist-inspired modernism are in retreat right across the board. They are perplexed at how the world has gone. Their view has not prevailed, even in modern music. Everything, including our understanding of recent history, is up for grabs."

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"