Phillip Cooke was born in Cumbria in 1980, spending the first 18 years of his life in the Lake District. He studied composition in Durham and Manchester Universities and for a PhD with Anthony Powers at Cardiff University. In 2012 Phillip was a winner of the Musica Sacra International Composers Competition which led to performances in Poland and Lithuania. In 2016 he won the Gesualdo Six Composition Prize for his motet Judas mercator pessimus. In 2017 his anthem For He is Our Peace won the Tenth Annual Anthem Competition in Worcester, Massachusetts, and in 2020 his work Ave Maria, mater Dei won the ORTUS prize.
Recent works have been featured at The London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, the Lake District Summer Music Festival, Tête à Tête Opera Festival, Musica Sacrae (Poland), Sound Festival (Aberdeen), St Magnus Festival, The Cumnock Tryst and the John Armitage Memorial (JAM) concerts. Phillip’s works have been performed in many of the leading cathedrals and churches in the UK by ensembles including The BBC Singers and The Sixteen.
His work has regularly been premiered and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and has also recently been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and Classic FM. His large-scale choral/orchestral work Noah’s Fire was premiered in Chester Cathedral in November 2015. A CD of his choral works performed by the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge and Onyx Brass was released to great acclaim on Regent Records in 2014, and recordings of his pieces The Eternal Ecstasy (recorded by Selwyn in 2015) and The World on Fire (recorded by the Choir of The Queen’s College, Oxford in 2017) have reached the classical charts top 10.
Phillip is strongly influenced by his native Lake District and its history. His main musical influences are found in continuing and reconciling a pastoral British tradition; he has written articles on James MacMillan, Edward Elgar, Herbert Howells, Francis Pott, and British secular Requiem settings. He co-edited a book of essays on Howells, published in 2013, and wrote the first major study on MacMillan’s music, published in 2019.
From 2007 to 2008 he was a Career Development Fellow at the Faculty of Music, Oxford University and a Junior Research Fellow at The Queen’s College, Oxford from 2007 to 2010. He was composition tutor at Eton College from 2011 to 2012. In 2013 he was appointed a Lecturer in Composition at Aberdeen University, becoming Deputy Head in 2015, Senior Lecturer in 2017, and Head of Music from 2018 to 2021. His choral music is published by Novello and Schott.
- Year of birth: 1980
- Website: http://www.phillipcook.com
Works by Phillip Cooke
- Alban, in memoriam
- Ave regina caelorum
- Festival Te Deum
- Locus iste
- Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for Selwyn College, Cambridge
- Preces and Responses
- Second Service (Eton Service)
- St Pancras Service
- Verbum caro factum est
Festival performances of works by Phillip Cooke
Festival commissionCall for Scores submissionWorld premiereLondon premiere
- “Hands, Eyes, and Heart”: Vaughan Williams, Bingham, and Cooke on Saturday 7 May 2022 at St Pancras Parish Church
- Solemn Mass on Sunday 8 May 2022 at St Mary of the Angels, Bayswater
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- Choral Eucharist on Friday 15 May 2020 (online stream/broadcast)
- “Praise Him with Trumpets”: Music for Trumpets and Voices: Il Suono and Simon Desbruslais on Saturday 11 May 2019 at Hampstead Parish Church
- Choral Evensong on Sunday 12 May 2019 at St Pancras Parish Church
- Choral Evensong on Sunday 19 May 2019 at Eton College Chapel
- Choral Evensong on Sunday 13 May 2012 at St Pancras Parish Church
- Choral Evensong on Wednesday 16 May 2012 at St Pancras Parish Church
Recorded performances of works by Phillip Cooke
- Festival Te Deum performed by The LFCCM Festival Singers / Emily Wenman Soprano / Christopher Batchelor Conductor / Paul Plummer Organ
- Ave regina caelorum performed by The Choral Scholars of St Mary of the Angels, Bayswater / Alastair Carey Conductor
- Elegy performed by Alastair Carey Organ