Bob Chilcott

Composer & Conductor

Described by the Observer newspaper as “a contemporary hero of British choral music”, Bob Chilcott has always been immersed in the choral tradition of his country. He sang as a chorister and choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and after singing professionally in London and also as a member of the vocal group the King’s Singers for 12 years, he became a full-time composer in 1997. He has embraced his career with energy and commitment, not only producing a large catalogue of music for all types of choirs, but also working with singers and choirs in more than 30 countries.

It was perhaps through his many works for young singers that he first came to prominence as a composer, prompting some large-scale performances of his pieces. Can you hear me? was performed in Vancouver in 2001 by 2000 singers  and later at the Estonian Song Festival in 2004 with 7000 young singers. This led to several other large-scale projects including The Angry Planet, written for David Hill and The Bach Choir for the 2012 BBC Proms, which was performed by The Bach Choir, The National Youth Choir of Great Britain, The BBC Singers and 200 primary school children from London.

He has written a number of substantial sacred works including Salisbury Vespers (2009), St John Passion (2013) for Wells Cathedral Choir, and his Requiem (2010) which has now been performed in over 16 countries. In 2013 he wrote The king shall rejoice for the service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Bob has worked with many thousands of singers in Britain through a continuing series of Singing Days throughout the country. Between 1997 and 2004 he was conductor of the choir of The Royal College of Music in London, and since 2002 he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers.

His music has been recorded extensively and there are a number of albums dedicated to his music, including Man I Sing (2007), Making Waves (2008), Requiem (2012), The Seeds of Stars (2012), Everyone Sang (2013), The Rose in the Middle of Winter (2013), St John Passion (2015), The Angry Planet (2015), Sun, Moon, Sea and Stars (2016), All Good Things (2017) and In Winter’s Arms (2017). His music has been recorded by many leading British choirs and ensembles including The Sixteen, The Cambridge Singers, Tenebrae, The BBC Singers, The Choir of Wells Cathedral, The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and The King’s Singers.

I’ve been working with Bob since 2010, and have secured coverage and interviews with a wide range of national media.

I run his Twitter and Facebook  pages to promote his ongoing work. 

Bob is Guest Editor of the December edition of Classical Music Magazine. View your free copy here.

Reviews of In Winter’s Arms: Seasonal music by Bob Chilcott, performed by Choralis, conducted by Gretchen Kuhrmann:

The Times: Richard Morrisonwtju.net (University of Virginia); Also in Gramophone Magazine.

28 November 2017: Tenebrae’s disc ‘Music of the Spheres’ has been nominated for a Grammy. Included on the disc is ‘Man I Sing’.

October 2017 – musicwebinternational.com: Review of Commotio CD: All Good Things

September 2017 – prestoclassical.co.uk: Interview with Bob on release of Commotio CD: All Good Things

7 September 2017 – Bob talks to Ian Skelly on BBC Radio 3 In Tune

July 2017 – St Stanislav’s Institution: Interview with Bob ahead of première of God of the Open Air by St Stanislav Girls Choir

October 2016 – AllMusic.com: Review of Katie Melua’s album “In Winter” by Matt Collar. Bob worked on the choral arrangements with Katie for The Gori Women’s Choir.

May/June 2016 – Choir & Organ: Review of Tenebrae Consort CD: Sun, Moon, Sea & Stars by Shirley Ratcliffe

May 2016 – Musicweb-international.com: Review of Tenebrae Consort CD: Sun, Moon, Sea & Stars by Stuart Sillitoe

March 2016 – Musicweb-international.com: Review of St John Passion CD by Simon Thompson

20 March 2016 – BBC Radio Wales: All Things Considered – an interview on his work on his St John Passion

3 March 2016 – The Oxford Times: Getting creative to end loneliness 

March 2016 – Musicweb-international.com: Review of Tenebrae Consort CD: Sun, Moon, Sea & Stars by John Quinn

March 2016 – Classical Music Magazine & Choir & Organ: Lifeboat: An initiative to combat loneliness has led to a new community-based choral work Order a copy via Rhinegold Publishing

28 February 2016 – The Observer/Guardian: Ten ways to beat loneliness

14 February 2016 – The Observer/Guardian: Stephen Pritchard reviews Sun, Moon, Sea & Stars CD: seductive and dreamy

7 February 2016 – Classicfm.com: David Mellor reviews Sun, Moon, Sea & Stars CD

29 January 2016 – Planethugill.com: Tenebrae’s Bob Chilcott selection opens London Acappella Festival

5 December 2015 – The Independent & independent.co.uk: Traditional hymns are still popular, but composers are writing new ones

October 2015 – Planethugill.com: Environmental issues to the fore in three moving cantatas

September 2015 – Gramophone.co.uk: “A set of excellent performances” Review of The Angry Planet CD by Alexandra Coghlan

August 2015 – musicweb-international.com: Recording of the month – The Angry Planet reviewed by Gwyn Parry-Jones

28 July 2015 – seenandheard-international.com: Young Singers Make a Fine Impression of Bob Chilcott’s Requiem at Three Choirs Festival

July 2015 – Cotswold Life: Katie Jarvis interviews Bob

11 June 2015 – Oxford Times: Bob Chilcott – Meet the social musician by Nicola Lisle

5 June 2015 – BBC Music Day: A special edition of BBC Radio 3 The Choir featured the première of “Setting Sail”, part of a larger work, “The Voyage” which has been commissioned by Age UK Oxfordshire on the theme of loneliness. Taking part were the BBC Symphony Chorus, Berkshire Young Voices and the Voyage Community Choir.

12 July 2015 – The Observer/Guardian: The Angry Planet review – touching innocence of young choirs

4 April 2015 – BBC Radio 3: Building a Library/CD Review Show featuring St John Passion

3 April 2015 – BBC Radio 3 In Tune: Bob joins Sean Rafferty ahead of his concert with the BBC Singers at Milton Court

9 March 2015 – Musicweb-international.com: Review of St John Passion recording by John Quinn

March/April 2015 – Choir & Organ: A consummate craftsmen Order a copy here

2 March 2015 – The Guardian: Facing The Music

27 February 2015 – Classical-music.com: Bob Chats to BBC Music Magazine as he approaches his 60th birthday

25 & 26 December 2014 – BBC Two: 60 Years of Carols from King’s

21 December 2014 – The Observer: Gloria in Excelsis Deo: Britain tunes into its spiritual side

18 December 2014 – The Telegraph: The Magic of a Choral Christmas in Cambridge (not available online)

Nov/Dec 2014 – Choir & Organ Magazine: Crisp and Even – news item on Wenceslas première for John Lewis Partnership at The Royal Albert Hall

29 May 2014 – New York Concert Review Inc: Distinguished Concerts International New York: Celebration & Reflection Part 2 Review

16 December 2013 – Classic FM: The Rose in the Middle of Winter: John Suchet’s CD of the week

10 December 2013 – ITV.com: Christmas carol composed for murdered organist

10 December 2013 – Yorkshire Post: Widow of murdered man overwhelmed by carol in his memory

8 December 2013 – The Observer: Stephen Pritchard reviews The Rose in the Middle of Winter

6 December 2013 – Sinfini Music.com: Charlotte Gardner reviews The Rose in the Middle of Winter

4 December 2013 – Classic FM: Bob joins Classic FM’s Tim Lihoreau for a web chat

28 November 2013 – BBC Radio 3 In Tune: Bob and Commotio join Sean Rafferty 

29 November 2013 – Oxford Times: Preview of CD launch concert by Nicola Lisle

November 2013 – Rhinegold Choral Supplement: The consummate choral composer on approaching Christmas from a different angle

November 2013 – Music Web International: Bob in conversation with John Quinn

November 2103 – Music Web International: Review of Commotio CD “The Rose in the Middle of Winter”

28 October – BBC Radio 2: Bob is one of the judges for the Radio 2 Choristers of the Year Final

20 October 2013 – BBC Radio 2: Bob interviewed by Diane Louise Jordan for The Sunday Hour & Heart of Worship feature

29 August 2013 – Classic FM: How I Wrote Thou Knowest Lord from my Requiem

2 June 2013 – The Observer: Ovaltine, chocolate and a bottle of milk: choristers recall coronation highlights