Bob Chilcott has a fast growing reputation as one of Britain's most popular and accessible composers of choral music. He has been involved in choral music for most of his life, having been a boy chorister and choral scholar in the choir of King's College, Cambridge, and also a member of the vocal group The King's Singers for twelve years. Since 1997 he has worked as a full-time composer, and become involved in a growing number of workshop and conducting projects, particularly with children's and youth choirs.
Chilcott has contributed a growing body of work to the repertoire of adult and childrens choirs. Of his larger works for mixed voices, Jubilate has been performed widely, including at Carnegie Hall, New York, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, the New Handel Hall in Halle, Germany, and in Brisbane, Australia. Equally popular is his choral cantata The Making of the Drum, which has been sung by a variety of choirs worldwide including the BBC Singers, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the Tower New Zealand Youth Choir and the Ulster Youth Choir. In 1999 The Making of the Drum was recorded by the renowned chamber choir from Helsinki, Grex Musicus, on a CD of his a cappella music. More recently, Canticles of Light successfully brings adult and children's voices together with orchestra in a distinctive setting of three Latin Hymns from the Liturgia Horarum; and Songs and Cries of London Town, vividly capturing the boisterousness and romantic pathos of the capital's old street cries, is to be featured in the gala concert of the Association of British Choral Directors convention in the summer.
As reflected in Canticles of Light, Chilcott's gifts are not limited to writing for adults, and he has gained an international reputation for his work with, and compositions for, children and young people. His song with sign language, Can you hear me?, has become one of the most widely performed pieces in the children's choir world and in March 2001 Chilcott himself conducted a performance of it sung by 2000 children at The World of Children's Choirs Festival in Vancouver, Canada. Another of his most popular children's works, Peace Mass, was sung by the National Children's Choir of Great Britain at the BBC Proms in 2000, as part of the Youth Celebration Day. A Sporting Chance, is one of several large-scale educational works, for school choir with Onyx Brass, as part of Making Music's New Horizons 2000/2001 project. Tandem, premièred in 2003, is an exciting work that combines two orchestras, one professional and one amateur, enabling children and adults to work together.
2002 saw several new recordings and broadcasts of Chilcott's music. God so loved the World was transmitted on BBC 1's Songs of Praise on Palm Sunday. One of Germany's finest choirs, the Nordic Choir from Stuttgart, recorded a CD of his music, alongside two associated radio broadcasts on Bayerischer Rundfunk. Chilcott conducted the BBC Singers in a recording of six spirituals from the exciting new OUP choral anthology Spirituals for Choirs, which he also edited, together with The Making of the Drum and My Prayer for broadcast on Brian Kay's Sunday Morning on Radio 3. The English choir, Voces Sacrae, has also recorded six of the spirituals for a free CD sampler of the anthology. These, together with promotional CDs of Jubilate, Can you hear me? (a selection of music for upper voices) and other music by Chilcott are available from OUP's Repertoire Promotion Department.
Bob Chilcott continues to be in great demand as a conductor and workshop leader worldwide. Last year alone he conducted and lead workshops in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada, Germany, Latvia and Brazil, as well as in his own country. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers.
Information on Chilcott can also be found on the Bob Chilcott website. www.bobchilcott.com