28 February 2018
The bridge builder
Whenever he hears someone describing classical music as “elitist”, James MacMillan winces. He knows why they say it; but he also knows they’re wrong.
The biggest name in sacred music in Britain, and one of the world’s leading living classical musicians, owes it all to his maternal grandfather – a coal miner. He played the euphonium in the colliery band, and he introduced the young Jimmy to the joys of music-making, an epiphany from which the composer never looked back. For as long as he can remember, he was making up music as well as playing it. “From the moment I was given my first plastic recorder, I was composing for it,” he says.
Get instant access NOWRegister for 6 FREE articles per month
SubscriptionsSubscribe to The Tablet from just £19.99 quarterly
3 options available
Sign up for our newsletterSign Up
Manage my subcription hereManage