My Music

I compose choral, chamber and orchestral music. 

I write in the “New Baroque” style. I am most inspired by the music of the 17th and 18th centuries, but bring into play ideas taken from many other times and places, from medieval organum to Okinawan dances! I weave these contrasted elements together to create novel sounds and textures.  

My core values are craftsmanship, beautiful form, emotional sincerity and imagination.

Bio

I studied music at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, winning the David Barlow Memorial Prize in my first year and graduating with first-class honours. After that, I pursued postgraduate studies under the supervision of Prof. Colin Timms at the University of Birmingham, specialising in the music of Heinrich Schütz, and receiving my PhD in 2000.

I began composing as a student, and gradually evolved my New Baroque style after experimenting with many other approaches along the way, from hardcore minimalism to rock! Since 2005, my music has been published by Chichester Music Press. My pieces have been recorded, performed in many countries including the USA and Canada, and heard on television and radio.

COMPOSING CAREER

Academic

I am a Teacher at ICMuS, University of Newcastle, where I am also studying for a second PhD (composition in a Neo-Baroque aesthetic).

Commissions

The Daffodils: A Symphony for Chorus and Orchestra, for Cumbria Rural Choirs Festival, 2020.

Kurarusahu – A Sonata for Clarsach (Celtic harp), for Bill Taylor.

The Good-Morrow – A setting of words by John Donne, for Eden Baroque.

Be Merry, I Pray You – A Carol for Choir and Organ, commissioned by Keswick Choral Society, premiere in December 2019.

Honours

Winner of the inaugural SPARK Composition Competition 2019 organised by Collegium Ancora, a professional choir from Rhode Island, USA.

The Call and Psalm 150 – selected for inclusion in the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music 2019.

Hard is the Road to Bethlehem – made shortlist for London Festival Chorus Call for Scores “Songs of Travel” 2018.

Fugue in Sepia – selected in Trio Taco’s Autumn Call for Scores 2018.

Beatitudes – selected in C4 Composer Collective Call for Scores 2018.

Laudate Dominum – won a Special Award in NIPOS International Competition Opus Ignotum 2018.

Notable Performances

Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est and There is No Rose – Performed by Leeds Cathedral Choir, dir. Benjamin Saunders, as part of International Concert Series at Leeds Town Hall, December 2018. Noel: Verbum has also been performed in Carlisle, Northumbria, Leeds Cathedral and in Budapest (premiere, 2017).

Beatitudes – C4 Ensemble, St Johns-in-the-Village, 1 December 2018.

Sing Lullaby – Premiered and toured (in its 3-part arrangement) by Canty in December 2018. The 4-part version was part of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at Carlisle Cathedral in December 2018.

Fugue in Sepia – toured across Ontario by Trio Taco in Autumn 2018.

Rite Majorem Iacobum Canamus – composed at request of the Abbey Singers and performed at the 150th Centenary Concert of St James, Denton Holme, Carlisle, December 2017 (dir., Jonathan Millican).

Recordings

Of a Rose: Choral and Organ Music of Tamsin Jones – Album recorded by Matthew Curtis and other artists (Angelick Feathers, 2017).

Ave Regina Caelorum was included on Imagined Corners – Album by Carlisle Cathedral Choir (2016).

Magnificat in D was included on The Water of Life – Album by Chester Cathedral Choir (2002).

 

Diary

Upcoming Events

I have just recorded a radio interview with John Lipscome of BBC Radio Cumbria, which should be going out next on Monday 21 October and the following Monday on the “Your Classical” show. I managed to avoid talking about pre-dinner cocktails!

New Publication

I am delighted to have had my first piece published under the wing of Tim Knight Music. It’s the organ voluntary Recessional, which featured on my Of a Rose album, and it can be purchased from this link.

21 March 2020

The Daffodils: A Symphony for Chorus and Orchestra will be premiered at Carlisle Cathedral as part of the Cumbria Rural Choirs Festival, featuring British Sinfonietta.

December 2019

Renaissance Voices (Portland, Maine) will perform Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est as part of their Christmas programme.

10 December 2019

Keswick Choral Society will premiere Be Merry!  Crosthwaite Church, Keswick. Starts 7.30 PM.

27 October 2019

SOAS University of LondonEncounters, my suite for ‘cello, flute and gamelan orchestra will be performed at the London Gamelan Workshop by Lucy French and Aris Daryono and others.

Past Events

12 October 2019

My Neo-Baroque Clavier Sonata in C minor was performed by Dominic Downs (a pupil at Chethams) at the Coffee Concert at Lancaster Priory alongside compositions by other members of Lakeland Composers.

18 August 2019

Eden Baroque performed The Good-Morrow at Scalesceugh Hall, near Carlisle.

10 August 2019

Lyra di Orfeo, dir. Christian Nuytten gave the world premiere of my Ave Maria at St Alban’s, Lormes, Burgundy, France.

3 July 2019

Eden Baroque gave the premiere of The Good-Morrow at Crosthwaite Church, Keswick.

15 June 2019

Collegium Ancora gave the world premiere of To the Rainbow at their concert In Harmony as part of Rhode Island Pride 2019. Watch the video here!

7 June 2019

Kathryn Williams performed Sonatiny at a concert at Churchill College, Cambridge.

8 March 2019

Ian Hare (former Organ Scholar, King’s College, Cambridge) performed my organ voluntary Marche Royale in a recital at Kendal Parish Church.

25 February 2019

Kathryn Williams performed my Sonatiny – a complete flute sonata that can be performed in a single breath! “Spread” at the Crescent Community Venue, York.

24 February 2019

The St Mary’s Scholars, dir., Mark Swinton, performed my new communion motet, The Call, at Eucharist at St Mary’s, Warwick.

23, 24 December 2018

My carol Sing Lullaby was performed in the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at Carlisle Cathedral.

23 December 2018

Antiphon performed Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est in their Nine Lessons and Carols at St Mungo’s, Simonburn, near Hexham.

23 December 2018

Fellow composer and pianist-organist Felicity Mazur-Park played my Baroque Fantasia on Joy to the World as the postlude to the Fourth Sunday Morning Service in Advent at Bethany Lutheran Church in Dallas (10101 Walnut Hill).

Various Dates: December 2018 

The three-part version of Sing Lullaby was included in Canty’s tour of historic venues in Scotland, including world-famous Rosslyn Chapel, the Chapel Royal in Stirling Castle and St Machar’s Cathedral, Aberdeen.

A Canty Christmas

See https://cappella-nova.com/news/ for the exciting schedule!

https://www.ticketor.com/dunfermlineabbey/event/a-canty-christmas-146499

20 December 2018

Hard is the Road to Bethlehem featured in Nine Lessons and Carols, St Barnabas Church, Ealing, dir. Paul Ayres.

18 December 2018

The Lazard Choir, dir. Paul Ayres, performed Hard is the Road to Bethlehem at the Grovesnor Chapel in Mayfair, London.

16 December 2018

Welcome Sir Christèmas! A concert of Seasonal Music and Readings, featuring Mathias’s Ave Rex and Schütz’s German Magnificat performed by Pro Nobis Singers, dir. Clive Walkley. This featured the premiere performance of my carol Gloria tibi Domine. St Mark’s Church, Natland, Kendal. Starts at 7.30 PM.

Here is a video of the performance of Gloria tibi Domine:

12 December 2018

Southwark Cathedral – the Financial Times Choir, dir. Paul Ayres, performed Hard is the Road to Bethlehem.

10 December 2018

I was featured on Your Classical, hosted by John Lipscombe on BBC Radio Cumbria at 6PM. Repeat on Sunday. Also available online here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06r4xmd (my contribution starts at about 14:50).

The choir of Leeds Cathedral, under the direction of Benjamin Saunders, performed There is no Rose, which I composed especially for them, at their concert in Leeds Town Hall. It was a magnificent performance and thrilling for me to hear!

9 December 2018

The choir of Leeds Cathedral (RC), directed by Benjamin Saunders, performed my one of my carols at the Cathedral Carol Concert.

7 December 2018

Carlisle Carliol Choir, directed by Jonathan Millican, performed my setting of Creator of the Stars of Night in the Eden Valley Hospice Carol Service. Carlisle Cathedral.

1 December 2018 

C4 Ensemble gave the world premiere of my setting of Beatitudes at St John in the Village Church, 218 West 11th Street, New York.

10 October 2018

Carlisle Cathedral Senior Girls’ Choir, dir. Edward Taylor, gave the first performance of Beatus Vir at Evensong (5.45 PM) in Carlisle Cathedral.

The exciting young Canadian Flute ensemble Trio Taco performed my Fugue in Sepia on the following dates in their Autumn 2018 tour of Ontario:

-July 28th (Kingston, ON)
-August 8 (Perth, ON)
-August 12 (Yarker, ON)
-August 14 (Thornhill, ON)
You can catch Trio Taco in action on their Youtube channel.

10 June 2018 

Trio Taco gave the first performance of Fugue in Sepia in Victoria, British Columbia.

5 June 2018

Jack Stone, Organ Scholar of Carlisle Cathedral, performed The Blackbirds: Fantasy in C major as part of his lunchtime recital at Carlisle Cathedral.

23 April, 29 April, 30 April, 6 May

I was interviewed on BBC Radio Cumbria Your Classical at 6 PM talking to John Lipscombe about my music. The programmes featured excerpts from Of a RosePiano Sonata in G and Clavier Suite in A.

14 April 2018 

Kendal Concert Band performed arrangements of my Ouverture pour les Pâques (Easter Overture) and Sarabande (from my Clavier Suite in A major) in their Spring concert:

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7 April 2018

I conducted a concert in Lanercost that included my Parce Domine, alongside other works connected with Lent, Passiontide and Easter, including a specially composed setting of Haec Dies by my friend and colleague Jonathan Millican.

1 April 2018 Easter Sunday

My motet O taste and see how gracious the Lord is was sung at St Modwen’s Church in Burton-upon-Trent.

30 March 2018 Good Friday

The Herdwyck Consort featured my Parce Domine as part of their service of music and readings at St Patrick’s Church, Patterdale (6 PM). Click here for details.

21 March 2018

Tony Westerman performed my chorale prelude O Welt, ich muss dich lassen in his lunchtime recital at St Modwen’s Church, Burton-upon-Trent. (Starts 12.30 PM.)

25 December 2017

My chorale prelude Vom Himmel Hoch featured in the pre-Eucharist music at Carlisle Cathedral.

Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est was sung as the Offertory at Christmas Day Mass at Leeds Cathedral.

15 December 2017

The Gabrieli Choir gave the world premiere of my carol Noel: Verbum Caro Factus Est at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at St Columba’s Scottish Presbyterian Church in Budapest.

A couple of hours later, Carlisle Cathedral Choir began their Gala Concert with the same carol.

10 December 2017

St Mark’s Church, Natland, Kendal at 7.30 PM. Pro Nobis performed my carol Hard is the Road to Bethlehem at their Christmas concert (“Wolcum Yule!”), alongside Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and other seasonal works. You can hear their performance here.

9 December 2017

“Hallelujah! A Christmas Concert”. St James’s Church, Denton Holme, Carlisle. The Abbey Singers gave the premiere of my new Grand Motet Rite majorem Iacobus canamus. The programme also featured Part One of Handel’s Messiah and other exciting and joyous pieces, including Jonathan Millican’s Ave Maria.

30 July 2017

My music was featured in a special weekend of services at Carlisle Cathedral featuring music by Cumbrian-based composers.

7 February 2017

Lunchtime lecture-recital at Tullie House, Carlisle. I  celebrated contributions to music made by non-binary and transgendered people, especially the castrati, and together with Jack Stone performed a short programme of vocal solos, including selections from Schütz, Monteverdi and Carissimi.

2 December 2016

Lunchtime recital with Jordan English at St Nicholas Cathedral, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The programme was as follows:

Purcell: Music for a While
Schütz: O Jesu, nomen dulce
Christopher Gibbons: Voluntary for Double Organs (organ solo played by Jordan English)
Orlando Gibbons: The Secret Sins
Henry Lawes: To God the Holy Ghost
Pelham Humfrey: A Hymn to God the Father
Franz Tunder: Praeludium in G minor (organ solo played by Jordan English)
Schütz: Was hast du verwirket?
Purcell: Vouchsafe, O Lord (from the Te Deum in D major)
Heinrich Albert: Hie habt ihr, ihr jungfrauen

1st October 2016

Mini-recital and panellist at Celebrate! Symposium, Tullie House, Carlisle.

20 March 2016 Palm Sunday

Alto soloist in Haydn: Stabat Mater – Carlisle Cathedral Chamber Choir, Carlisle Cathedral.

13 February 2016

Occasional Musick at Austin Friars School Chapel, Carlisle – starts 7.30 PM. This included the Byrd 4-part Mass.

19 December 2015

“Smith & Jones: A Baroque Christmas” – recital at St Bride’s (Greyfriars), Dumfries. Music by Schütz and Bach.

12 December 2015

Carlisle Cathedral Christmas Concert – starts 7.30 PM. I performed the alto solo “O Thou that tellest” from Handel’s Messiah.

21 November 2015

Concert in aid of Amnesty International at St John’s Houghton with new group directed by me, “Occasional Musick”. Music by Schütz, Fux and Praetorius.

8 October 2015

Lunchtime recital at Hexham Abbey, with Max Smith (organ scholar, Carlisle Cathedral)

17th-century music from England and Germany

Orlando Gibbons – Fancy in A re
Henry Purcell – Music for a While
Pelham Humfrey – A Hymn to God the Father
Henry Lawes – To God the Holy Ghost
J.J. Froberger Toccata VI: Da sonarsi alla levatione
Heinrich Schütz – Kläglicher Abschied
Heinrich Schütz – Was hast du verwirket?
Heinrich Albert – Hie habt ihr, ihr jungfrauen
Henry Purcell – Vouchsafe O Lord (from Te Deum in D)

6 October 2015

Lunchtime concert at Carlisle Cathedral (as member of the Herdwyck Consort)

Shop

Buy the Special Limited Edition of my album Of a Rose: Choral and Organ Music of Tamsin Jones. The music is performed by the extraordinary Matthew Curtis, formerly of the internationally acclaimed male-voice ensemble Chanticleer, and by the renowned organist Tom Corfield.

The packaging features specially written liner notes, Japanese seals, and, if you wish, a personalised autograph. Price £10 plus P&P.

Shipping Options





If you prefer to download music, you can also purchase Of a Rose: Choral and Organ Music of Tamsin Jones from Amazon and iTunes.


Praise for Of a Rose: Choral and Organ Music of Tamsin Jones

“This CD is a delight to listen to.  The harmonies and the counterpoint are superbly blended and the whole listening experience is highly enjoyable.  These modern compositions reflect in a wonderful way the best of the periods on which many of them are based.” – Jolyon Dodgson, MBE

“A fascinating compositional style of intellect and delight” – Jack Stone, Organ Scholar, Carlisle Cathedral (2016-18), Organ Scholar, Tewkesbury Abbey (2018-)

A Detailed Review by Richard Sólyom:

“This enjoyable, innovative disc contains seven unaccompanied choral works and two short organ pieces by composer – and Carlisle Cathedral alto lay clerk – Dr. Tamsin Jones. Jones graduated with first class honours in music from Newcastle University; then, specializing in Heinrich Schütz, she earnt her PhD at Birmingham University. Before her compositional style settled on the Neo-
Renaissance that is reflected in the items on this disc, she experimented with other forms, including minimalism and rock. Whilst this reviewer is relieved to find no traces of either of the aforementioned, Jones’s Neo-Renaissance style, whilst unashamedly displaying the influence of Josquin, Isaac and Obrecht, is yet spiky and is freely sprinkled with surprises.

Chief passion is the writing of canons: the ten-part Ave Maria contains multiple examples, including a retrograde canon, in which two voices (first and second bass) present the same melody – [based on] the tune Innsbruck, Ich Muss dich Lassen (“Innsbruck, I Must Leave You”) by Heinrich Isaac – both forwards and backwards at the same time, the other eight parts providing four further canons, mostly constructed on original themes. The dense imitative polyphony of Parce Domine is beautifully contrasted with verses in plainsong; the title track Of a Rose embraces dissonances and microtones; and the haunting Evening Service in E minor is a worthy addition to the lower voices cathedral Evensong repertoire (although one feels in places the performance of the Magnificat would benefit from less rigidity).

As for the pieces for organ, the brief Chorale Prelude: Von Himmel Hoch (“From Heaven Above to Earth I Come”) places the well known melody attributed to Luther in the lower register and complements it with gleeful flourishes… The disc closes, appropriately enough, with the bright and confident Recessional.

Jones’s music already has an international following: the joyous Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est was premièred in 2017 in Hungary; Ave Maria will receive professional performances in 2019 in France.

With one exception, the choral works on the disc were recorded by multi-tracking one single remarkable voice, that of Matthew Curtis, former assistant musical director of the Grammy award-winning male voice ensemble Chanticleer; the organ pieces are played by Tom Corfield, for many years assistant organist at Derby Cathedral.”


 

 

Shop

Buy the Special Limited Edition of my album Of a Rose: Choral and Organ Music of Tamsin Jones. The music is performed by the extraordinary Matthew Curtis, formerly of the internationally acclaimed male-voice ensemble Chanticleer, and by the renowned organist Tom Corfield.

The packaging features specially written liner notes, Japanese seals, and, if you wish, a personalised autograph. Price £10 plus P&P.

Shipping Options





If you prefer to download music, you can also purchase Of a Rose: Choral and Organ Music of Tamsin Jones from Amazon and iTunes.


Praise for Of a Rose: Choral and Organ Music of Tamsin Jones

“This CD is a delight to listen to.  The harmonies and the counterpoint are superbly blended and the whole listening experience is highly enjoyable.  These modern compositions reflect in a wonderful way the best of the periods on which many of them are based.” – Jolyon Dodgson, MBE

“A fascinating compositional style of intellect and delight” – Jack Stone, Organ Scholar, Carlisle Cathedral (2016-18), Organ Scholar, Tewkesbury Abbey (2018-)

A Detailed Review by Richard Sólyom:

“This enjoyable, innovative disc contains seven unaccompanied choral works and two short organ pieces by composer – and Carlisle Cathedral alto lay clerk – Dr. Tamsin Jones. Jones graduated with first class honours in music from Newcastle University; then, specializing in Heinrich Schütz, she earnt her PhD at Birmingham University. Before her compositional style settled on the Neo-
Renaissance that is reflected in the items on this disc, she experimented with other forms, including minimalism and rock. Whilst this reviewer is relieved to find no traces of either of the aforementioned, Jones’s Neo-Renaissance style, whilst unashamedly displaying the influence of Josquin, Isaac and Obrecht, is yet spiky and is freely sprinkled with surprises.

Chief passion is the writing of canons: the ten-part Ave Maria contains multiple examples, including a retrograde canon, in which two voices (first and second bass) present the same melody – [based on] the tune Innsbruck, Ich Muss dich Lassen (“Innsbruck, I Must Leave You”) by Heinrich Isaac – both forwards and backwards at the same time, the other eight parts providing four further canons, mostly constructed on original themes. The dense imitative polyphony of Parce Domine is beautifully contrasted with verses in plainsong; the title track Of a Rose embraces dissonances and microtones; and the haunting Evening Service in E minor is a worthy addition to the lower voices cathedral Evensong repertoire (although one feels in places the performance of the Magnificat would benefit from less rigidity).

As for the pieces for organ, the brief Chorale Prelude: Von Himmel Hoch (“From Heaven Above to Earth I Come”) places the well known melody attributed to Luther in the lower register and complements it with gleeful flourishes… The disc closes, appropriately enough, with the bright and confident Recessional.

Jones’s music already has an international following: the joyous Noel: Verbum Caro Factum Est was premièred in 2017 in Hungary; Ave Maria will receive professional performances in 2019 in France.

With one exception, the choral works on the disc were recorded by multi-tracking one single remarkable voice, that of Matthew Curtis, former assistant musical director of the Grammy award-winning male voice ensemble Chanticleer; the organ pieces are played by Tom Corfield, for many years assistant organist at Derby Cathedral.”