Commissioned by hcmf// and Casa da Musica, the world premiere took place at hcmf// 2014 with the London Sinfonietta and BBC Singers conducted by Ilan Volkov. The BCA judges commended the 80 minute piece – which won the award in the choral category – for its timeless quality. Far from being a straight-forward setting of the traditional Latin text, Dillon also drew upon sources from artists and writers including Picasso, Donne, Rilke and the structuralist philosopher Julia Kristeva.
hcmf// and Graham McKenzie – to whom the piece is dedicated – have long been supporters of James’ music, with his work appearing in the very first hcmf// in 1978 and regularly since. The world premiere of Stabat Mater dolorosa was a highlight of his residency at the 2014 festival.
The ceremony also included the UK premiere of Judith Bingham’s A Bird is Singing and is available on iPlayer on BBC Radio 3’s Here and Now from 12 December.
Works for Piano, Prepared Piano and Toy Piano
February Pieces for Piano and Octet '61 for Jasper Johns