BBC Music Magazine

BACKSTAGE WITH… Conductor Ben Parry


You’re returning to join the Dunedin Consort for a concert at Dunkeld Cathedral. What has your involvemen­t been since founding the group in 1996?

The last time I actively worked with them was in 2004, having been heavily involved as co-founder and artistic director. I then came down to London, having handed the reins over to John Butt, a very old family friend who I’d worked with a great deal. His specialty is Baroque music, so it was a perfect fit. I’ve come back a few times – I love any excuse to return to Scotland.

The key focus of the concert is Victoria’s Missa O Magnum

Mysterium. How did you choose the accompanyi­ng music?

It’s a rather lovely mix of Spanish and Scottish Renaissanc­e music. We’re then bringing it right up to date with cutting-edge contempora­ry music by Scottish composers, including James Macmillan, Judith Weir, Sally Beamish and my good self. Scotland is rich with fantastic contempora­ry choral music. The pieces are all loosely based around advent themes.

How will you incorporat­e these works alongside the mass?

We’re splitting the mass up in the first half and interweavi­ng it with the Spanish polyphony, and exploring the more contempora­ry works in the second half. This way, we’re able to explore the individual sections of the mass individual­ly. I did this with the Byrd Five-part Mass in an early concert with the Dunedin Consort, and the audiences really enjoyed the collision of different soundworld­s.

 ??  ?? Homeward bound: ‘I love any excuse to return to Scotland’
Homeward bound: ‘I love any excuse to return to Scotland’

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