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McCabe in Conversation

Composer in Residence John McCabe talks to the Chief Music Critic of the Birmingham Post, Christopher Morley

Music and Vision at the Presteigne Festival
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'Christopher Morley is Chief Music Critic at the Birmingham Post. He also lectures at the Birmingham Conservatoire. John McCabe, as composer in residence, needs no introduction, and we look forward to learning more about him.'

- Joan Hughes (director and patrons secretary, Presteigne Festival), introducing
McCabe in Conversation.

Joan Hughes, director and patrons secretary, Presteigne Festival.

The following conversation was recorded on Saturday 28 August, 11.30am in Titley Village Hall, as part of the 1999 Presteigne Festival. (Click here to listen.) The recording runs for 53 minutes, and is grouped into five sections. If you cannot play this streaming media presentation on your system, the text of the conversation is also available online here.

Further information about John McCabe can be found on the composer's website at

Copyright © Christopher Morley / John McCabe, August 29th 1999

Christopher Morley

Christopher Morley. Photo copyright (c) 1999 Keith BramichChief music critic of the Birmingham Post, Christopher Morley was born in Brighton, going to Birmingham University in 1966, from where he took the degree of BMus with honours.

Upon graduating he began nearly two decades' work as Head of Music in several West Midlands Schools, during which time he wrote for the Post (Deputy Music Critic), the Birmingham Evening Mail, Music & Musicians (for which he was Midlands Correspondent) and West Midlands Arts Report.

During this period Christopher Morley also kept himself active as musical director of three amateur operatic societies, but his appointment as chief music critic on April Fool's Day 1988 meant an end to such commitments. He now combines a very full timetable writing for the Post with lecturing in history, performance theory and contemporary music at Birmingham Conservatoire. He also writes on Midlands events for Opera magazine.

Though he has a very wide range of musical interests, his special sympathies are for Mozart, opera, the half-century before the Great War, English music of all periods (but especially contemporary) ... the list goes on!

Christopher Morley is currently working on a book about the première of Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius. Any spare time is spent enjoying literature, history, cricket, gardening, drinking - and his beloved cats.

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