Francis Grier used to be organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and gave the first ever Prom concert given over to a solo performer in 1985. He is now a psychoanalyst and composer. His major new setting of the Passion, to a text by the poet and novelist Elizabeth Cook, commissioned by the BBC and VocalEssence, was performed in Minneapolis in March 2006. The Minneapolis Star Tribune described the work as: a modern masterpiece. When it was performed in King's College Chapel, Cambridge, the Independent wrote: ... it's a humdinger of a new work. ... To say "impact", however, would be to understate. Some of this is like a bolt from the blue. Overall, The Passion of Jesus of Nazareth is a work of vital attack, shivering beauty and compelling power ...
In 2010 and 2011, Francis has performed the Schumann piano concerto and Mozart's piano Concerto in C, K. 503, with the Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra. He has written two Masses for St Paul's Cathedral, London: in 2010, the Missa Spiritus Sanctus for soloists, choir and instrument ensemble; in 2011, the Missa Brevis for choir and organ. In 2011, he wrote A Sequence for St Davids for cellist Natalie Clein, soprano Natalie Clifton-Griffith and the choir of St Davids Cathedral for the St Davids Festival. He was commissioned to write a new work for the Choirbook for the Queen which has been broadcast live from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and performed in Glasgow Cathedral for the formal Jubilee Thanksgiving visit of the Queen to the city on 4th July. The award-winning London-based choir, Pegasus, commissioned and premiered two new works - settings of D H Lawrence poems - in September 2012. The choir of King's College Cambridge will be performing his new setting of the Vespers in the near future. He has been commissioned to write a new setting of the Mass for Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, for performance in June 2013.
He has been awarded a British Composer Award 2012 for his Missa Brevis.
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