A 10 minute film about the first liturgical performance of Missa Aedes Christi (with dance) at www.cantatadramatica.com
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 the last few years he has written two Masses for St Paul's Cathedral: Missa Spiritus Sanctus (2010) and Missa Brevis (2011). 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. In 2010 and 2011, Francis performed two concertos with the Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra. Prayer, to George Herbert's poem, written for the Choirbook for the Queen, was broadcast live from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford in February 2012, and performed in Glasgow Cathedral for the formal Jubilee Thanksgiving visit of the Queen to the city in July 2012. The award-winning London-based choir, Pegasus, premiered two new works - settings of D H Lawrence poems - in September 2012. Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, under Stephen Darlington, performed a major new Mass setting, Missa Aedes Christi, in June 2012, which was also danced by the Ballet Rambert Dance School.
In July 2013 Francis recorded chamber music by Fauré with violinist Joshua Bell and cellist Steven Isserlis for a new CD.
For his Missa Brevis he was awarded a British Composer Award in 2012. As a prize for this award The Worshipful Company of Musicians commissioned a new work from him. In June 2014 the Choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, will premiere a new piece at the Spitalfields Festival, and the Choir of King's College Cambridge will premiere his new setting of the Vespers, entitled ...lit by holy fire.
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