Contemporary composer Eric Whitacre is to become composer in residence at Sidney Sussex College at the University of Cambridge.
He will take up the role from September this year for a five-year residency.
It comes after the composer from Nevada in the US, spent a term at the college earlier this year. While there, he composed a setting for the college’s grace in addition to conducting the Sidney choir.
In his new role, Whitacre will regularly visit the college and offer advice and master classes to students as part of the new MMus Choral Conducting programme.
He will work alongside the Sidney’s director of music, David Skinner, and an annual composition prize will be launched during Whitacre’s inaugural year to a talented student on the course.
To mark the appointment, the composer’s new work, Alleluia, saw its premiere at the Sidney Sussex Arts Festival last week (June 25th), while The King’s Singers performed the world premiere of the latest commission for the choir by Whitacre, called Alone, at the Gwyl Gregynog Festival 2011 in North Wales.
Once settled in to the new position, Whitacre will be on conducting duties at Union Chapel in London for Eric Whitacre, Live in London, on October 11th. Here, the programme will include a second outing of Alleluia, as well as popular works The City and the Sea and When David Heard.
Possibly one of the most popular composers of his generation, the Juilliard graduate has seen more than one million sheet music sales worldwide. He was projected onto the mainstream stage when working on the Virtual Choir projects, posting videos on YouTube featuring voices from countries around the world and bringing classical music to a wider audience.
And branching into the musical theatre sphere, Whitacre has won multiple awards for Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings, a combination of trance, electronica, choral and anime, including the ASCAP Harold Arlen Award.
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