Commissioned by The Manchester Grammar School to celebrate its quincentenary in 2015. First performed on 16 April 2015 at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester by The Manchester Grammar School Choir, Hallé Youth Choir and Hallé Orchestra, conducted by Mark Elder.
"A Celestial Map of the Sky, commissioned by The Manchester Grammar School on the occasion of its quincentenary, takes its cue from two woodcuts engraved by the German polymath Albrecht Dürer in 1515, the same year in which school was founded. These two groundbreaking polar projections of the northern and southern celestial hemispheres are the oldest printed European star charts. Whereas prior celestial projections sometimes depicted allegorical figures looking over the skies, Dürer instead honoured four ancient astronomers by depicting them at their work, overseeing his maps. The various texts I have chosen (mostly extractions from larger works) reflect the changing worldview hinted at in Dürer’s charts. His inclusion of the four astronomers was a signal that the universe could be comprehended through human intervention rather than solely through spiritual or symbolic means." - Tarik O’Regan