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Musgrave at 90

On May 27, 2018, Thea Musgrave will celebrate her ninetieth birthday, reaching another impressive milestone in her seventy-year career as a composer. Over the next two seasons, orchestras, choirs and conservatoires across Europe and the US will be performing her work to mark the occasion.

Below you will find everything you need to know about the latest celebrations taking place for Thea Musgrave's 90th birthday. Browse Novello's new brochures of instrumental works, operas and choral music below, marking the occasion and featuring tributes, in-depth programme notes, and previously unseen photographs. Whether you are programming or attending, keep up with events on social media by following #Musgrave90.  



Musgrave: Where the Practicality Comes In

Composer, journalist and lecturer Frank J. Oteri sits down with Thea Musgrave for a in depth interview ahead of her ninetieth celebrations in 2018.

Featured Events


1-2 February, 2018

In Focus Thea Musgrave.jpg

27 MAY, 2018


15 JUNE, 2018


22-24 June, 2018


5-9  AUGUST, 2018


19-25 November, 2018


22-25 November, 2018



The Royal Northern College of Music and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra welcome the great Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave to Manchester in this, her 90th year. The festival will contain three concerts of works by Musgrave as well as an introductory conversation with the composer , Clark Rundell leads the conservatoire's New Ensemble, Wind Orchestra and the BBC's orchestra in the north of England through a comprehensive selection of her music. Cellist Josephine Knight gives the world premiere of new work, From Darkness into the Light at the Media City Studio in Salford.

Selected performances:

Feb 1  |  RNCM Concert Hall
RNCM New Ensemble, RNCM Wind Orchestra

Musgrave: Lamenting with Ariadne
Musgrave: Power Play
Musgrave: Space Play
Musgrave: Journey Through a Japanese Landscape
Edgar Diver: New Work

Feb 2  |  Philharmonic Studio, MediaCityUK
BBC Philhamonic Orchestra

Musgrave: Song of the Enchanter
Musgrave: Songs for a Winter's Evening
Musgrave: Five Songs for Spring (world premiere of orchestrated version)
Musgrave: From Darkness into the Light (world premiere)
Musgrave: The Seasons


A Birthday Concert in NYC

Join Thea Musgrave, Dr Harold Rosenbaum, and the New York Virtuoso Singers in a celebratory birthday concert at The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York City, on May 27. A longtime supporter of Thea's work, Rosenbaum conducts an evening of choral music and excerpts from Musgrave's grand operas Mary, Queen of Scots; Harriet, the Woman Called Moses; and Simón Bolívar.  Also featured in the concert is the US Prmeiere of Musgrave's The Voices of Our Ancestors. 

Musgrave: Rorate Coeli (1977)
Musgrave: The Voices of Our Ancestors (2014) US premiere
Musgrave: La Vida es Sueño (2017) world premiere
Musgrave: Manuela's Aria from Simón Bolívar (1994)
Musgrave: Duet and Lament from Harriet, the Woman Called Moses (1984)
Musgrave: Ensemble from Mary, Queen of Scots (1977)


BBC SSO Musgrave Portrait Concert

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra mark Musgrave's 90th birthday with a special event showcasing her work. At the centre of the concert is 'Two’s Company', a piece commissioned by the BBC in 2005, which brings together the seemingly incompatible sound worlds of percussion and the oboe for a dialogue that’s by turns frivolous, frustrated and eventually harmonious. The two soloists for whom it was written, Evelyn Glennie and Nicholas Daniel, perform it here. Join them and conductor Jac van Steen to celebrate an artist who, in the words of The Guardian, “communicates on the most immediate level, because it's often so sheerly pleasurable to listen to.” The concert also includes a rare chance to hear a performance of Aaron Copland’s Second Symphony, which dates from the early 1930s, and 'Celebration', an exuberant work by Musgrave's lifelong friend Richard Rodney Bennett (1936-2012).

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Nicholas Daniel, oboe
Evelyn Glennie, percussion
Jac van Steen, conductor

Musgrave: Song of the Enchanter
Copland: Short Symphony (Symphony No 2)
Musgrave: Two's Company
Rodney Bennet: Celebration
Musgrave: Memento Vitae - Concerto in Homage to Beethoven
Musgrave: Phoenix Rising


a Celebration in wells, UK

The Wells Cathedral School, The Choir of Wells Cathedral, and their conductor Matthew Owens host a celebration of Musgrave's chamber and choral music. Thea will work with students at the music school and hear the choir premiere two new choral works: Missa Brevis  and A Collect for John the Baptist.

June 24 | Choral Evensong
Choir of Wells Cathedral
Matthew Owens, conductor

Musgrave: A Collect for John the Baptist (world premiere)

June 24 | Choral Eucharist
Choir of Wells Cathedral
Matthew Owens, conductor

Musgrave: Missa Brevis (world premiere)




This year the Edinburgh International Festival celebrates the work of two homegrown composers, Anna Meredith and Thea Musgrave. Two concerts at the spectacular Usher Hall in Scotland's capital are programmed to celebrate the composer's 90th Birthday. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus will give the Scottish premiere of Musgrave's Turner-inspired work Turbulent Landscapes under Martyn Brabbins. The National Youth Choir of Scotland and Christopher Bell  perform On the Underground Set II  which features the ever-popular choral miniature The Piranha. 

Selected performances:

Aug 9  |  Usher Hall, Edinburgh
BBC SSO, Edinburgh Festival Chorus

Musgrave: Turbulent Landscapes (Scottish Premiere)
Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony

Aug 5  |  Usher Hall, Edinburgh
National Youth Choir of Scotland

Vaughan Williams: Five Mystical Songs
Tippett: Five Spirituals from A Child of Our Time
Musgrave: On the Underground Set II
Whitacre: When David Heard


Leicester International Music Festival Featured Composer: Thea Musgrave

The Leicester International Music Festival has announced Thea Musgrave as its featured composer, honouring the composer’s ninetieth birthday. The festival, which runs from September 20-22, will feature selections of Musgrave’s chamber music in five concerts. The inclusion of Musgrave’s music fits into the weekend’s larger focus on music by composers who moved to the United Sates during their careers, composers including Dvořák, Martinu, Rachmaninov and Bartok.



The Stockholm International Composer Festival is one of the classical world’s most high-profile opportunities to discover the full breadth of a composer’s music.    

This November in the Swedish capital’s premier concert hall, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (RSPO) and Norrköping Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the work of Thea Musgrave. The festival, which has honoured classical music’s most important composers over its twenty-two-year history, runs from November 22-25 and will provide a comprehensive overview of Musgrave’s long career, in four orchestral and chamber concerts. American and Finnish conductors Karen Kamensek and Dalia Stasevska, will programmes packed with premieres, not least the first outing of Musgrave's Night Windows for Oboe and 15 Strings, written for and performed by Nicholas Daniel.

Nov 23  |  Konserthuset, Stockholm
Norrköpings Symfoniorkester
Dalia Stasevska, conductor
Ellen Nisbeth, viola
Hannah Holgersson, soprano

Musgrave: Concerto for Orchestra
Rodney Bennett: Lady Caroline Lamb, Elegy for Viola and Orchestra
Musgrave: Songs for a Winter's Evening
Musgrave: Scottish Dance Suite

Nov 22  |  Konserthuset, Stockholm
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Karen Kamensek, conductor
Nicholas Daniel, oboe

Musgrave: Loch Ness – A Postcard from Scotland
Musgrave: The Seasons
Musgrave: Night Windows for oboe and 15 Strings (World Premiere)
Musgrave: Turbulent Landscapes

Nov 24  |  Konserthuset, Stockholm
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Karen Kamensek, conductor
Nicholas Daniel, oboe

Musgrave: Loch Ness – A Postcard from Scotland
Musgrave: The Seasons
Musgrave: Helios
Musgrave: Turbulent Landscapes


Nov 25 |  Konserthuset, Stockholm
Members of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra & Nicholas Daniel, oboe

Musgrave: A Song for Christmas
Musgrave: Music for Horn and Piano
Musgrave: From One to Another I
Musgrave: Niobe for oboe and tape
Musgrave: Narcissus for flute and digital delay
Musgrave: From Spring to Spring for marimba
Musgrave: Threnody for english horn and piano
Musgrave: Dawn for oboe solo
Musgrave: Snow for soprano, english horn and viola



Drawing on centuries of music past and present, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance will ensure that at least half of the music it chooses for the multitude of varied public performances it mounts on its landmark Greenwich campus and in venues across London in 2018/19 will be by women composers. In their autumn season they celebrate the 90th birthday of Thea Musgrave with a performances by their Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Opera Department.

Nov 1 | Great Hall, Goldsmiths, London
Trinity Laban Symphonic Winds
Timothy Reynish, conductor

Maconchy: Music for Woodwind and Brass
Musgrave: Journey Through a Japanese Landscape
Howard: Deep Soul Diving
Pankhurst: The Elder Futhark
Bingham: Three American Icons

Dec 14-15 | Trinity Laban Theatre, London
Trinity Laban Opera Department
Director Jennifer Hamilton
Musical Director John Pryce-Jones
Designer Ian Sommerville

Musgrave: A Christmas Carol


Thea Musgrave at Ninety Honorary Committee

Thea Musgrave and Peter Mark would like to thank those who have agreed to join the Musgrave at Ninety Honorary Committee - a group of artists, friends and programmers committed to promoting the performance of Thea's work in this celebratory year.

Russell P Allen

Edward Armitage

Martina Arroyo

Pamela Ashurst

Howard Bender

William Boughton

Martyn Brabbins

Lady Hilary Browne-Wilkinson

Frederick Burchinal

Lynne Cantlay and Bob Klein

Richard Chesser

Tom Cipullo

Cynthia Clarey

Nicholas Cleobury

Don & Marilyn Conlan

James Conlon

Victoria Crowe & Michael Walton

Will Crutchfield

Nicholas Daniel

Dorothy Danner

Alteouise DeVaughn

Scott Dunn

Adrian Farmer

David Farrar

Michael Fennelly

John and Renny Field

Muschi & Fred Fisher

Renée Fleming

Tony Fogg

Pamela Freund-Striplen

Howard Friend

Richard Gaddes

Jake Gardner

Carolyn & Tom Garner

Pamela Gillies

Carol Gilligan

Evelyn Glennie

Roger & Ellen Golde

Lauri D Goldenhersh

Paul Goodwin

Cathy Graham

Gill Graham

Julian Grant

Hilary Griffiths

Carol & Murray Grigor

Lillian Groag

Lord David Hacking

Eva & Yoel Haller

Anne & Rufus Hallmark

Yehuda Hanani

Edythe Harrison

Cynthia Haymon

Rosemarie Helmbrecht

Lowell Hill & Karen Molleson

Rosemary Johnson

Alice Kandell

Nina Kelly

James Kendrick

Lady Helena Kennedy

Joyce Bourne Kennedy

Douglas Knehans

Josephine Knight

Oliver Knussen

Nicholas Kraemer

Leslie La Barre

Eilana Lappalainen

Anne LeBaron

Thomas Le Brocq

Jude & Michael Lorimer

Carey Lovelace

Lillian Lovelace

Hugh MacDonald

Tony Mackintosh

Jane Manning & Tony Payne

Peter Mark

Colin Matthews

David Mazza

Gerard McBurney

David McLeery

Sasha Valeri Millwood

Evans Mirageas

Andreas Mitisek

Paula Mlyn

Peggy Monastra

John & Caroline Mortimer

Tad Motyka

Barli Nugent

Jenny Okun & Richard Sparks

Martin Owen

Frank J. Oteri





Greg Palitz

Dick Pittman

Fred Plotkin

Rick Prins & Connie Steensma

Rodney Punt

Ashley Putnam

Gena Raps

William Remmers

Viscount Ridley & Anya Hurlbert

 George and Margaret Rizza

Richard Robinson

Harold & Edie Rosenbaum

James & Anne Rushton

Joel Sachs

Allison Sampson

Marc Scorca

Paul Sekhri

Graham Sheffield

George Shirley

Ed Smaldone

Patrick Smith

Victoria Soames

Rachel Sokolow

Adrian Spence

Pat Spencer

Sarah Stephens

Garth Edwin Sunderland

Jim Svejda

Peter Tiboris

Barry Tuckwell

Stephanie Vlahos

Nancy Van Deusen

Jack Van Zandt

Jeff von der Schmidt

Joe Walsh

Judith Weir

Estela Welldon

Sam Wilcock

Carol Wincenc

Darren K. Woods

John Woolf