Malcolm Riley

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Malcolm Riley is a composer and author most associated for his work as a scholar of the work of Percy Whitlock.

Life and works[edit]

Malcolm Riley was born on 9 June 1960 in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, England. Educated at Harrogate High School, he gained an organ scholarship to Christ's College, Cambridge, where he read music and studied the Organ with Arthur Wills and Charles Spinks.[1]

Malcolm Riley has also composed and arranged music. His composition, De Temporibus Canticum ('Of the Seasons We Sing'), was commissioned by Cranbrook Choral Society to celebrate the Millennium and gave its first performance in December 2000. His other works include an orchestral arrangement of Brahms E minor Cello Sonata. This work was given its first performance in 2000 by Tim Hugh, conducted by Brian Wright with the Maidstone Symphony Orchestra. Riley was also commissioned to write a celebratory piece to open Maidstone Symphony Orchestra's 100th season, titled "Fairmeadow – An Overture for Maidstone", first performed on 16 October 2010. Recent performing engagements have included organ recitals at York Minster, Leeds Parish Church, Derby Cathedral[2] and St Bride's Fleet Street, The Temple Church, London, Bridlington Priory[3] and Birmingham Town Hall.[citation needed].

In December 2011 he left Cranbrook School where he had been Director of Music since 1985. In April 2012 he stepped down as conductor of Cranbrook and District Choral Society, after 25 years. He has conducted the Society in many of the main choral works, including Bach's St John and St Matthew Passions, the Mass in B minor, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Verdi's Requiem, Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius and The Music Makers, Howell's Hymnus Paradisi and Finzi' Intimations of Immortality[citation needed].

Malcolm is also the author of two books concerning organist and composer Percy Whitlock. His first, "Percy Whitlock - A Biographical Study" was published to critical acclaim, as was the "Percy Whitlock Companion", a collection of letters and diary extracts of the early 20th-century composer. He also regularly contributes to The Gramophone music magazine.

Malcolm now works at Invicta Grammar School in Maidstone as leader of the Music Department and is a composer for all the schools productions.