Kellam was born in Sheffield,
England in 1933. As a young chorister he studied with
Dr. Tustin Baker, organist at Sheffield Cathedral. He
later studied with Herbert Sumsion at Gloucester Cathedral,
and then with Howard Ferguson at the Royal Academy of
Music in London. While there, he won the Langrish Award
for choral writing, and in 1969, the Church of England
Music Society prize for anthems. His first published
pieces, written at age 16, were two Christmas carols
for Solo Voice and Piano but, after a boyhood steeped
in the traditions of church choral music, it is perhaps
not surprising that much of his output seeks to further
date his major writings comprise nine choral and orchestral
cantatas and numerous smaller works: anthems, motets, carols,
and settings of the morning and evening canticles. These
include "The Southwark Service" (Magnificat and Nunc dimittis),
commissioned for the 750th Anniversary of the founding of
Southwark Cathedral, London, and the "Gloucester Te Deum",
commissioned for the 13th Centenary Celebrations of the founding
of Gloucester Cathedral. He has also composed song cycles,
instrumental works, and much music for children, including
two operas and shorter works. "Balaam", a setting of a long
poem by Charles Causley, for Children's Choir and Harp, was
commissioned as a companion piece to Britten's "A Ceremony
of Carols" for a concert at the Aldeburgh Festival.
has written many theatre scores for the Royal Shakespeare
Company in both Stratford-upon-Avon and in London, for productions
at the Chichester Festival Theatre, and other open-air Shakespeare
productions for the annual summer festivals at Ludlow Castle.
Other venues include the Old Vic in London, the Comédie
Français in Paris, the Moscow Arts Theatre, Broadway
in New York, and numerous other worldwide locations.
for voice or voices, whether it be for a local children's
choir, large choral society, solo song cycles, church and/or
Cathedral choirs, or congregational singing, remains his
chief pleasure and inspiration.
lives in a small 18th-century stone-built cottage in the
Cotswolds of England, with two inseparable friends--a Jack
Russell terrier and a large ginger tomcat.
by Ian Kellam