Kellam, Ian

Ian 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 those traditions.

To 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.

He 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.

Writing 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.

Ian 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.

Books by Ian Kellam