in the Cathedrals of Mechelen and Bremen...

In September 2016 Flanders Festival MUSICA DIVINA staged the world premiere of Sei Canti for four soprano saxophones, together with a sequence from Gesualdo's Sacrae Cantiones Liber Secundus in the magnificent St.Rombouts Cathedral in Mechelen.

The Sei Canti are designed as interludes to the Gesualdo Sacrae Cantiones, with the singers of Vocalconsort Berlin placed in front of the audience in the Choir of the cathedral, and the saxophonists from Bl!indman sax spatialized around the cathedral at different distances and angles from the audience.

The sequence will be repeated at the opening event of Musikfest Bremen in the St-Petri Dom Bremen throughout the evening of 19 August 2017

See following link for more details: Musikfest-Bremen Eröffnung: "Eine große Nachtmusik" .

Recently released...

Cloud-Polyphonies and Tongues of Fire - on the NMC label.

For full information please visit the NMC website .

Sufirafire - world premiere...

Trio for soprano doubling recorders, mezzo doubling medieval fiddle and alto doubling recorders

Ensemble Sufira give the world premiere of Sufirafire on Saturday 12 March at 14:00 in Helsinki Cathedral in the Kirkku Soikoon series.

Sufirafire sets the beautiful text, O ignis spiritus , by Hildegard von Bingen, and exploits the multiple talents of the three members of Sufira, Sofia Lindroos, Eira Karlson and Susanna Tollet.


James Wood

Gesualdo - Sacrae Cantiones Liber Secundus:
An analysis towards reconstruction

We are delighted to announce the publication of this book by Vision Edition.

Sea Dances - world premiere...

The long-awaited world premiere of Sea Dances (for three percussionists) was given by Yale Percussion Group directed by Robert van Sice on 14 February, in Sprague Hall, New Haven. Originally commissioned by the Norwegian percussion trio, Sisu and completed in 2012, finally the intrepid Yale Percussion Group have given a highly successful premiere of this complex work in New Haven.

Secret Dialogues

Commissioned by an international consortium of marimbists headed by Eduardo Leandro, Secret Dialogues was completed in June 2014.

The world premiere was given by Jeff Stern on Sunday 18 January 2015 at Sprague Hall, New Haven.

In the summer of 2015 Jeff Stern worked closely with the composer on a video recording for release on the Vic Firth website (the recording is also on youtube). The result, both in performance and in recording quality, is superb - and can be seen here from Tuesday 23 February 2016.


November 2015 saw the World Premiere of a major new work, Lamentations, for twelve solo voices, two clarinets, accordion and viola da gamba.

Commissioned by Vocalconsort Berlin with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Stiftung, this 35-minute work is a deeply-felt lament over religious intolerance and conflict in our time. Loosely following the model of the ancient Holy Week ritual of Tenebrae, elaborate settings of verses from the first book of the Lamentations of Jeremaiah alternate with monodic Responsories setting contemporary reports and prayers from victims and witnesses of recent attacks against Coptic Christians in Egypt. The chilling similarity both in the descriptions of events on the ground and in the intensity of the resulting expressions of despair show us how sadly little has changed in Egypt, and indeed in the whole Arab world, since the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. To heighten the similarity further, the contemporary texts have been translated into Latin by Peter Brown, to match the Vulgate version of Jeremaiah's Lamentations.

The World Premiere took place on 7th November, and on 8th November in the Parochialkirche, Berlin, with Vocalconsort Berlin conducted by the composer, and with lighting and image projection by Arnim Friess. The next performance will take place on 23 March 2016 in the Semana de Musica Religiosa Cuenca, Spain.


Opera in four Parts after Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels

Music by James Wood
Libretto by Paul Griffiths

Commissioned jointly by the ensemble "Insomnio" (supported by De Stichting De Vrede van Utrecht and the Gemeende Utrecht) and the Eduard Van Beinum Fonds, the premiere of the opera, originally planned to take place in Utrecht in April 2013 as part of the city's celebrations of the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht, has now twice been postponed. Watch this space for new developments.

The composition of the opera was finished in February 2014.

John Palmer - Conversations

An in-depth interview with James Wood has recently been published as part of this fascinating new book by John Palmer.

The book contains illuminating interviews from a wide variety of musicians, composers and performers covering 25 years from 1990 to 2015. Interviewees include John Cage, Jonathan Harvey, Richard Barrett, Vinko Globokar, Nuria Schönberg-Nono, Luc Ferrari, Michael Finnissy, Luigi Nono and the Nono Archives in Venice, Lawrence Casserley and Simon Emmerson.

Published by Vision Edition

Available from CE Books

James Wood wins ECHO Klassik Prize 2013

Vocalconsort Berlin and James Wood have been awarded the prestigious
ECHO Klassik Prize 2013 in the category CHORAL RECORDING OF THE YEAR for their Harmonia Mundi recording of Gesualdo Sacrae Canciones Liber Secundus, reconstructed by James Wood.

The prizegiving ceremony took place on 6th October 2013 in Konzerthaus, Berlin.


Orchestra | Large Ensemble | Chorus and Ensemble

Chamber | Instrumental | Unaccompanied Voices

Voices and Electronics | Voice and Ensemble | Voice and Percussion

Percussion Ensemble | Solo Percussion

Chronological List of Works

CD Store | Music Store


Programme notes [pdf]