Howard Lindsay Goodall CBE (born 26 May 1958) is a British composer of musicals, choral music and music for television. He also presents music-based programming for television and radio, for which he has won many awards.
Born in Bromley, Kent and educated at New College School, Oxford, Stowe School and Lord Williams's School Thame, he read music at Christ Church, Oxford. In May 2008 he was named as a presenter and Composer-in-Residence with the UK radio channel Classic FM, and in May 2009 he was named "Composer of the Year" at the Classical BRIT Awards.
Goodall has a body of choral music to his name (the process of composing one of these works is noted in the book of his Big Bangs series), including "In Memoriam Anne Frank" (2001), "O Lord God of Time and Eternity" (2003) and settings of Psalm 23 (better known as the theme tune to The Vicar of Dibley) and "Love Divine". In September 2008, his Eternal Light: A Requiem was premiered by Rambert Dance Company to choreography by Rambert Dance Company’s Artistic Director: Mark Baldwin). The result of a commission from London Musici (Artistic Director: Mark Stephenson) to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Eternal Light: A Requiem was commissioned as both a choral-orchestral-dance piece and a choral orchestral work. The London premiere took place on 11 November 2008 at Sadler's Wells with Rambert Dance Company, London Musici, The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, Finchley Children's Music Group and soloists, conducted by Paul Hoskins. Also in September 2008, EMI Classics released the premiere recording of Eternal Light: A Requiem, with soloists Natasha Marsh, Alfie Boe and Christopher Maltman joining London Musici, The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and conducted by Stephen Darlington.
In March 2009, Classic FM released Howard Goodall’s Enchanted Voices, a modern exploration of ancient chant, scored for upper voices, cello, organ, handbells and synthesizer. The disc marks Goodall’s position as Classic FM’s Composer-in-Residence for 2009. A month after its UK release, it became the best-selling specialist choral CD of 2009 there. It subsequently earned a nomination for Classical Brit Album of the Year. Howard Goodall's Enchanted Voices was followed by Howard Goodall's Enchanted Carols (November 2009) and Pelican in the Wilderness (March 2010).
After the chapel at Tonbridge School burnt down in the 1980s, the then Headmaster, Christopher Everett commissioned Goodall to write a piece of music to commemorate the chapel. The idea was that it would be performed in the restored chapel. For this, Goodall wrote the music to Psalm 122. Unfortunately, the chapel was not built in time so instead the entire school performed Goodall's Psalm 122 in Rochester Cathedral. It was not until 2010 that the piece was performed by the entire school in its intended place - the beautifully restored Tonbridge School Chapel, along with the choir from Benenden School.
Goodall was recently commissioned by Truro Cathedral to write a new work for all four of the Cathedral's choirs: Truro Cathedral Choir (boys and men), St Mary's Singers (mixed adults), Cornwall Youth Choir and Cornwall Junior Choir. The piece, entitled A New Heart, A New Spirit, sets a text from Wisdom and Ezekiel in four languages (English, Latin, French and Cornish). It was first performed in the Cathedral on 18th June 2011, along with several of Goodall's other choral compositions.
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