Francis Pott

Francis Pott, born 25 August 1957, is a British composer, pianist, senior academic and university administrator.

He held open music scholarships at Winchester College and Magdalene College, Cambridge, studying composition at the latter with Robin Holloway and Hugh Wood while also pursuing piano studies as a private pupil of Hamish Milne in London. For many years John Bennett Lecturer in Music at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, he was appointed administrative Head of Music at the London College of Music & Media (now the Faculty of the Arts) at Thames Valley University in 2001, subsequently becoming Head of both Composition and Research Development in Music, Media and Creative Technologies. In February 2007 he was appointed to the University's first Chair of Composition. He holds the degrees B.A. [Hons] , Mus.B. and M.A. [University of Cambridge] and Ph.D. [Thames Valley University] , and a [Composition] Fellowship of London College of Music [F.L.C.M.] . He was a member of Winchester Cathedral Choir under David Hill from 1991 until 2001, touring the USA, Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Norway and Holland and participating in many CD recordings and broadcasts.

Pott has received many national awards as a composer and in 1997 gained First Prize in the second S.S.Prokofiev International Composing Competition in Moscow. His works have been heard in some eighteen countries worldwide, broadcast on both sides of the Atlantic and in the Czech Republic, issued extensively on CD and published by four major houses in the UK. His monumental Organ Symphony 'Christus' was described in the national press in 1992 as ‘one of the most important organ works of our century’, and again in The Times in 1999 as ‘an astonishingly original composition, compelling in its structural logic and exhilarating in performance: a stupendous achievement’. In the same year and in the same columns his oratorio 'A Song on the End of the World', named after a Czeslaw Miłosz poem from Nazi-occupied Warsaw and written as the last pre-millennial Elgar Commission of the Three Choirs Festival at Worcester, was hailed as ‘thrilling, apocalyptic and profoundly affecting’. Most recently his 89-minute oratorio for tenor solo, double chorus and organ, 'The Cloud of Unknowing', has received international acclaim since its premiere in May 2006 at London Festival of Contemporary Church Music (James Gilchrist, tenor, Jeremy Filsell, organ, and the Vasari Singers under their conductor, Jeremy Backhouse) and CD release of the work by the same artists in September 2007 (Signum Records). In 2006 Pott was a nominated finalist in the National Composer Awards of the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters (BACS).

Pott's piano music is extensively championed by the Russian-Canadian virtuoso Alexander Tselyakov, and his organ works by the acclaimed British organist Jeremy Filsell, with the latter of whom Pott has enjoyed a fruitful collaborative friendship extending back 25 years.

Pott remains active as a pianist and accompanist when other responsibilities allow, uniting this with both composition and academic research. He has appeared frequently as a two-piano duo recitalist with Jeremy Filsell (internationally acknowledged as a virtuoso on two instruments) and another distinguished British pianist, Roger Owens. Pott is currently writing a major critical study of the works of the Russian composer Nikolai Medtner, and is the only Medtner scholar to have examined the major manuscript sources in both Ottawa and Moscow.

Francis Pott lives just outside Winchester with his wife and two children [http://www.francis.pott.com] .

External links

* [http://www.francispott.com/ Francis Pott: official website]
* [http://www.fandmusic.com/mp3.htm Fand Music: A free sample of some of his work can be found here] www.signumrecords.com


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