Hamish MacCunn (22 March 1868 – 2 August 1916), Scottish romantic composer, conductor and teacher of great merit. His opera Diarmid was produced at Covent Garden in 1897. His other music includes cantatas, overtures, part-songs, instrumental pieces and songs, all markedly Scottish in type. He had a genuine love of Scottish folksong, and although he lived in London he was a lifelong champion of Scottish music and of the country s musical life.
He was born in Greenock, the son of a shipowner, and was educated at the Royal College of Music, where his teachers included Sir Hubert Parry and Sir Charles Villiers Stanford.
MacCunn's first success was with the overture The Land of the Mountain and the Flood in 1887 at the Crystal Palace, and this remains far and away his best-known piece. It was followed by other compositions, always with a characteristic Scottish colouring. From 1888 to 1894 McCunn was a professor at the Royal College of Music.
In 1888, he married Alison Pettie, daughter of John Pettie, RA, who had painted MacCunn's portrait several times. They had one son. John Pettie was an enthusiastic musician, who helped MacCunn build up his career by organising concerts of his work. The production of his opera Jeanie Deans at Edinburgh soon followed. He was for some years conductor to the Carl Rosa Opera Company and subsequently to other companies. A hectic programme of composing, conducting and teaching brought about a gradual deterioration in MacCunn's health, and he died aged only 48.
Compositions (selective list)
- 1883 - Fantasia Overture (unfinished)
- 1885 - Cior Mhor, overture (fp. Crystal Palace, London, 27th October 1885)
- 1886-87 - Land of the Mountain and the Flood, concert overture, Op.3 (fp. Crystal Palace, London, 5th November 1887)
- 1887 - The Ship o the Fiend, ballad, Op.5 (fp. St James's Hall, London, 21st February 1888)
- 1888 - The Dowie Dens o Yarrow, ballad, Op.6 (fp. Crystal Palace, London, 13th October 1888 )
- 1896 - Highland Memories, suite, Op.30 (fp. Crystal Palace, London, 13th March 1897)
- 1900-09 - Four Dances
Choral and vocal
- 1882-84 - The Moss Rose, cantata (fp. Royal Albert Hall [West Theatre], London, 10th December 1885)
- 1887 - Lord Ullin's Daughter, cantata (fp. Crystal Palace, London, 18th February 1888)
- 1886-88 - Bonny Kilmeny, cantata, Op.2 (fp. Queens Street Hall, Edinburgh, 13th December 1888)
- 1888 - The Lay of the Last Minstrel, cantata, Op.7 (fp. City Hall, Glasgow, 18th December 1888)
- 1889 - The Cameronian's Dream, cantata, Op.10 (fp. Queens Street Hall, Edinburgh, 27th January 1890)
- 1890 - Psalm VIII, for chorus and organ (fp. 2nd International Industrial Exhibition, Meggetland, Edinburgh, 1st May 1890)
- 1891 - Queen Hynde of Caledon, cantata, Op.13 (fp. City Hall, Glasgow, 28th January 1892)
- 1900 - The Masque of War and Peace, for soloists, chorus and orchestra (fp. Her Majesty's Theatre, London, 13th February 1900)
- 1905 - The Wreck of the Hesperus, cantata (fp. Coliseum Theatre, London, 28th August 1905)
- 1908 - The Pageant of Darkness and Light, for soloists, chorus and orchestra (fp. Agricultural Hall, London, 4th June 1908)
- 1912 - Livingstone the Pilgrim, for soli, chorus and or organ (fp. Royal Albert Hall, London, 19th March 1913)
- 1896-1913 - Four Scottish Traditional Border Ballads (Kinmont Willie; The Jolly Goshawk; Lamkin; The Death of Parcy Reed), for chorus and orchestra (Nos.1-3 fp. Victoria Hall, Sheffield, 19th April 1921; No.4 fp. Queen's Hall, London, 25th March 1925)
- 1894 - Jeannie Deans, opera (fp. Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, 15th November 1894)
- 1897 - Diarmid, opera, Op.34 (fp. Covent Garden Theatre, London, 23rd October 1897)
- 1904 - Prue, comic opera (unfinished)
- 1905 - The Golden Girl, light opera (fp. Prince of Wales Theatre, Birmingham, 5th August 1905)
Breast of Light, Op.36 (unfinished)
File:Blue-moon5.jpg|MacCunn (left) with Robert Courtneidge (centre) and Paul Rubens (right), 1905.
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