Philip Lancaster is emerging as a composer of profound and original voice. He finds particular inspiration in literature and poetry, growing out of his work as an academic, singer and occasional poet.  Philip’s songs have been performed at the Ludlow Weekend of English Song, St. Marylebone Festival, Song in the City, and elsewhere, by performers including Soraya Mafi, Charlotte Newstead, Marcus Farnsworth, Libby Burgess, Iain Burnside, Stefan Hofkes and Gavin Roberts.  His major chamber oratorio, War Passion, was premiered at the 2016 Gloucester Three Choirs Festival by the St. Cecilia Singers and the Bristol Ensemble, cond. Jonathan Hope.

Philip’s first original work to be published is to be issued shortly by Stainer & Bell: a short setting of William Blake for SATB, ‘Into the Tomb’, intended for use on Good Friday, which will be published as part of S&B’s ‘Choral Now’ series. 

Recently completed works include a Lenten motet for unaccompanied 8-part choir, We are but dust, an extended canticle for soprano and piano, Miriam’s Exile, written in collaboration with poet Euan Tait (premiered in June 2019), and a song cycle for tenor and violin, Fallen, written in collaboration with poet John Greening.  In progress is a further William Blake setting, for choir and organ, The Blake Lamentations, and a cycle of 17 short pieces for piano solo, Encroaching Shadows

As an editor, arranger and orchestrator, Philip’s work has been performed internationally, broadcast, and released on CD.  He hopes soon to complete an ongoing project, completing and orchestrating a major post-war cantata by Ivor Gurney, Anthem of Earth.


Philip Lancaster