In conversation with Cecilia McDowall

Free English Zoom session, Wednesday evening 16 June, 20:00 (Dutch time)

British composer Cecilia McDowall introduces some of her music for choirs composed to celebrate women in history who have achieved remarkable feats.

From the aviatrix Harriet Quimby making the first solo night flight across the English Channel to Nujeen Mustafa, the Syrian refugee who led her family across seven countries to safety in Germany, these stories are commemorated in Cecilia’s acclaimed choral writing.

Join us for an online discussion as Cecilia talks a little about her work, shares some musical examples, and answers questions about her music and the amazing women at the centre of her writing.

Cecilia McDowall

In the Netherlands, we are not very familiar with Cecilia McDowall, but she is one of the most performed female composers worldwide. She is viewed as one of the best composers of instrumental and vocal music of her generation. She has a distinctive style in which she sometimes fuses flowing, melodic lines with dissonant harmonies and exuberant rhythms.

As a child, Cecilia, who turned 70 in May, was already improvising endlessly on the piano. Yet she only started to use her talent seriously when her children were already in their teens. Since then, she has many beautiful, mainly choral, works to her name and her compositions have won many prizes.

For example, her piece Night Flight won the British Composer Award in the Choral category in 2014 and last year she was presented with the prestigious Ivor Novello Award in the Outstanding Works Collection category.


Sign up quickly

If you would like to get to know Cecilia McDowall better, sign up soon for the Zoom discussion. Please note that the session is in English. There are 90 places available and it will be an international group because this invitation is also extended to singers in Great Britain, Europe and the United States who know Koorschool Delft from previous Zoom sessions.


Put your question to Cecilia

During the discussion, Cecilia will talk about the compositions she has written around strong women, such as Syrian refugee Nujeen Mustafa and Harriet Quimby, the first American woman to hold a pilot licence. At the end, there will be an opportunity to ask a question which she will be happy to answer.

You can submit your question when you register and we will make a selection from these. You will receive a message at least one day in advance telling you whether your question has been included. During the Zoom session, you will be given a signal when you have to switch on your microphone to ask your question live. You can find all the information in the adjacent text.

Cecilia McDowall

Cecilia McDowall at Koorschool Delft




At home via Zoom.

Date and time

Wednesday 16 June from 20:00 to 21:00 (Dutch time).

How does it work during the session?

From 19:45 onwards you can sign into Zoom via the link and password. These will be sent to you by e-mail as soon as your registration has been received.

Urgent questions or problems with the connection? You can report these during the workshop via the chat function (in Dutch or English).

How many participants can join?

A maximum of 90.

What does it cost?

Participation is free of charge!

Registration and submitting a question

You can register using the registration form below. This is open until 17:00 on 15 June. When you register, you can fill in a question for Cecilia (in English). We’ll make a selection and you will get a message at least one day beforehand if your question is included. During question time, you will hear when you have to switch on your microphone to ask your question live.