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Frederick Stocken

composer and organist


Frederick’s commissions range from a Symphony commissioned for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to choral pieces for Chichester Cathedral. He is particularly active as a composer of organ music.

Frederick’s main mentor in composition was Howard Ferguson. Later, Margaret Hubicki became a guiding light.

The following is not a complete list of works but a selection of  some career highlights in chronological order which represent the range of Frederick’s work. Clips of most of these works are available on Soundcloud.

Lament for Bosnia, c. 8 mins. Commissioned by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan. First performed by EOS, cond. Charles Hazlewood, The Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1993. Many subsequent performances by different orchestras, including one at the Barbican by the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, cond. John Lubbock. Released on CD in 1993 (FCC 0001), it still receives many broadcasts.

Lament for Bosnia was the work that first brought the music of Frederick to a wide audience. It was number one in the classical charts of Tower Records for several weeks. It was commissioned following an article in the Sunday Telegraph in which Malcolm Williamson, then Master of the Queen’s Music, described Frederick’s music thus: “One of the most promising talents of his generation….it is refreshing to find a composer who is producing music which is clear, profound, free-flowing and superbly composed.”    

“At last a young English composer has chosen to write accessible, beautiful music which is unashamedly passionate and melodic.” A.N. Wilson, The Evening Standard.

“…it is music which makes me believe that a new Sibelius or a new Elgar has been born.” A.N. Wilson, The Spectator.

“Stocken is forging his own language.” Nottingham Evening Post.

Violin Concerto, c. 25 mins. First performed by Adam Summerhayes (violin) and the Surrey Sinfonietta, cond. Jonathan Butcher, St John’s Smith Square, London, 1996.

“Stocken’s work will also prove popular with players for he has written very much a showpiece for the violin.” The Strad.

Missa Pacis, c. 25 mins.  A Mass for choir and orchestra, commissioned by Peter Sefton-Williams for the Brompton Oratory, London. First performed at the Oratory, cond. Andrew Carwood, 1997.

“The Agnus Dei of his Mass was beautiful and quite striking with ladders of woodwind rising against the sound of the solo singers, soon to be shattered by the sound of war (as in, but not like, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.)” John Amis, The Tablet.

Alice, c. 45 mins. A ballet commissioned by the Stadttheater in Giessen, Germany, based on Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. First performed by the orchestra and dancers of the Stadttheater, Giessen, cond. Herbert Gietzen, 1998, and choreographed by Roberto Galvin, 1998. It received eight performances in its initial run.

“Stocken has managed to create something like a ‘symphony of the city’ that is suitable for our time, which makes you breathless and sometimes invites you to rest.” Translated from Wetzlauer Neue Zeitung.

“Frederick Stocken has written a surprisingly melodic score especially for this entertaining spectacle, reminiscent of the late romantics.” Translated from Giessener Anzeiger.

First Symphony, c.30 mins. Commissioned by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  First performed in the orchestra’s main concert season in the Royal Albert Hall, cond. Vernon Handley, 2000. Recorded for subsequent broadcast on Classic FM.

The original title of this work was Symphony for the Millennium – a joyful and exuberant piece to celebrate the beginning of 2000.

Top of the Morning, c. 3 mins. For flute and piano, in Flute Time Pieces 1 (Oxford University Press, 2004).

Second Symphony, ‘To the Immortal Memory’, c. 35 mins.  First performed by the Young Musicians’ Symphony Orchestra, cond. James Blair, St John’s Smith Square, London, 2005.

This is a weighty work, encompassing themes of death and resurrection. The subtitle refers to the traditional dedication to Lord Nelson – this is because the first movement is based on a piece written for the funeral of Lord Nelson by Thomas Attwood. The second movement is a re-orchestration of Lament for Bosnia.

Bagatelle for piano, c. 3 mins. Released on a CD entitled ‘Haflidi’s Pictures’ (PRCD 1018) in 2009 played by Mark Tanner who commissioned it.

“The brief Bagatelle (2008) by Frederick Stocken (born 1967) is a bittersweet treat, fully expressed in tonal terms. One can almost taste Tanner’s enjoyment.” Fanfare Magazine.

“Stocken’s Bagatelle is only two-and-a-half minutes long, and Prokofievan, too, but with a bittersweet sophistication and melodic catchiness that suggests his larger-scale works will be worth tracking down.” International Record Review.

“Stocken’s Bagatelle plays with major-minor expectations in a Busonian way, in a work of neo-classical economy.” Records International.