Francis Pott [born 1957]

I am very much aware of a tremendous musical mind – definitely worth hearing.
International Record Review, 2003
Pott’s musical style is tonally based, richly chromatic and laced with telling dissonance. It is also thoroughly grounded in the English oratorio tradition, with reminiscences of Elgar, Walton and Tippett…
Richard Morrison, The Times

Francis Pott began his musical life as a chorister at New College, Oxford. He held open music scholarships at Winchester College and Magdalene College, Cambridge, studying at the latter with Robin Holloway and Hugh Wood while also pursuing piano studies as a private pupil of the distinguished British pianist, Hamish Milne, in London. He spent several years teaching music in the UK’s secondary education sector while pursuing a parallel freelance career as a composer and pianist. He was also a member of Winchester Cathedral Choir under Dr David Hill from 1991 until 2001, touring the USA, Brazil, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway and participating in many CD releases and televised concerts during that period. For many years the John Bennett Lecturer in Music at St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford, in 2001 he was appointed Head of Music at London College of Music & Media, Thames Valley University. Subsequently he became both Head of Composition and Head of Research Development for the Faculty of Arts, embracing Music, Media, Art & Design and Creative Technologies. In February 2007 he was appointed to the University’s first Chair of Composition.

Francis 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 for his Toccata for Piano. His works have been heard in some twenty countries worldwide, broadcast in Britain, the USA, Canada and the Irish and Czech Republics, and issued extensively on CD (particularly under the innovative British label, Signum). 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 Czesław 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.” In 2007 a further oratorio for tenor solo, double chorus and organ with comparable themes, The Cloud of Unknowing, was acclaimed in the British press as “a tour de force” and “an immense work of huge power and individuality.” Francis Pott’s piano music has been extensively championed in the UK, Canada and the USA by the Russian-Canadian virtuoso, Alexander Tselyakov, and his organ works by the acclaimed British artist, Jeremy Filsell.

Francis remains active as a pianist and accompanist, uniting this with both composition and academic research. He is currently writing a major critical study of the works of the Russian composer Nikolai Medtner, under contract to Ashgate Press, and remains the only Medtner scholar to have examined the major manuscript sources in both Ottawa and Moscow as well as London. Compositions on which he is working at present include a Violin Concerto, a Cor Anglais Concerto, a commissioned eight-part Mass and a work for two pianos. He lives just outside Winchester with his wife and two children.

In addition to the works published by Fand Music Press, listed below, Francis’s music is also published by United Music Publishers, OUP, Ricordi and Novello.

Further information about Francis Pott can be found on his Web site.

FM157The Fand Grade 5 Piano Album
A selection of pieces to Grade 5 standard
Forces: Piano
FM132The Fand Left-Hand Piano Album
Contemporary Pieces for the Left Hand alone
Forces: Piano (left hand)