King's Toccata       Organ Solo       John McLeod

This piece was written in 2009 for Roger Williams. The composer writes:

“The Toccata is very much a traditional display piece for the organ and its soloist. Loosely based on a 12-note row, it also uses some Bachian techniques, many of which can be found in ‘The Musical Offering’. However, to maintain an Aberdeen connection, I have also paraphrased a quotation from Scotland’s greatest Renaissance composer, Robert Carver, in a brief moment of repose in the piece.”

(Robert Carver is now thought to have lived in Aberdeen early in his life.)

Though the Toccata is an extrovert work and inhabits a twenty-first century musical vocabulary, it has added depth with this quiet and moving reference to Scotland’s pre-eminent Renaissance composer. 

John McLeod CBE was born in Aberdeen, and is one of Scotland’s busiest composers, whose work has been performed by orchestras such as the Philharmonia, the Hallé, the BBC SO, the RSNO, and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, as well as orchestras in the USA and Europe. He studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music under Sir Lennox Berkeley, and later came under the influence of the Polish composer Witold Lutosławski, who became his mentor. McLeod has won many awards for his work, including the Guinness Prize for British composers. He was elected a Fellow of the RAM in 1989, and was the recipient of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors Gold Badge in 2014. He has twice been shortlisted for a British Composer Award and was appointed CBE in June 2016. McLeod is now based in Edinburgh.