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A Neglected Master

Date: 19 April 2000
Our ref: 597

The University of Aberdeen is proud to announce the publication of a volume of keyboard music by Peter Philips in the scholarly series Musica Britannica, edited by the Assistant Director of Music, Dr David J. Smith. The volume will be launched as part of the annual conference of the Incorporated Society of Musicians at 2.30 pm on Friday 28th April at Haddo House. There will be a short introduction to the composer and his works, as well as an opportunity to hear some of them being played by the editor.

Dr Smith’s publication of the complete keyboard music has been eagerly awaited by scholars and performers around the world.  Peter Philips is a first-rate composer whose keyboard music has been recorded by many harpsichordists. However, until now there has been no reliable edition.

Philips was a Catholic composer who lived from 1560 or 1561 to 1628. He was a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral before fleeing religious persecution and moving to the Continent. Eventually he settled in Antwerp, where he taught children to play keyboard instruments.

Philips visited the Protestant north of the Netherlands in 1593. On his way home he was arrested, and accused of plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth. He languished in prison for several months, where he wrote his Dolorosa Pavan. In the end the authorities concluded that he was just a musician, not a spy, and he was released.

In 1597 he became organist at the archducal court at Brussels, where he remained until his death.

Philips was a pupil of William Byrd, the great English composer, but also composed in continental genres.

Further information

Tina Kenworthy, University Press Officer, Tel:  01224 273778
University Press Office on telephone +44 (0)1224-273778 or email