Scottish composer Helen MacKinnon studied music at The University of Glasgow, specializing in composition and graduating with a Bachelor of Music First Class Honours. Her most notable work of that period was Crossing the Domain, a setting of Scottish poet Edwin Morgan’s poem From the Domain of Arnheim for female voices and percussion. MacKinnon cites her compositional influences as being her Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, and cinematic music.

After graduating, MacKinnon enjoyed a career in marketing and management in the charity sector before moving professionally into composing in 2016. Since then, MacKinnon has written a large portfolio of sacred choral works which have been performed or aired across the United Kingdom, Europe more widely, the United States, Asia, and South Africa. 

MacKinnon’s Gloria in excelsis Deo was awarded in the 2nd International Choral Competition of Choral Composition Ennio Morricone at Florence International Choir Festival. The work was subsequently recorded with PARMA Recordings and features as a set contemporary work in Florence Choral Festivals. In 2020, the recording was nominated for a Scottish Award for New Music. The work has received regular airplay globally and was reviewed as “spectacular writing for voices” (Music of our Mothers). In 2019, MacKinnon’s work for string orchestra and soprano Ave Maris Stella premiered in Serbia with the Subotica Philharmonic. Recent major works include a full mass in Latin and a substantial sacred work for choir, strings, and timpani, The Road to Calvary.

Albums

Legends and Light Vol. 2

Release Date: January 14, 2022
Catalog Number: NV6399
21st Century
Orchestral
Orchestra
LEGENDS AND LIGHT VOL. 2 from Navona Records leaves no stone unturned. From the vast expansiveness of the open sea to the microscopic particles of our world's chemical makeup, this follow-up to 2018’s LEGENDS AND LIGHT is an ambitious collection of new works for large ensemble performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Brno Philharmonic. In this album, seven composers offer their insights into the components of our world through music, with works highlighting cultures, locations, forces of nature, and human life. While many of the pieces are arranged for orchestral ensembles, listeners will also find Scottish Great Highland bagpipes and Irish Uilleann pipes featured on the album, offering a deeply rewarding listening experience.
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Voices of Earth and Air Vol II

Release Date: April 26, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6221
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
VOICES OF EARTH AND AIR VOL II presents the best that modern choral compositions have to offer. Settings of traditional prayers are mingled with ethereal stories and otherworldly visions, and each of the eight compositions both stand unique and work together harmoniously to create a collection that nods to the future of choral music.
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