The jubilee composer tells Classic FM's Jamie Crick what Mozart might compose if he were alive today, and what it’s like to perform for the Queen
Will Todd (1970-present) is a British composer, best-known for combining jazz with traditional choral music. His anthem, Call of Wisdom,was performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Life and Music
- Todd was born in County Durham, where he joined St Oswald’s Church choir. He played the piano from the age of three and has been composing since he was seven.
- After studying music at the University of Bristol, he made his mark with his Mass in Blue (originally titled Jazz Mass) in 2003. The work has now been performed more than 100 times all over the world, often with Todd at the piano.
- His piece for youth choir, Call of Wisdom, was commissioned by St Paul's Cathedral for the Diamond Jubilee Thanksgiving Service. He performed it in front of the Queen and a TV audience of 4.5million people.
- Jazz and blues influences are often found in his music. His Requiem features an electric guitar alongside traditional choral music and Latin texts.
- Todd’s choral piece, Among Angels, was commissioned by the Genesis Foundation and was premiered by The Sixteen in Salzburg. He has also had music performed by the Hallé Orchestra and Choir under Christopher Austin.
Did you know?
When he’s not composing, Todd enjoys playing in his professional jazz group, the Will Todd Trio. They regularly perform with soprano Bethany Halliday – who also happens to be Todd’s wife.