Philip Lancaster is emerging as a composer of profound and original voice. He finds particular inspiration for his works in literature, and poetry especially, growing out of his work as an academic, singer and poet. Recent music has included settings of especially commissioned poetry from Euan Tait and John Greening, and a cycle of short pieces for solo piano.

After over a decade diverted into more academic pursuits, Philip returned to composition under the auspices of a Finzi Scholarship from the Finzi Trust in 2014. This scholarship resulted in the beginning of a major chamber oratorio, War Passion, which Philip was invited to complete for performance at the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival. This 68 minute work for soloists, choir, and 14 piece ensemble, received its première on 24 July 2016 in Cirencester Parish Church as part of that festival, performed by the St Cecilia Singers and the Bristol Ensemble, directed by Jonathan Hope. Other works by Philip have been performed at the Ludlow Weekend of English Song, St. Marylebone Festival, Song in the City, and at other venues, by artists including Marcus Farnsworth, Soraya Mafi, Iain Burnside, Libby Burgess and Gavin Roberts.

In 2019, Philip was awarded a Francis Chagrin Award by Sound and Music. The autumn of that year also saw the publication of the first of Philip’s works, by Stainer & Bell: Into the Tomb.

As an arranger and orchestrator, Philip’s work has been performed at festivals around the country, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and released on CD.

Canada's Golgotha

Detail from Francis Derwent Wood's sculpture of the crucified soldier, 'Canada's Golgotha'