Born and raised in Scotland, studied composition at the University of Edinburgh and gained undergraduate and Doctoral degrees at Durham University in 1987. Returning to Scotland as an active composer, he became the Associate Composer with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He gained national attention with the premiere of The Confession of Isobel Gowde at the Proms in 1990- a piece which strove to offer the person of Isobel mercy and humanity posthumously. He began to receive numerous commissions including one for fellow Scot, percussionist Evelyn Glennie entitled Veni, Veni Emmanuel. It is now among Sir James’ most performed works. Asked by Mstislav Rostropovich to compose a cello concerto, it premiered in 1997 performed by Rostropovich himself.
His further successes include: The Sacrifice-winning the Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2007; The co-comissioned by the London and Boston Symphony Orchestras, St. John’s Passion – conducted at its premiere by Sir Colin Davis.
His Roman Catholic faith has informed his life and music in artistically expressed public and private ways. He has composed masses and sacred works: e.g. Magnificat, 1999. He has made strong public statements deploring the secular state of Scotland. For him, Scottish culture’s unbridled anti-Catholicism has made him and his widely publicized stances on the topic controversial. It also has informed many of his compositions.
The Bishops’ Conferences of England and Wales and of Scotland commissioned him to write a new setting of the Mass for congregation and choir. This music was used for the Papal Masses during the Popes’ visits and the Mass for the Beatification of John Henry Newman. Now widely successful as both a composer and conductor,Sir James was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2000 and a Knight Bachelor in 2015. He, his wife, Lady Lynne MacMillan and their
children live and work in Scotland.
Sir James Loy MacMillan
Native New Yorker, Ruth Reichl received an M.A.in Art History from the University of Michigan. Moving to the San Francisco in the early 70s, she became the chef and co-owner of the Swallow Restaurant and an influential force in what is now described as a “culinary revolution”. Her food writing career began with a cookbook: Mmmmm: A Feastiary.(1972) She moved on to become the food writer and editor of New West Magazine. She followed that job as the restaurant editor and then food editor- critic at the L.A. Times.
In 1993, after two decades in California, she became the restaurant critic of the New York Times. There, she developed a reputation for rebuking culinary or restaurant pretentiousness and challenging mysogynistic mistreatment of patrons. In 1999, she assumed a now somewhat “notorious” position as the last Editor of Gourmet magazine. Her career at the magazine was expansive, creative, risk taking and thrilling. Its end was painful and Machiavellian, if one is to believe the leaked stories and Ruth’s own memoir. However, she has emerged as a popular and best selling author – Tender at the Bone:Growing up at the Table (1998); Comfort Me With Apples:More Adventures at the Table (2001) Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret life of a Critic in Disguise (2005) Not Becoming my Mother (2001) Save Me The Plums: My Gourmet Memoir (2019). Along with her cookbooks, her television hosting and judging assignments, she has also written popular novels.
A recipient of four James Beard Foundation awards for restaurant criticism, journalism and Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. She contently resides with her family in Spencertown, N Y
New York native, William Kuntz received undergraduate, graduate,Law and Ph.D degrees in successive years from Harvard University. Following several years in private practice, he was nominated by President Obama and confirmed as a Judge in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District in 2011. A position he still holds.
Massachusetts native, Alice Beal graduated from Barnard College and received her medical degree from Tufts University. She is the Medical Director of Palliative Care
working in the ICU unit at Brooklyn’s VA Hospital which she joined in1988. Serving on the ethics committee for over 30 years, she received Teacher of the Year honors from both SUNY Downstate Medical School and the Internal Medicine residents.
They married in 1978 and have three grown children -all raised in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill section. They have been active, faithful and reliable members of the Oratory community since 1980.
Dr. Alice Beal. and Judge William Kuntz
A native of Illinois, Andrew Bacevich graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam war. Retiring from his career military service with the rank of Colonel, Dr. Bacevich holds a Ph.D. in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University.
After teaching at West Point and Johns Hopkins University, he joined the faculty of Boston University.
Now Professor Emeritus of History and International Relations there, Bacevich has authored over a dozen books specializing in international relations, security studies, American Foreign Policy and American diplomatic- military history.
His work includes multiple listings on the N.Y. Times best seller lists.The most recents publications are America’s War-For the Greater Middle East (2016);Twilight of the American Century (2018)
andThe Age of Illusions-How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory (2020).
A frequent essayist, reviewer and lecturer, Dr. Bacevich is the Co-Founder and President of the Quincy Institute for Social Statecraft which “promotes ideas that move U.S. foreign policy away from endless war and toward vigorous diplomacy in the pursuit of international peace.”