News & Views Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Composer Profile: Craig Courtney Friday, September 22, 2017

by Alissa Ruth, Choral Specialist

Whenever I see one of Craig Courtney’s pieces comes my way, I know that it will have a singable melody, warm, rich harmonies, and an expressive piano accompaniment.

Mr. Courtney is currently a Composer and the Executive Music Editor for Beckenhorst Press, and his music is performed all over the world. He began playing the piano at the age of three and the cello at the age of eleven, and both his Bachelors and Masters degrees in piano performance are from the University of Cincinnati.

Mr. Courtney studied piano with Illonka Deckers in Milan, Italy for three years, then moved to Salzburg, Austria to join the faculty of the famed Mozarteum, serving as a piano teacher and accompanist for the woodwind and brass department. During his time in Salzburg, he also served in the music ministry of the Salzburg International Baptist Church, and it was for this position that he began composing sacred choral music due to the unavailability of English language music.

His first published octavo “Thy Will Be Done” came to the attention of John Ness Beck, and the men worked closely together until Mr. Beck’s death in 1987. In making plans for the ongoing of Beckenhorst Press, Mr. Beck appointed Craig Courtney to assume his responsibilities as staff composer and editor.

At this point in time, Mr. Courtney’s published works include more than two hundred choral octavos, nine vocal collections, a piano solo collection and six extended works for choir and orchestra. Compositionally, Mr. Courtney combines his training and background as a pianist, a cellist, a vocal coach, an accompanist and a choral director to create works that bear his unique style. He has been a frequent recipient of ASCAP achievement awards and his composition, “Peace I Give to You,” was awarded 1st place in the 2003 John Ness Beck Foundation competition.

The music of Craig Courtney is available through Stanton’s from several publishers, including Beckenhorst Press and The Lorenz Corporation. For more information about Craig Courtney and his music, please visit his website.

Stanton’s Recommends: Come Home, The Yearning, We Three Kings, Father of Light, Mercy, Ukrainian Alleluia

About the Author:
Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, as well as various choirs in the Columbus area, and she spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.


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