John McCabe racks up a double in 2014, when he not only celebrates his 75th Birthday, but also reaches his half-century as an exclusive Novellos composer. The first of his works published by this venerable publishing house was Variations for Piano (1963), which was published by them in 1964. McCabe had had a few works published by OUP previously, but various others which had been sent to the then executive, Basil Ramsey at Novellos were accepted by them, and he has been exclusively published by them ever since. John Ogdon – who was still around at what was then the Royal Manchester College of Music when McCabe was there, although he had already achieved international fame as a pianist – was asked by Novellos to edit a series of concert pieces for piano. Variations was one of the first he chose, and it has been performed regularly ever since, and virtually entered the standard concert repertoire.
Among the works since published by Novellos have been his ‘greatest hits’ – The Chagall Windows for orchestra, Notturni ed Alba for soprano and orchestra, and Cloudcatcher Fells for brass band, along with four full-length ballets (including the smash hit Edward II) , seven symphonies, and many other orchestral, chamber, keyboard and vocal works. Many of these works have since been recorded – see Discographies and Publications – including a number of recent highly regarded CDs, such as the choral CD entitled Visions on Naxos.