"A brilliant new work that makes you think...spine tingling opera"

Opera Britannia

One of the most exciting and expressive composers working today, Stuart MacRae is equally at home writing opera, orchestral music, chamber music and music for choirs. Dramatic and surprising, his music takes listeners on a journey through perceptions of nature, striking imagery and the landscape of human emotion.

"Put out the flags, because it’s not often one can hail a new opera that integrates a musically taut score into a theatrically effective narrative. An even rarer cause for rejoicing is a new opera during which one can close one’s eyes and still hear the text and feel the drama. So it’s respect all round for The Devil Inside"

The Telegraph

Latest news



The Dunedin Consort will premiere Courante at the BBC Proms on 11th September 2019. The piece is an introduction to Bach's Orchestral Suite No.3, and is one of 4 specially commissioned pieces for this Prom.

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, with conductor Matthew Halls, soprano Jenni France and baritone Paul Carey Jones will premiere Prometheus Symphony at the Lammermuir Festival. This 30-minute piece is the culmination of a series of works based on the Prometheus myth during my time as Composer in Association with the Lammermuir Festival, and sets texts by Aeschylus (trans. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the composer) and Goethe.


Anthropocene premieres on Operavision.eu

From 17th May until 16th November 2019

View the complete opera here

Scottish Opera premiered the latest opera by Stuart MacRae and Louise Welsh in January 2019. Set on a ship in an Arctic fjord, the opera is a mystery-thriller directed by Matthew Richardson with designs by Samal Blak.

'Icily resonant tale with a remorseless grip...' ★★★★ 

The Telegraph

 'Gripping music theatre.' ★★★★ The Times


Anthropocene will receive a new production at Salzburger Landestheater in May 2020, directed by Agnessa Nefjodov and conducted by Leslie Suganandarajah. Details here

See here for more news

Piano Sonata No.2 shortlisted for the Dorico Award in the Scottish Awards for New Music

View/listen here

buy the score (pdf) here

OUT NOW on Delphian Records - Cantata for Soloists, Choir and Lyre, with the Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, Geoffrey Webber (cond.) and Bill Taylor (lyre) 


The Devil Inside was shortlisted for the Achievement in Opera award at the 2016 UK Theatre Awards and the inaugural Sunday Herald Culture Awards

Performances coming up


Dunedin Consort, John Butt

Royal Albert Hall

BBC Proms

11th September 2019 7.30pm


Stoic Piece No.1 (piano versions); 4 Consolations; Lento in Memoriam Peter Maxwell Davies; 3 Processions,;After Charles Munch's "Spring in the Elm Forest"; Stoic Piece No.1 (organ version)

Stuart MacRae, Michael Bonaventure and Moray Rumney

Barclay Viewforth Church, Edinburgh

14th September 2019 7.30pm

Prometheus Symphony

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Matthew Hall, conductor, soloists tbc

St. Mary's Parish Church Haddington

Lammermuir Festival

19th September 2019 7.30pm




Salzburger Landestheater (new production)

Dir. Agnessa Nefjodov, Cond. Leslie Suganandarajah

2/9/15/17 May, 4/7 June 2020




World premiere

Sarah Watts, contrabass clarinet

Isle of Raasay Distillery

11th April 2019 2.30pm


Lento in memoriam Peter Maxwell Davies

Rolf Hind, piano

Hebden Bridge Piano Festival

27th April 3.30pm

(pre-concert talk at 2.30pm)



Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Eugene Tzigane, conductor

New Auditiorium

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

22nd May 2019 1pm


Anthropocene (extract)

National Opera Studio Contemporary Scenes

RADA Studio

Dir. Michael McCarthy

7/8 June 2019 7.30pm

8 June 2019 3pm


cladonia bellidiflora

High Heels and Horse Hair

The Caves, Edinburgh

25th June 2019 8pm



New works are in the pipeline for contrabass clarinettist Sarah Watts, and the Lammermuir Festival, including a major new work for the Lammermuir Festival based on the myth of Prometheus. This project has been supported by The Composers’ Fund. The Composers’ Fund is a PRS for Music Foundation initiative in association with Esmée Fairbairn Foundation 

About Stuart



Born in Inverness in 1976, Stuart MacRae has established himself as one of the most distinctive composers of his generation, writing music of elemental power and emotional subtlety. His works include a Violin Concerto (2001), Hamartia for cello and ensemble (2004), and Gaudete for soprano and orchestra (2008), all of which have been performed at the BBC Proms. Works for the stage include the dance-opera Echo and Narcissus (2007) and the opera Ghost Patrol (2012), a collaboration with writer Louise Welsh for Scottish Opera and Music Theatre Wales, which won the 2013 South Bank Sky Arts Award for Opera and was shortlisted for an Olivier Award.  

Stuart’s music has been performed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Edinburgh International Festival, and by ensembles including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, BCMG and London Sinfonietta, as well as numerous orchestras.   Stuart was Composer in Association with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra from 1999 to 2003. He was resident composer at the Spannungen Kammermusikfest in Heimbach, Germany in 2003, and Edinburgh Festival Creative Fellow at the University of Edinburgh from 2005 to 2006. From 2006 to 2007 he was a resident composer at Internationales Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia in Bamberg, Germany.   

Recent projects include the opera The Devil Inside, written for Music Theatre Wales and Scottish Opera, Cantata, for the Choir of Gonville and Caius College Cambridge, and a series of works based on the Prometheus myth for the Lammermuir Festival.

work list (under construction)

Opera / Music theatre

Anthropocene (2018)

Libretto by Louise Welsh

Cast: 2Sop/Mez/2Ten/Bar/BBar/Bass  

Orchestration: 2(II=picc/afl).2(I,II=obd’A,corA).2(II=bcl).2(II=cbn)- / minimum

Duration c.120'

Commissioned and premiered by Scottish Opera 

Request score/info

The Devil Inside (2015)

Libretto by Louise Welsh

Cast: Mez/Ten/Bar/BBar

Orchestration: 1(picc/afl).1(chanter).1(bcl/eflatcl).1(cbn)-

Duration c.94'

Commissioned and premiered by Scottish Opera / Music Theatre Wales

Request score/info

Ghost Patrol (2011)

Libretto by Louise Welsh

Cast: Sop/Ten/Bar

Orchestration:  1(picc).1(ca).1(bcl).1(cbn)-

Duration c.57'

Commissioned and premiered by Scottish Opera / Music Theatre Wales

View score

Remembrance Day (2008)

Libretto by Louise Welsh

Cast: Sop/Con/BBar


Duration c.17'

Commissioned and premiered by Scottish Opera

View score

Echo and Narcissus (opera-ballet, 2006)

Libretto by Edward Kemp, choreography by Cathy Marston

Cast: Sop/Ten/Female dancer/Male dancer

Orchestration: cl.tbn.perc(1).pf(samp).vn.vc

Duration c.30'

Commissioned and premiered by The Royal Opera House Covent Garden

View score

The Assassin Tree (2006)

Libretto by Simon Armitage

Cast: Sop/2Ten/BBar

Orchestration: 1(pic).0.0.1-

Duration c.63'

Commissioned and premiered by Edinburgh International Festival / The Royal Opera House Covent Garden

View score


Coming soon...

Large chamber (10-19 performers)

Coming soon...

Small chamber (2-9 performers)

Lovely ter of lovely eye (2019)

Voice (soprano, mezzo or tenor) and piano

Duration c.5'

Text: anon

I am Prometheus (2018)

Tenor and ensemble (fl.cl.harp.string qt)

Duration c.12'

Text by the composer

Sunrises (2017)

Piano trio

Duration c.10'

After the Rendezvous (2017)

Voice (soprano, mezzo or tenor) and piano

Duration c.5'

Text: Tomas Tranströmer trans. Robin Fulton

Four Attar Songs (2017)

Soprano and guitar

Duration c.17'

Text: Farid Attar

Listen on Soundcloud

A Caucus Race (2015)

Violin and piano

Duration c.2'30"

Listen (Ashley Wass and Matthew Trusler)

Purchase Score (pdf)

Ixion (2014)

clarinet, cello and piano

Duration c.17'

Purchase score (pdf)

cladonia bellidiflora (2014)

Violin and cello

Duration c.5'

Listen on Soundcloud

Purchase score (pdf)

Parable (2013)

Baritone and ensemble (fl.cl.pf.vn.vc)

Duration c.11'

Text: Wilfred Owen

Purchase score (pdf)

Nephele (2012)

Flute, harp, violin, viola and cello

Duration c.11'

Listen on Soundcloud

For works before 2012 please visit Music Sales - details will be added here later



contrabass clarinet

Duration c.2'30"

fenodyree (2018)


Duration c.5'

Random Acts of Kindness 5 (2017)


Duration c.10'

Listen on Soundcloud (Michael Bonaventure)

Purchase score (pdf)

Piano Sonata No.2 (2016)

Duration c.21'

Watch on Youtube (Simon Smith)

Purchase score (pdf)

Lento in memoriam Peter Maxwell Davies (2016)


Duration: c.3'

Watch on Youtube (Rolf Hind)

fenodyree (2015)


Duration c.5'

Watch on Youtube (Timothy Ridout)

Purchase score (pdf)


Coming soon...


Represented worldwide by Rayfield Allied

Stuart MacRae

+44(0)7946 479255

Photo credits: Loudon MacRae Photography (photos of Stuart)

Bill Cooper (production photo of Ben McAteer, Steven Page and Rachel Kelly in The Devil Inside)