The inspiration for the Requiem came from the extraordinary show of emotion from the British people when Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother died in 2002. There was a real sense of national mourning, with thousands of people queuing for hours to file past the coffin to pay their respect. There was a mixture of sentiments that was hard to define. There was clearly grief but it was tinged with other emotions, perhaps even patriotic pride; there was sadness but also honour and gratitude, and all for someone most of the people standing in line had never met. But the Queen mother had been, for so long, an iconic figure and a symbol of the nation, and who had helped shape the character of Britain in their lifetime. I wondered at the time, if the people filing past the coffin were a choir, what music would they sing? What music would capture the emotions of that moment? So, I thought I would try to express, in music, that sentiment – which is how the idea was born for the composition of this Requiem.chris wood

Christopher Wood

Chris Wood

Christopher Wood has had a life-long interest in music, especially choral music and is on the Trustee Council of the Royal College of Organists.

He started his professional life as a surgeon and for some years was a consultant surgeon at the Hammersmith Hospital, London and Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School. He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and held an honorary Professorship at Imperial College, London. He left surgery to embark on his present career in the pharmaceutical industry, starting several companies and successfully developing a range of new medicines.