2015-04-26 Notes from the Bench

Missa Brevis Capella Regalis by Anthony Caesar

A commentary on this week’s music by Dr. James T. Gerber, Music Associate


Anthony Douglass Caesar (b. 1924) is an English composer, organist, and Anglican priest. Missa Brevis ‘Capella Regalis’, (short Mass for the Royal Chapel Choir) is among Caesar’s best-known works, dedicated to the Children and Gentlemen of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace in London.

Caesar received his early musical training singing as a chorister in the Winchester Cathedral Choir in Hampshire. Caesar continued his music studies as a Music Scholar of Cranleigh School and attended Magdalene College in Cambridge, earning a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Arts degrees. Additionally, he earned the Fellowship Diploma from the Royal College of Organists, which represents a premier standard in organ playing. Ceasar also served as a pilot for in the Royal Air Force.

Caesar studied for the priesthood at St. Stephen’s House, an Anglican theological college at the University of Oxford and was ordained in 1961. Following his ordination, he returned to Winchester where he served as Precentor and Residentiary Canon of the cathedral. From 1979 to 1991, he was Sub-dean of the Chapes Royal, the ecclesiastical body of clergy, singers, and vestry officers appointed to serve the reigning sovereign, and was the music editor of the “New English Hymnal.” Upon his retirement, he was promoted to Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, an order of knighthood recognizing his service to the monarchy, and appointed as an Extra Chaplain to the Royal Household.


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