His major theatrical works include the operas Taverner, Resurrection, The Lighthouse and The Doctor of Myddfai; the full-length ballets Salome and Caroline Mathilde, and the music-theatre works Eight Songs for a Mad King and Miss Donnithorne's Maggot. His fifty-six orchestral works include fourteen concertos; seven light orchestral works, including An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise and Mavis in Las Vegas; three large-scale works for chorus, including the oratorio Job; and six symphonies, hailed by The Times as being 'the most important symphonic cycle since Shostakovich'.
He is the Associate Conductor/Composer of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, the Composer/Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester, and the Composer Laureate of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He guest-conducts major orchestras both in Europe and in the United States. He has thirty-six compact discs entirely devoted to his music, and, as a conductor, he has an exclusive recording contract with Collins Classics. Future commissions include a Concerto for Horn for The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and his Symphonies No. 7 for the BBC Philharmonic and No. 8 (Antarctica) for the Philharmonia Orchestra, as well as the on-going narrative of the fourteen orchestral works entitled Sails in Saint Magnus for the BBC Philharmonic.