An undated etching of William Byrd (c. 1540-July 4, 1623) by Gerard Vandergucht, after Nicola Francesco Haym. Source: Wikipedia.

In Tuesday’s (7/4) New York Times, David Allen writes, “The works of William Byrd hold significant historical interest, but they are also remarkably influential on music that is being written today. Here are edited excerpts from conversations with four composers who have written pieces directly inspired by Byrd, or who grew up singing in the choral tradition of which he is such an important part.” The composers are “Roxanna Panufnik, who has written music that responds directly to Byrd’s … [including] a ‘Kyrie After Byrd’ in 2014 and who is working on another response [to Byrd]…. James MacMillan—like Byrd, a committed Catholic—recently wrote ‘Ye Sacred Muses’ for the King’s Singers and Fretwork, the viol consort. The piece employs a text that Byrd used to commemorate Thomas Tallis…. Caroline Shaw [whose] ‘Partita for 8 Voices’ carries traces of Byrd’s style … and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 … Nico Muhly grew up singing in an Episcopal church and continues to write works in the Anglican tradition. Several of his pieces reflect the importance of Byrd.” The story includes sound clips, and accompanies an article exploring Byrd’s impact 400 years after his death.