The order of service for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King's College, Cambridge is likely to be released this week. Last year, Sinden.org was able to bring you a run down of the service on Tuesday 11 December.
While the service was not online as of this printing, the following information about this year's commissioned carol has been released:
This year the commission has gone to the British composer Dominic Muldowney. Muldowney has written extensively for film and television, including scores for 1984 (1984), Sharpe's Eagle (1993) and King Lear (1997). He has also written concert pieces, including a piano concerto and a saxophone concerto, and he has worked with pop musicians such as Sting and David Bowie. For this year's carol Muldowney has used an early text by Berthold Brecht about the Virgin Mary.
Wikipedia has a Muldowney article.
As a carol with a Marian text, it is highly likely that this work will follow the Fifth Lesson. In 2002, a carol commissioned from Robin Holloway beginning with the text "The angel Gabriel descended to a Virgin" immediately followed the Fifth Lesson. This was the last commissioned carol utilizing a Marian text.
In that same service, the Holloway carol was followed by the popular "Bogoroditse Djevo" by Arvo Pärt which was commissioned by King's College in 1990. It has been performed three times in the past eleven years, most recently at last year's service.
Also in Wikipedia since August of this year: an article entitled "list of carols performed at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King's College Chapel, Cambridge".
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