Celebrating Michael Finnissy

Last week staff, students and friends of the Department gathered for a special concert at Turner Sims to celebrate Michael Finnissy’s twenty years as Professor of Composition at Southampton.  Postgraduate composer Joe Manghan was one of the performers:

I’ve been studying at Southampton for almost 7 years now, and I’ve had several opportunities to participate in Finnissy projects. In 2012, I performed timpani in his completion of Mozart’s Requiem. In 2014, I produced a gunfire soundtrack for Remembrance Day. This time I had the privilege of being one of the students involved in Notre-Dame Polyphony, which involved the simultaneous performance of 15 independent parts. Each of these projects were very different, and each had me interacting with Finnissy’s music in very different ways. Looking back at the times I interacted with Finnissy, both in the concert hall and the lecture room, I realise that its this diverse and far-reaching quality of his that makes him such a compelling composer and educator in my eyes.

The lineup for Notre Dame Polyphony

The Finnissy Celebration concert, however, has become the most memorable experience for me. There was a particular quality to the evening, from the heartfelt and sincere symposium discussing Finnissy and his music prior to the concert; to the exuberant performances from students and professionals alike – the atmosphere was uniquely touching. Bravo especially to Mark Knoop and Roderick Chadwick’s rendition of Wild Flowers – I know many in the audience were left speechless after that remarkable duet!

If you missed the event, you can check out Mark Knoop and Roderick Chadwick’s 2016 performance of Wild Flowers here: