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Michael Finnissy

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. Continue reading →

Musical Mondays

by Harry Matthews, Music undergraduate student.  Mondays at Southampton always seem to be the busiest days of the week for me. On one Monday recently I started my morning rehearsing new pieces for my ensemble with David Owen Norris. The piano and percussion ensemble rehearsed ‘Workers Union’ by Louis Andriessen and a brand new work by third year composer Millie Aldridge. Continue reading →

Finnissy and Grieg for five

Don't miss a rare opportunity to hear Professor of Composition Michael Finnissy perform his own take on Grieg with the fantastic Kreutzer Quartet at Turner Sims on Monday 7 March, at 1pm.  The concert will be followed by a composition workshop with the Kreutzers for Southampton undergraduate and postgraduate composers. Continue reading →

New video – Composing for voices with Finnissy and EXAUDI

Back in March, our professor of composition Michael Finnissy joined the leading contemporary ensemble EXAUDI for a residency at the Britten-Pears centre at Aldeburgh.  Along with EXAUDI's director James Weeks and soprano Juliet Fraser, Michael directed a course that gave young composers the chance to work directly with six of the singers from Exaudi in practical sessions as they developed new work and explored the challenges of composing for voices. Continue reading →

Finnissy and EXAUDI at the Wigmore Hall

Jeanice Brooks (Professor of Music) has been listening to a recent performance of work by Southampton colleagues and friends: Michael Finnissy's extraordinary Kelir for unaccompanied vocal ensemble was the highlight of a Wigmore Hall concert last Tuesday, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Kelir (1981) is the word for a curtain used for the shadows in Javanese puppet theatre. Its text is in Javanese, and consists of a ritual formula declaimed before the play begins. Continue reading →

Performance roundup

A few more items from the last month in performance: We were really chuffed to read this wonderful blog post from London Sinfonietta violinist extraordinaire David Alberman, who joined Southampton staff and students for the world premiere of Michael Finnissy's new work, Remembrance Day. This year jazz and pop students from the department of Music and MuSoc - the student music society - are putting on a series of nights at our partner live music venue, Talking Heads. Continue reading →

Remembering the Great War

On 16th November, we are mounting the world premiere of a new work by Michael Finnissy, concerned with themes of war and remembrance in commemoration of the onset of WWI.  Lecturer in Composition Ben Oliver will conduct:  As the conductor of new music group Workers Union Ensemble I am fortunate to conduct around five to ten world premiere performances each year. I absolutely love learning and rehearsing new repertoire; it is such a joy to explore a new score with fellow musicians. Continue reading →

Michael Finnissy Chi Mei Ricercari Tour, Part 1

Senior lecturer Tom Irvine is about to set off for Taiwan where he will hear the premiere of our chair of composition Michael Finnissy's new pieces for cello and piano.  Tom has promised to send posts throughout the tour but already has one advance report on how things are going: I'm still here in comparatively wintery Southampton, wondering if I will set off tomorrow as planned given various air-traffic problems in the skies overhead. Continue reading →

Chi Mei Ricercari – If cellos could talk

Tom Irvine (Senior Lecturer in Music) tells us about Michael Finnissy's new piece, which had a sneak preview performance last week in preparation for the December premiere in Taiwan: I've been travelling to Taiwan for the department and university regularly since 2009. One of the things that has come of my visits is a partnership with the world-famous collection of fine string instruments held in Tainan (a beautiful and laid-back city in the island's warm and sunny south). Continue reading →