The Music Department of City, University of London presents a two-day conference devoted to the work of composer Michael Finnissy, to celebrate his 70th birthday year, including a performance of his five-and-a-half hour magnum opus, The History of Photography in Sound (1995-2002) – the first complete performance in London for over 15 years and the culmination of Ian Pace’s eleven-concert series of Finnissy’s complete piano works.
Two further concerts will feature Finnissy’s complete works for two pianos or four hands, played by the composer, Ian Pace, and City Alumnus Ben Smith, and a diverse cross-section of Finnissy’s oeuvre, performed by Nancy Ruffer (bass flute), Christopher Redgate (oboe), the composer and City University Experimental Ensemble (directed by Tullis Rennie), among others.
Papers will consider Finnissy's work in the context of issues of marginality, sexuality, cinema, folklore, other composers, and performance. Keynote speakers will be Roddy Hawkins (University of Manchester), Gregory Woods (Nottingham Trent University, author of Homintern) and Ian Pace (City, University of London). The composer will be present for the whole event, and will perform and be interviewed by Christopher Fox (Brunel University) on his work and the History in particular.
The composer and photographer Patrícia Sucena de Almeida, who studied with Finnissy between 2000 and 2004, is creating a photographic work inspired by The History of Photography in Sound and particularly Chapter 6 (Seventeen Immortal Homosexual Poets). The series will be shown on screens in the department and samples of a book version will be available.
Tickets are available for individual concerts, single days and the complete conference.
Please click on the green 'Tickets' link at the top of this page.
Access to all events (other than the dinner) is free for City students.
Venue: Department of Music, College Building, City, University of London, London EC1V 4PB
Thursday January 19th, 2017
09:30-10:00 - Introduction and tribute to Michael Finnissy by Ian Pace.
10:00-12:00 - Papers on Finnissy’s work: Larry Goves (Royal Northern College of Music), Maarten Beirens (Amsterdam University), Lauren Redhead (Canterbury Christ Church University), other speakers to be confirmed.
13:10-14:15 - Concert 1: Michael Finnissy: The Piano Music (10). Michael Finnissy, Ian Pace and Ben Smith play Finnissy’s works for two pianos or four hands.
- Michael Finnissy, Wild Flowers (1974)
Michael Finnissy, Fem ukarakteristisek marsjer med tre tilføyde trioer (2008-9)
Michael Finnissy, Derde symfonische etude (2013) (London Premiere)
Michael Finnissy, Deux jeunes se prominent à travers le ciel 1929 (2008)
Michael Finnissy, his voice/was then/here waiting (1996) (8’30”)
Michael Finnissy, Eighteenth-Century Novels: Fanny Hill (2006) (London Premiere)
14:30-15:30 - Keynote: Roddy Hawkins (University of Manchester): ‘Articulating, Dwelling, Travelling: Michael Finnissy and Marginality’.
16:00-17:00 - Keynote: Ian Pace (City, University of London): ‘Michael Finnissy between Jean-Luc Godard and Dennis Potter: appropriation of techniques from cinema and TV’
17:00-18:00 - Roundtable on performing Finnissy.
Participants: Ian Pace, Jonathan Powell, Roger Redgate, Christopher Redgate, Neil Heyde, Nancy Ruffer. Chair: Christopher Fox.
19:00 - Concert 2: City University Experimental Ensemble, Christopher Redgate, Nancy Ruffer, Bernice Chitiul, Alexander Benham, and solo performance by Michael Finnissy.
Programme to include:
Michael Finnissy, Yso (2007) (CUEE)
Michael Finnissy, Stille Thränen (2009) (Ian Pace, Ben Smith)
Michael Finnissy, Runnin’ Wild (1978) (Christopher Redgate)
Michael Finnissy, Anninninia (1981-82) (Bernice Chitiul, Ian Pace)
Michael Finnissy, Ulpirra (1982-83) (Nancy Ruffer)
Michael Finnissy, Pavasiya (1979) (Christopher Redgate)
‘Mini-Cabaret’: Michael Finnissy, piano – a selection of miniatures.
Chris Newman, AS YOU LIKE IT (1981)
Michael Finnissy, Kleine Fjeldmelodie (2016-17) première
Andrew Toovey, Where are we in the world? (2014)
Laurence Crane, 20th CENTURY MUSIC (1999)
Matthew Lee Knowles, 6th Piece for Laurence Crane (2006)
Morgan Hayes, Flaking Yellow Stucco (1995-6)
Tom Wilson, UNTIL YOU KNOW (2017) première
Howard Skempton, after-image 3 (1990)
- Michael Finnissy, Zortziko (2009) (Ian Pace, Ben Smith)
Michael Finnissy, Duet (1971-2013) (Ben Smith, Ian Pace)
Michael Finnissy, ‘They’re writing songs of love, but not for me’, from Gershwin Arrangements (1975-88) (Alexander Benham)
Michael Finnissy, APRÈS-MIDI DADA (2006) (CUEE)
21:00 Conference Dinner (tbc)
Friday January 20th, 2017
10:00-11:00 - Christopher Fox in conversation with Michael Finnissy on The History of Photography in Sound.
11:30-12:30 - Keynote: Gregory Woods: ‘My "personal themes"?!: Finnissy’s Seventeen Homosexual Poets and the Material World'
14:00-21:00 - Concert 3: Michael Finnissy: The Piano Music (11): The History of Photography in Sound, played by Ian Pace
- 14:00 - Chapters 1, 2: Le démon de l’analogie; Le réveil de l’intraitable realité
- 15:15 - Chapters 3, 4: North American Spirituals; My parents’ generation thought War meant something
- 16:35 -Chapters 5, 6, 7: Alkan-Paganini; Seventeen Immortal Homosexual Poets; Eadweard Muybridge-Edvard Munch
- 18:10 - Chapter 8: Kapitalistische Realisme (mit Sizilianische Männerakte und Bachsche Nachdichtungen)
- 19:35 - Chapters 9, 10, 11: Wachtend op de volgende uitbarsting van repressie en censuur; Unsere Afrikareise; Etched Bright with Sunlight
For those attending the conference, tea and coffee will be available on both days, a sandwich lunch will be provided on the Thursday, and a glass of wine will be provided during the concert on Friday evening.