1. Events
  2. 2019
  3. June
  4. Book Launch: Critical Perspectives on Michael Finnissy: Bright Futures, Dark Pasts




Book Launch: Critical Perspectives on Michael Finnissy: Bright Futures, Dark Pasts




The launch of a major new volume of writings on the work of British composer Michael Finnissy, edited by City’s Head of Performance Dr Ian Pace together with composer and musicologist Dr Nigel McBride. The book is published by Routledge, as part of their Ashgate Studies in Theory and Analysis of Music After 1900 series.

The launch will begin with a drinks reception at 6:30pm, followed by a performance of music by Finnissy and other significant composers and performers associated with his work at 7pm, including the world premiere of a new work, Fourth Political Agenda (2019).


6:30pm: Launch and drinks reception

7pm: Performance

  • Michael Finnissy, First Political Agenda (1999-2006) (Philip Thomas, piano)
  • Chris Newman, An Everything and Us (1990) (Lauren Redhead, piano)
  • Lauren Redhead, Chris Newman: The Nineties (2019)
  • Michael Finnissy, Chi Mei Ricercari (part) (2013) (Neil Heyde, cello; Zubin Kanga, piano)
  • Michael Finnissy, Fourth Political Agenda (2019) (World Premiere) (Philip Thomas, Michael Finnissy, Ian Pace, pianos)
  • Michael Finnissy, Piano Concerto No. 4 (1978, rev. 1996) (Ian Pace, piano)

The composer and pianist Michael Finnissy (b.1946) is an unmistakeable presence in the British and international new music scene, both for his immeasurable generosity as prolific composer for many different types of musicians, major advocate for the works of others, and performer and conductor who has also been a driving force behind ensembles; he was also President of the International Society for Contemporary Music from 1990 to 1996. His vast and enormously varied output confounds those who seek easy categorisations: once associated strongly with the 'new complexity', Finnissy is equally known as composer regularly engaged with many different folk musics, for working with amateur and community musicians, for a long-term engagement with sacred music, or as an advocate of Anglo-American 'experimental' music. Twenty years ago, a large-scale volume entitled Uncommon Ground: The Music of Michael Finnissy gave the first major overview of the output of any 'complex' composer. This new volume brings a greater plurality of perspectives and critical sensibility to bear upon an output which is almost twice as large as it was when the earlier book was published. A range of leading contributors – musicologists, composers, performers and others – each grapple with particular questions relating to Finnissy’s music, often in ways which raise questions relating more widely to new music, and provide theoretical foundations for further of study both of Finnissy and other composers.

Share this event

When and where

6.30pm - 8.30pmWednesday 26th June 2019

Performance Space College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom

Booking Form

Michael Finnissy Book Launch - 26 June 2019<br>

Sorry, this form is not yet available.