Celebrated composer Michael Nyman to speak at City, University of London
Nyman's talk is called "Music which has influenced me, but which I have never heard"
The Department of Music will welcome Nyman to the university on Tuesday 29th May to deliver its first Distinguished Lecture in Music. The talk will begin at 6pm and take place in the B200 lecture theatre.
During the lecture – which is free and open to the public – Nyman will discuss his diverse career and musical influences and borrowings. He will focus in particular on his allusions to previous music which he has only seen on the page, never heard. The lecture will be illustrated by recordings.
A champion of new music
City’s Head of Performance Ian Pace, who will chair the talk, said: “It is a great privilege to be able to welcome Michael Nyman for this talk.
“Many will know of his scores for films like The Draughtsman’s Contract, The Piano or Wonderland, but he is equally a composer of a great many autonomous and sometimes abstract works, including symphonies, string quartets, song cycles, and so on. Nyman was also a musicologist – and an ethnomusicologist – at the beginning of his career, working on early baroque music and collecting Romanian folk song.
“Furthermore, he championed new music as a critic for The Listener, while his 1974 book Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond, was profoundly influential for many. For all of these reasons, his diverse work is especially relevant to a department like ours. Nyman’s work, drawing upon pre-existing musics, is far from simply nostalgic or idly eclectic, but represents a very clearly defined and individual sensibility, about which I am sure we will hear more.”
Spaces are limited and must be booked in advance. A short drinks reception for guests will follow the talk, which will finish at around 8pm.
The lecture falls within City’s annual three-week festival of music, City Summer Sounds, featuring free events by our students alongside acclaimed international professionals.