Bright Futures, Dark Pasts: Michael Finnissy at 70
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, 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 artist (and one-time student of Finnissy) Patrícia Suçena de Almeida has created a special photographic exhibit to accompany the event, inspired by The History of Photography in Sound. This will be shown continuously on screens in the building.