The work of Michael Finnissy: 2019 Book Launch at City

by Chloe Davey, BMus Year 2

The evening of Wednesday 26th June 2019 saw an exciting new book launch, and a celebration of the work of British composer Michael Finnissy, with the added honour of having Finnissy himself in attendance. The launch involved talks by those who contributed to the book, along with outstanding performances of some of Finnissy’s works.

The book, titled Critical Perspectives on Michael Finnissy: Bright Futures, Dark Pasts, was edited by City’s Head of Performance Dr Ian Pace, along with composer and musicologist Dr Nigel McBride. It consists of chapters written by several performers, musicologists and composers (many of whom were in attendance at the event), all portraying their perspectives on Finnissy’s complex and contemporary work.

The music began with Philip Thomas’ performance of Finnissy’s First Political Agenda, and the concert consisted of several other performances of Finnissy’s works, including Chi mei ricercari¬†for cello and piano, played by Neil Heyde and Zubin Kanga. The works of Chris Newman also featured, and were performed by Lauren Redhead.

Philip Thomas

With Michael Finnissy present at the concert, a world premiere took place of his new 2019 work, Fourth Political Agenda. This was performed by Finnissy himself, along with Ian Pace and Philip Thomas.

Michael Finnissy

Lauren Redhead

Dr Ian Pace closed the evening’s performances with Finnissy’s highly complex Piano Concerto No.4; the exceptional performance had audience members standing in applause.

Ian Pace

The evening as a whole was an excellent opportunity to launch the new book and acknowledge the commitment of the book’s contributors, as well as celebrating the work of Michael Finnissy in his presence. Many thanks to Leo Chadburn, Ian Pace, Laudan Nooshin and many more for making the event possible!

Some of the book’s contributors.