Michael Nyman Band
Composer · michaelnyman.com
The Michael Nyman Songbook
Facing Goya, Facing Goya, Time Lapse, Time Lapse, Chasing Sheep Is Best Left to Shepherds, Chasing Sheep Is Best Left to Shepherds, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Love Counts, Love Counts, Man and Boy: Dada, Man and Boy: Dada, Love Is a Bourgeois Construct, Love Is a Bourgeois Construct, To the Edge of the Earth, To the Edge of the Earth, Letters - Riddles and Writs, Letters - Riddles and Writs, The Heart Asks Pleasure First, The Heart Asks Pleasure First, Tristram Shandy, Tristram Shandy, Noises - Sounds & Sweet Airs, Noises - Sounds & Sweet Airs, The Promise, The Promise, The Departure, The Departure, The Piano Concerto, The Piano Concerto, Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra: VI, Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra: VI, The Scent of Love, The Scent of Love, Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings: IV, Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings: IV, Up Stairs, Up Stairs, Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings: III, Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings: III, The Crossing, The Crossing, Traces, Traces, God's Hands, God's Hands, The Piano Concerto: I The Beach, The Piano Concerto: I The Beach, Dreams of a Journey, Dreams of a Journey, First Kiss, First Kiss, Diary of Love, Diary of Love, Enemy Zero, Enemy Zero, Candlefire, Candlefire, Cannibal Fantasy, Cannibal Fantasy, The Piano Concerto: IV The Release, The Piano Concerto: IV The Release, Second Morrow, Second Morrow, Checkmate, Checkmate, Prospero's Books: Prospero's Curse, Prospero's Books: Prospero's Curse, Lost and Found, Lost and Found, Further and Further, Further and Further, Silver-Fingered Fling, Silver-Fingered Fling, Bill, Bill, Amsterdam Dawn, Amsterdam Dawn, Anne's Birthday, Anne's Birthday, Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra: II, Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra: II, Why?, Why?, The Schoolroom, The Schoolroom, The Mood That Passes Through You, The Mood That Passes Through You, Double Concerto for Saxophone - Cello and Orchestra: II, Double Concerto for Saxophone - Cello and Orchestra: II, The Truth, The Truth, Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings: II, Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings: II, A Wild and Distant Shore, A Wild and Distant Shore, Impromptu for 12 Fingers (From Schubert's "Impromptu in G-flat major - op 90 no 3"), Impromptu for 12 Fingers (From Schubert's "Impromptu in G-flat major - op 90 no 3"), Hanukah, Hanukah, Chatterbox Waltz, Chatterbox Waltz
The Piano, Gattaca, The Draughtsman's Contract, The Cook - the Thief - His Wife, A Zed & Two Noughts
Silvia beck michael nyman composer in progress 2010
Michael Laurence Nyman, CBE (born 23 March 1944) is an English composer of minimalist music, pianist, librettist and musicologist, known for numerous film scores (many written during his lengthy collaboration with the filmmaker Peter Greenaway), and his multi-platinum soundtrack album to Jane Campion's The Piano. He has written a number of operas, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; Letters, Riddles and Writs; Noises, Sounds & Sweet Airs; Facing Goya; Man and Boy: Dada; Love Counts; and Sparkie: Cage and Beyond. He has written six concerti, five string quartets, and many other chamber works, many for his Michael Nyman Band. He is also a performing pianist. Nyman prefers to write opera rather than other forms of music.
- Silvia beck michael nyman composer in progress 2010
- Michael nyman composer in progress trail
- Early life and education
- Personal life
- Career highlights
- Nymans music re used
- Studio albums
Michael nyman composer in progress trail
Early life and education
Nyman was born in Stratford, London to a family of Polish secular Jewish furriers.
Nyman was educated at the Sir George Monoux Grammar School, Walthamstow. He studied at King's College London and was accepted at the Royal Academy of Music in September 1961, studying with Alan Bush and Thurston Dart, focusing on piano and seventeenth-century baroque music. He won the Howard Carr Memorial Prize for composition in July 1964. In 1965–66 Nyman secured a residency in Romania, to study folk-song, supported by a British Council bursary.
Nyman says he discovered his aesthetic playing the aria, "Madamina, il catalogo è questo" from Mozart's Don Giovanni on his piano in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis, which "dictated the dynamic, articulation and texture of everything I've subsequently done." It subsequently became the base for his 1977 piece In Re Don Giovanni.
In 1969, Nyman provided the libretto of Harrison Birtwistle's opera Down by the Greenwood Side and directed the short film Love Love Love (based on, and identical in length to, the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love") before settling into music criticism, where he is generally acknowledged to have been the first to apply the term "minimalism" to music (in a 1968 article in The Spectator magazine about the English composer Cornelius Cardew). He wrote introductions for George Frideric Handel's Concerti Grossi, Op. 6 and conducted the most important interview with George Brecht in 1976.
One of his earliest film scores was the British sex comedy Keep It Up Downstairs (1976), and he has since scored numerous films, many of them European art films, including several of those directed by Peter Greenaway. Nyman drew frequently on early music sources in his scores for Greenaway's films: Henry Purcell in The Draughtsman's Contract (1982) and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) (which included Memorial and Miserere Paraphrase), Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber in A Zed & Two Noughts (1985), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Drowning by Numbers (1988), and John Dowland in Prospero's Books (1991), largely at the request of the director. He wrote settings to various texts by Mozart for Letters, Riddles and Writs, part of Not Mozart. He also produced a soundtrack for the silent film Man with a Movie Camera. Nyman's popularity increased after he wrote the score to Jane Campion's award-winning 1993 film The Piano. The album became a classical music best-seller. He was nominated for both a British Academy Award and a Golden Globe.
Among Nyman's other works are the opera Noises, Sounds & Sweet Airs (1987), for soprano, alto, tenor and instrumental ensemble (based on Nyman's score for the ballet La Princesse de Milan); Ariel Songs (1990) for soprano and band; MGV (Musique à Grande Vitesse) (1993) for band and orchestra; concertos for saxophone, piano (based on The Piano score), violin, harpsichord, trombone, and saxophone & cello recorded by John Harle and Julian Lloyd Webber; the opera The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (1986), based on a case-study by Oliver Sacks; and five string quartets. In 2000, he produced a new opera on the subject of cloning on a libretto by Victoria Hardie titled Facing Goya, an expansion of their one-act opera Vital Statistics. The lead, a widowed art banker, is written for contralto and the role was first created by Hilary Summers. His newest operas are Man and Boy: Dada (2003) and Love Counts (2005), both on libretti by Michael Hastings.
Many of Nyman's works are written for his own ensemble, the Michael Nyman Band, a group formed for a 1976 production of Carlo Goldoni's Il Campiello. Originally made up of old instruments such as rebecs and shawms alongside more modern instruments like the saxophone to produce as loud a sound as possible without amplification, it later switched to a fully amplified line-up of string quartet, three saxophones, trumpet, horn, bass trombone, bass guitar and piano. This line up has been variously altered and augmented for some works.
Nyman also published an influential book in 1974 on experimental music called Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond, which explored the influence of John Cage on classical composers.
In the 1970s, Nyman was a member of the Portsmouth Sinfonia – the self-described World's Worst Orchestra – playing on their recordings and in their concerts. He was the featured pianist on the orchestra's recording of Bridge Over Troubled Water on the Martin Lewis-produced 20 Classic Rock Classics album on which the Sinfonia gave their unique interpretations of the pop and rock repertoire of the 1950s–1970s. Nyman created a similar group called Foster's Social Orchestra, which specialised in the work of Stephen Foster. One of their pieces appeared in the film Ravenous and an additional work, not used in the film, appeared on the soundtrack album.
He has also recorded pop music with the Flying Lizards; a version of his Bird List from the soundtrack to Peter Greenaway's The Falls (1980) appears on their album Fourth Wall as "Hands 2 Take".
On 7 July 2007, Nyman performed at Live Earth in Japan. On 2008 Nyman realised, in collaboration with the cultural association Volumina, Sublime, an artist's book that unified his music with his passion for photography.
In October 2009, Nyman released The Glare, a collaborative collection of songs with David McAlmont, which cast his work in a new light. The album – recorded with the Michael Nyman Band – finds McAlmont putting lyrics based on contemporary news stories to 11 pieces of Nyman music drawn from different phases of his career.
In 2012, he made a soundtrack for film Everyday. Keith H. Yoo in 2012 commissioned Nyman to write a 26 minutes long piano quintet in four movements titled Through the Only Window. It premiered at the gala dinner for his father Yoo Byung-eun's photographic exhibition "Through My Window" in the Tuileries Garden of The Louvre in Paris on 25 June 2012. The work has been recorded by Nyman Quintet in the Abbey Road Studios, and has been released on Nyman's record label. In 2013 Nyman was again commissioned to compose a piece for Yoo Byung-eun's exhibition in the Orangerie Hall of the Palace of Versailles, and wrote the 32 minutes long symphony in four movements, Symphony No. 6 "AHAE", representing the four seasons in nature as depicted by Ahae, a pseudonym for Yoo Byung-eun. The London Symphony Orchestra premiered both pieces at L'Opéra of the Palace of Versailles in Paris on 8 September 2013 under the baton of the composer. It has been recorded for a planned future release.
He was married to Aet Nyman and has two daughters, Molly and Martha. His first string quartet quotes "Unchained Melody" in homage to Aet, who appears in Greenaway's The Falls, for which he also composed music. Molly is a composer in her own right; in collaboration with Harry Escott she has written several film scores including for The Road to Guantanamo by her father's frequent collaborator, Michael Winterbottom. Martha is a development researcher for the BBC.
Nyman is a supporter of Queen's Park Rangers Football Club.
Nyman was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.
Nyman was awarded an honorary doctorate (DLitt) from The University of Warwick on 30 January 2007. At the ceremony The University of Warwick Brass Society and Chamber Choir, conducted by Paul McGrath, premiered a specially composed procession and recession fanfare composed by Nyman.
In 2015, he was awarded the Golden Duke for Lifetime Achievement, the special award of the 6th Odessa International Film Festival.