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The University of Southampton

Finnissy at the Proms

Published: 6 August 2012Origin: Music

This year's BBC Proms season sees the UK premiere of Piano Concerto no. 2 by Southampton's Professor Michael Finnissy. The matinée concert, at London's Cadogan Hall on 11 August 2012, begins at 3:30 and will be broadcast live on Radio 3.

Soloist Nicholas Hodges joins the Britten Sinfonia, directed by Clark Rundell, for the concerto, which begins in the lower depths of the instrument and explodes into transcendentally demanding piano writing before the other players enter. Devoted to outstanding recent works by British composers, the concert also includes the UK premiere of Harrison Birtwhistle's Gigue Suite, the world premiere of Brian Elias's Electra Mourns and a performance of Prometheus by Brian Ferneyhough.

Last week Finnissy's work was praised in Guardian columnist and BBC host Tom Service's online guide to contemporary classical music, which aims to produce weekly profiles of the most significant and influential composers alive today. Service writes, " Few composers face up to the cultural, creative, and political responsibilities of the freight of musical history as sensitively as Finnissy does – and few composers working today have managed to connect contemporary music's expressive power as convincingly with its critical, intellectual potential."

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