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Michael Nyman. Photo: Sheila Rock

Culture Now: Michael Nyman

15 Mar 2013

Join us for a lunchtime talk with British composer Michael Nyman, in conversation with Gareth Evans.

Having started his multifarious career with a commissioned libretto for Harrison Birtwistle's opera Down by the Greenwood Side in 1969, Michael Nyman MBE is a composer, musicologist, pianist, conductor, author and more recently photographer and film-maker. He is most famously known for his minimalist film scores to Peter Greenaway classics such as The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982) and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), and other films such as Gattaca (1997), The Libertine (2004), Man On Wire (2008) and The Piano (1993). Nyman’s score to the latter was nominated for a BAFTA award and Golden Globe and became a best-selling soundtrack album. Since 1976, he has directed the Michael Nyman Band and has written largely for stage. His operas include The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (1986), Facing Goya (2000), and the critically acclaimed Man and Boy: Dada (2003). He has also provided ballet music for a number of the world's most distinguished choreographers. Having coined the term ‘minimalist music’ during his time as a music critic, Nyman is an internationally celebrated figure of contemporary concert music.

His most recent endeavours as a photographer and film-maker began with Sublime, a photo-book published in 2008. His first gallery exhibition, Videofile, featured his photos alongside a series of his short films, which ran until March 2009 at the De La Warr Pavillion, East Sussex. In 2010, MN Records released Collections, a unique combination of his work as a composer, film-maker and photographer. In 2010, Nyman released his first feature film, NYman with a Movie Camera, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010 and was first screened in the UK a month later at the Barbican Centre in London.

Gareth Evans is a writer, editor and Film Curator at Whitechapel Gallery, London. He produced Grant Gee’s acclaimed essay film Patience (After Sebald), curates the PLACE festival at Aldeburgh Music, Suffolk and edits the journal Artesian

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