Skip to main content

Michael Nyman sings for supper to receive Honorary Doctorate

Michael Nyman found himself singing for his supper with the premier of his new specially-written fanfare when he collected an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Warwick.

The British composer, pianist, librettist and musicologist has been a regular and popular performer at the University's Warwick Arts Centre for many years. He has performed there with the Michael Nyman Band and most recently as solo pianist in the show The Piano Sings.

On receiving the award Michael said: “This is a complete surprise and a great honour. I’m very pleased to receive this Honorary Doctorate and to debut this fanfare today.”

Michael Nyman, who studied at the Royal Academy of Music and King's College, London, created music for a great many films including; The Draughtsman's Contract and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover Wonderland, Gattacca, Brimstone and Treacle, Drowning by Numbers, The Diary of Anne Frank, Ravenous, The End of the Affair, The Libertine, A Cock a Bull Story and many more.

However one of his most acclaimed film works is probably the score to Jane Campion's award-winning 1993 film The Piano. It became a massive classical music hit, winning an Ivor Novello Award and selling over three million copies. His score was nominated for both a British Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

Among Nyman's better known non-film works are the opera Noises, Sounds & Sweet Airs (1987); Ariel Songs (1990) for soprano and band; MGV (Musique à Grande Vitesse) (1993) for band and orchestra; concertos for saxophone; the opera The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (1986), and Facing Goya (2000) an opera on the subject of cloning.

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.

Nyman also published an influential book in 1974 on experimental music called Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond. 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.

ENDS

 For further information contact:           

Richard Fern, Press Officer,

Communications Office, University House,  University of Warwick,

Coventry CV4 8UWREF PR 11 RWF 30/1/2007              

07876 217740 email: r.w.fern@warwick.ac.uk