One of Britain’s most innovative and celebrated composers, Michael Nyman’s work encompasses operas and string quartets, film soundtracks and orchestral concertos. He’s also a performer, conductor, bandleader, pianist, author, musicologist, photographer and film-maker.
He first made his mark in the late 1960s when commissioned to write the libretto for Harrison Birtwistle’s opera Down By The Greenwood Side. His notable scores include the Peter Greenaway films The Draughtsman’s Contract and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover; Neil Jordan’s The End Of The Affair; the Hollywood blockbuster Gattaca and the 1993 film The Piano, the soundtrack album of which has sold more than 3m copies. Nyman has also worked with contemporary artists including David McAlmont and Damon Albarn.
His operas include The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat (1986) and Facing Goya (2000) and he has provided ballet music for some of the world’s most distinguished choreographers.
In 1976, he formed his own ensemble, the Campiello Band (now the Michael Nyman Band). Over more than three decades, the group has been the laboratory for much of his inventive and experimental compositional work.
Thomas Hewitt Jones
Thomas Hewitt Jones is an award-winning composer of contemporary classical and commercial music. Winner of the 2003 BBC Young Composer Competition, his music has been published by Boosey & Hawkes, Oxford University Press, Banks Music, the RSCM, Encore Publications, Universal Music, and is frequently heard on radio, TV and the cinema in the UK and abroad.
Thomas has written three ballets which toured the UK in 2008–2011 with Ballet Cymru, most notably a dance setting of Dylan Thomas’ masterpiece Under Milk Wood. His choral and instrumental music is frequently performed worldwide. He has also written numerous Christmas carols, including What Child is This? (OUP, 2012). Recent large-scale works include Wildflower Meadows, a song cycle commemorating the First World War, and the Christmas cantata Incarnation, released on Regent Records, both with words by regular collaborator Paul Williamson.
Commercial commissions have included work in America and scores for films in the UK, as well as music for the London 2012 Olympics Mascots animated films, with stories by Michael Morpurgo and narration by Stephen Fry. Thomas has also composed the music for a new musical version of Rumpelstiltskin which premiered at The Egg, Bath in December 2014. Recent performances include the premiere of a new set of songs charting the history of Bath with words by Paul Williamson (Bath Abbey, 2015), and the UK premiere of choral and orchestral work Panathenaia at the British Museum, commissioned by Hugo Ticciati.