Brian Ferneyhough (b. 1943)
Conductor – Peter Eötvös (tracks: A)
From Höller: Arcus & Ferneyhough: Funérailles - 1985 - STU 71556 This recording is part of the Wolf Fifth Archive
This UbuWeb resource is edited by Justin Lacko.
(b. 16 January 1943, Coventry, West Midlands).
British composer, now resident in the USA, of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, and piano works that have been performed throughout the world.
Prof. Ferneyhough received his formal training at the Birmingham Conservatoire from 1961–63 and studied composition with Sir Lennox Berkeley at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1966–67. He then studied composition privately with Ton de Leeuw in Amsterdam in 1968–69 and with Klaus Huber at the Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel from 1969–71.
Among his honours are the Mendelssohn Scholarship (1968), three prizes in the competition of the Internationale Gaudeamus Muziekweek in Amsterdam (1968–70), an honourable mention in the competition of the section in Italy of ISCM (1972), and a special prize from ISCM for the best work submitted in all categories (1974). He has also received a bursary from the Experimentalstudio des SWR in Freiburg im Breisgau (1974–75), an award from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (1976–77) and the Koussevitzky International Critics Award (1978, for the recording of Transit on Decca Records). He was given the title Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France in 1984, was named an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 1990 and served as a fellow of the Birmingham Conservatoire in 1995 and of the Royal Academy of Music in 1998. In addition, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Chamber-Scale Composition (1995, for On Stellar Magnitudes), was elected to the Akademie der Künste in Berlin in 1996 and received the Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis (2007, for his œuvre). He is the subject of the monograph Brian Ferneyhough by Lois Fitch (2013, Intellect).
He is also active in other positions. He has written numerous articles for publications on contemporary music, many of which appear in Collected Writings (1995, edited by James Boros and Richard Toop, Harwood Academic Publishers). He has served as a member of the editorial board of the journal Perspectives of New Music since 1995.
He taught composition at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg in Freiburg im Breisgau from 1973–86 and regularly gave masterclasses at the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milan from 1984–87. He then taught as the principal teacher of composition at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag in 1986–87 and as Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego from 1987–2000. He then taught composition as the William H. Bonsall Professor in Music at Stanford University from 2000–18. He has given classes and lectures at the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt since 1976 and served as coordinator of its course in composition from 1984–94. Moreover, he has directed the courses in composition Voix Nouvelles at the Fondation Royaumont since 1990 and has taught at IRCAM in Paris since 1993. He has held guest professorships at Harvard University, the Kungliga Musikhögskolan – Royal College of Music in Stockholm and the University of Chicago.
He has lived in the USA since 1987.