MP 2014: Keynote Concert: Michael Bonaventure, Tom Johnson Premiere


The keynote talk given by US composer Tom Johnson will be followed by a concert performed by Michael Bonaventure.

The programme will centre on the world premiere performance of Intervals by Tom Johnson by Michael Bonaventure (piano) who will be joined by Steve Gisby (bass guitar). The rest of the programme will comprise short piano pieces by Luiz Henrique Yudo and Gilbert Delor and more…

Michael Bonaventure (b.1962, Edinburgh) is a composer and longstanding advocate of new and experimental organ music. Numerous composers, both at home and overseas, have written for him and he has to date given over eighty premieres of new works and arrangements for the organ; recent collaborations have produced new works from Luiz Henrique Yudo, Rene Baptist Huysmans, Roderik de Man, Huw Morgan, Ian McQueen and Avril Anderson. He has concertised throughout the UK and overseas, on BBC Radio and made many CD recordings, notably the later organ cycles of Olivier Messiaen on the Delphian label and the Contemporary British Organ Music series on SFZ Music. He has composed chamber, solo instrumental, electronic, organ and choral music; recent performances include ‘Rearmost Odd’, given by Lauren Redhead as part of her Sound & Music organ and electronics UK tour, a large-scale ‘In Orbit’ cycle, premiered recently at the Orgelpark, Amsterdam, ‘Green Odyssey’, commissioned by Scottish pianist Mark Spalding in memory of Morris Pert, ‘Aria’, commissioned by Sounds Positive and ‘O Virgo Virginum’, composed for the Merbecke Choir of Southwark Cathedral. Together with composers and organists Lauren Redhead and Huw Morgan he is a member of the composers’ collective AUTOMATRONIC ( which was formed last year to explore and promote new music for electronic media and organ.

Steve Gisby is a bass guitarist, educator and composer. As a performer, he’s worked with members of Kula Shaker, Nelly Furtado, and Joss Stone. Appearances include Ronnie Scotts, the 100 Club and the Edinburgh Festival, and also on HTV (West), Channel 4, and satellite broadcasts to the U.S.A, Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Far East. He works with various ensembles that play all over the UK and abroad.

He’s also an examiner for Trinity College London on their Rock & Pop syllabus, and teaches bass guitar at the Rock Academy: Isle of Man summer school.

As a composer, his music has been performed in the UK, Europe and the US. He’s given papers and presentations at IRCAM in Paris, Furman University in South Carolina, California State University Long Beach, Surrey University and the University of Huddersfield. Steve holds a Ph.D in composition from Brunel University.

When he’s not playing music, writing music, teaching music, listening to music, or reading about music, he can usually be found either drinking tea, cooking, playing squash, traveling, or making a fuss of his cats.


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