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Douglas Finch: Biography

Douglas Finch
1957 -
Region: British Columbia

Douglas Finch

Douglas Finch was born in Winnipeg, Canada and began improvising, composing and performing on the piano from an early age with the help of his mother. He later continued studying with Winnifred Sim and Jean Broadfoot.

After studies with William Aide at the University of Western Ontario and Beveridge Webster at the Juilliard School in New York, Douglas Finch won several awards including a silver medal at the Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition in Brussels. Since then, he has had an active and varied career internationally as a performer and composer. He has composed works for piano, chamber ensemble, orchestra, theatre and film, as well as highly successful pieces for children.

After moving to London, he co-founded The Continuum Ensemble in 1994 and has collaborated in premiering many new works, as well as organizing an acclaimed improvisation festival: Tradition and Innovation in 1998. His own improvisational skills have been featured on popular radio programmes such as CBC's Morningside and BBC Radio 3's Music Matters, and with artists including Naji Hakim, Eddie Prévost, Cindy Oswin and Peter Sheppard-Skaerved. His musical score for the feature film Painted Angels released in 1999, was described by Michael Church in The Independent as 'an extraordinary triumph of artistic will.' Projects include performing in and co-directing 'The New Iberia' festival in London, November 2000, involving concerts of Spanish music from medieval times to the present day, tours with singer Dagmar Krause with the production 'Fallen City' based on Weill's Mahagony with music by Eisler and Finch, in Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Japan and composing a major musical theatre piece Tranplant, based on a play by Jeremy Seabrook and Michael O'Neal performed at Camden Road Theatre, London, November 13th - 17th, 2001. Future plans include a recording of Ives's Concord Sonata for AVIE and his CD with The Continuum Ensemble of Roger Smalley's solo and chamber music for NMC was released in April, 2004 to critical acclaim. He was commissioned to write a piano piece to be included in Elena Riu's Little Book of Salsa to be premiered in London in the Autumn of 2004, and will be composer for the play Nirvana by Konstantin Iliev at the Riverside Theatre Hammersmith in 2005.

Douglas Finch has been Head of the Keyboard Faculty at Trinity College of Music, London since February 1999. His music has been published by Waterloo and Frederick Harris (Canada) and Boosey&Hawkes (UK) and he is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

June 2004

List of Recent Works

*Please note that the works listed below may not be available through the CMC. Check our catalogue to see what has been deposited by this composer.

Painted Angels
Musical Score of film, 1997 (108 mins). Director, Jon Sanders; Producers, Ann Scott, Christina Jennings, Stephen Onda. Distributed by Artificial Eye and on video by Fox Video; starring Brenda Fricker, Kelly McGillis, Bronagh Gallagher.
Scored for chamber orchestra (20 players, including 5 flutes, harmonium and harmonica).

Musical Theatre Piece, 2001 (90 mins). Directed and produced by Jonathan Chadwick; text by Jeremy Seabrook and Michael O’Neal, designed by Momoru Iriguchi.
Performed as a community project by Meeting Ground Theatre Company, Camden Road Theatre November 13 – 17, 2001.
Scored for large chorus and soloists plus recorder, clarinet, tenor horn, piano, percussion, chamber harp, violin, viola and cello.

1995-96 (15 mins). Twelve pieces for solo piano, after Rimbaud. Premiered by Douglas Finch, Regent Hall, London, 1996.

1996 (7 mins). For two pianos. Premiered by Dietmar Schmuecker and Douglas Finch, Hinde Street Church, London, 1996.

Landscape III
1998 (7 mins) Premiered by Mieko Kanno, violin and Douglas Finch, piano, St. Giles Cripplegate, London, April 30 1998.

Ucluelet (Landscape IV)
2000 (6:30 mins). For solo piano. Premiered by Douglas Finch, St. Giles Cripplegate, May 2000.

2001 (9 mins). For alto flute, violin and piano. Premiered by Lisa Nelson, alto flute, Kirstie Staines, violin and Douglas Finch, piano, The Warehouse, London, November 7, 2001.

Landscape V
2002 (7:30 mins). For string orchestra (6,5,4,4,1). Premiered by Trinity College of Music String Ensemble; conductor, Nic Pendlebury; Old Royal Naval College Chapel, April, 2002.

2003 (3 mins). For solo piano. Premiered by Douglas Finch, Westben Summer Festival, Campbellford, Ontario, Canada, July 2003.

Toccata Montuna
2003 (2:30). For solo piano. Commissioned by Elena Riu and the Dartington International Summer School. To be published by Boosey & Hawkes in Elena Riu’s Little Book of Salsa and premiered by Elena Riu at Blackheath Concert Halls, September, 2004.

On Douglas Finch - by Dietmar Schmuecker (pdf)


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