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11th February, 2020

Simon Emmerson at 70

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Event Details

11th February, 2020
19:00 - 20:30
Performance Space
College Building
City, University of London
St John Street

Simon Emmerson, pioneering electronic music and founder of City’s sound studios, returns to City with a programme including two of his recent works for instruments and electronics, in celebration of his 70th year. The programme will also include music by Roger Smalley, whose early works were a key influence on Emmerson’s own music.


Simon Emmerson (electronics)

Heather Roche (clarinets)

Zubin Kanga (piano)

Simon Emmerson studied at Cambridge University and City, University of London. Composer and writer on electronic music since the early 1970s, he is now Professor of Music, Technology and Innovation at De Montfort University, Leicester. He founded the studio at City, University of London in 1975 where he remained until 2004. He was founder Secretary of the Electro-Acoustic Music Association (EMAS) in 1979 as well as later Board member of Sonic Arts Network (to 2004) and Sound and Music (to 2013). He was Edgard Varese Visiting Professor at TU, Berlin (2009-10) and Visiting Professor and Composer at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (Perth) in November 2016. Commissions include: GRM (Paris), Inventionen (Berlin), Sond-Arte Ensemble (Lisbon), BEAST (Birmingham). Recordings: Sargasso. Writings include: The Language of Electroacoustic Music (1986), Living Electronic Music (2007), The Routledge Research Companion to Electronic Music (2018). Keynotes include: ACMC 2011 (Auckland), ICMC 2011 (Huddersfield), Music Science Technology 2012 (São Paulo), WOCMAT 2012 (Taiwan), Alternative Histories of Electronic Music 2016 (London).

Born in Canada, clarinetist Heather Roche trained in England, lived in Germany and now London. Heather completed her MMus in 2006 at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with Joy Farrall and Laurent Ben Slimane, and conducting with Sian Edwards. Following her degree she completed residencies with the International Ensemble Modern Academy, at IMPULS in Graz and with ensemble recherche in Freiburg, the Darmstadt Summer Courses 2008 and 2010 and the International Ensemble Modern Academy in Innsbruck, Austria. She has performed at some of the major European festivals, as well as solo programmes at the Zagreb Music Biennale, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the New York Electroacoustic Symposium, at CIRMMT (Montreal), Unerhörte Musik (Berlin), Eavesdropping (London), Rainy Days (Luxembourg) and with the Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre (BEAST), and with ensembles and orchestras including Musik Fabrik (Cologne), the WDR Orchestra (Cologne), mimitabu (Gothenburg), the London Symphony Orchestra (London), ensemble Garage (Cologne), ensemble interface (Berlin), the Riot Ensemble (London), the Alisios Camerata (Zagreb), and ensemble proton (Bern). She has solo CDs on the HCR/NMC and Métier labels.

Zubin Kanga is a pianist, composer, improviser and technologist. His work in recent years has focused on new models of interaction between a live musician and new technologies, using film, AI, motion capture, 3D modelling, animation and virtual reality. Zubin has collaborated with many of the world’s leading composers including Michael Finnissy, George Benjamin, Nicole Lizée, Steve Reich, and Liza Lim and premiered more than 100 new works. He has performed at many international festivals including the BBC Proms, London Contemporary Music Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK) Melbourne Festival (Australia), Manifeste Festival (France), Klang Festival (Denmark), Podium Festival (Germany), Resonator Festival (Sweden), CUBE, Graz (Austria) and Borealis Festival (Norway). He has performed several concerti under the composer’s baton, including with Thomas Adès and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and with Beat Furrer and the London Sinfonietta. He is a member of Ensemble Offspring and has performed duos with Brett Dean, Rolf Hind, Thomas Adés and Jack Liebeck. A Masters and PhD graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London, Zubin recently finished a post as post-doctoral researcher at the University of Nice and IRCAM, Paris and is currently the Leverhulme Research Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London.

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