Michael Nyman to unveil new symphony inspired by the Hillsborough disaster


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The Independent Culture

Composer Michael Nyman hopes his new symphony commemorating the Hillsborough disaster, to be first performed this summer, will make a “small but significant contribution” to the healing process for the families.

Symphony No.11: Hillsborough Memorial, an hour-long work, will be performed by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at Liverpool Cathedral.

The work will be played on 5 July during the opening weekend of the Liverpool Biennial, a series of cultural held events across the city, and the piece is a major new arts commission backed by the local council.

Nyman, whose work includes operas, orchestral concertos and film soundtracks, said the piece is the culmination of his thinking around the tragedies connected with Liverpool Football Club.

A spokeswoman said: “25 years after the Hillsborough disaster, he says that he hopes it will make a small but significant contribution to the healing processes still necessary for the families of the lost fans.”

Symphony No.11 restores the work known as "Memorial" to its original context after it was later used in "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover".

As part of the new version, Liverpool-born mezzo soprano Kathryn Rudge will sing the names of the 96 fans who died, accompanied by music Nyman was recording on the afternoon of the tragedy.

Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, said the Biennial was a “fantastic example of art being used to help shine a light on the dignity and bravery of those who have strived for justice for the 96”.

He continued: “Memorials are a symbol of our solidarity and support for the families, and Nyman’s specially commissioned piece of music will be a moving and unforgettable tribute.”

As well as working with director Peter Greenaway, Nyman’s film work includes soundtracks for The End of the Affair, A Cock and Bull Story and The Piano, which has sold over three million soundtracks.