Professor Brian Ferneyhough

Contact details

Professor Brian Ferneyhough
ABSM degree, Birmingham School of Music, Royal Academy of Music, London
Position/Fellowship type:
ST Lee Visiting Professorial Fellow, 2013-14
Fellowship term:
10-Nov-2013 to 26-Nov-2013
Central Services of the School
Home institution:
Stanford University, California, USA
Related institutes:
Institute of Musical Research
Department of Music, Stanford University 541 Lasuen Mall STANFORD CA 94305-3076 USA
001 650 723 3811
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Summary of research interests and expertise:

Brian Ferneyhough's compositions have featured throughout the world and at all the major European festivals of contemporary music. They include: Fourth String Quartet, Bone Alphabet, Terrain, Allgebrah, Incipits, Unsichtbare Farben, String Trio. His opera Shadowtime was premiered as part of the Munich Biennale 2004, and has been taken to Paris, New York, Bochum and London 2004-5.

His Fifth String Quartet was premiered in Witten and later played in the Aldeburgh and Salzburg Festivals. Publications: Collected Writings, Harwood Academic Publishers 1998; POETIK, and various articles and interviews.

Project summary relevant to Fellowship:

Brian Ferneyhough is one of the most original and influential composers in contemporary music. His work, recognised by such international awards as the Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis, evokes a compressed musical world of dislocated events, colliding pulses and shimmering textures. His highly elaborate notational practice invites performers constantly to reassess and question their relationship to the text.

For some five decades he has continuously engaged with and provoked the debate to define a new artistic aesthetic for contemporary music, whether as creator, thinker, writer or teacher, in Germany, Europe and the US. His visit to London, in his 70th year, is a fitting tribute to an outstanding career and an acknowledgement of his connection to the University following the award of an honorary doctorate in 2012.

Read Professor Ferneyhough’s report on his time at the School >

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