Published On: Wed, Apr 9th, 2014

Michael Nyman’s Hillsborough Memorial Symphony chosen to open the city of Liverpool Biennial celebrations

Nyman’s composed the symphony  25 years ago, almost exactly to the day of the disaster at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, which tragically cost the lives of 96 Liverpool soccer fans.

Michael Nyman Performs At Warande Park

Michael Nyman’s Hillsborough Memorial Symphony has been chosen to the city of Liverpool Biennial celebrations.

Nyman composed the symphony almost a quarter of a century ago as Symphony Number 11, later renaming it  the Hillsborough Memorial Symphony dedicated to the  96 Liverpool soccer fans who tragically lost their lives while attending a soccer match at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.

The Hillsborough Memorial Symphony is due to be performed when the biennial celebrations get under away on July 15th of this year. The opening ceremony will be held within the magnificent setting of Liverpool  Cathedral,  particularly well known for its  excellent acoustics , while the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, will be performing Nyman’s symphony accompanied by the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth and Training Choirs.

On the news that his symphony had been chosen to get the major northern England  city’s biennial  celebrations underway, albeit on a sombre note, Michael Nyman confirmed his hope that the work will help to make “a small but significant contribution to the healing process still necessary for the families of the lost fans.”

Michael Nyman’s Hillsborough Memorial Symphony was inspired by a piece of music that he composed in the mid-1980s, which he entitled “ Memorial” and form part of the background score for the Roger Greenaway film “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover” released in 1989.

Apart from being particularly active in writing scores for feature films, mostly in conjunction with well-known director Roger Greenaway, Nyman has also composed a number of “modern-day operas”, amongst them Dada, Facing Goya , Letters, Riddles and Writs,  The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Noises, Sounds & Sweet Airs and Sparkie: Cage and Beyond, as well as several chamber works, written especially for his Michael Nyman Band, with whom he often tours as their pianist.


Michael Nyman studied music  at King’s College London, later being accepted to  the Royal Academy of Music in September 1961,  focusing his studies on piano and seventeenth-century baroque music. Nyman was the winner of the prestigious Howard Carr Memorial Prize for composition in July 1964.

During his lengthy career, Michael  has provided the score for a large number of feature films, and is known for the long-term association with he established with UK-based film director Peter Greenaway,  with the most outstanding being The Draughtsman’s Contract and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover,  Two Noughts, Drowning by Numbers, and Prospero’s Books.

Michael Nyman became particularly well-known in the mainstream’s after he wrote the composed the score Jane Campion’s award-winning 1993 film The Piano, with the soundtrack album release from the movie going on to become a best seller. For those work on the background music for The Piano,  Michael was nominated for a Golden Globe as well as a British Academy Award.

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