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Personal profile

Biography

Philip Thomas is Professor in Performance, having joined the University of Huddersfield in 2005. He specialises in performing and writing about new and experimental music, including both notated and improvised music. He places much emphasis on each concert being a unique event, designing imaginative programmes that provoke and suggest connections.

He is particularly drawn to the experimental music of John Cage, Morton Feldman and Christian Wolff, and composers who broadly work within a post-Cageian aesthetic. In recent years he has been particularly associated with the music of Christian Wolff, performing and recording the solo piano music, and co-editing a book about his music. He has commissioned new works from a number of British composers whose ideas, language and aesthetic have been informed in some ways by the aforementioned American composers, such as Stephen Chase, Laurence Crane, Richard Emsley, Michael Finnissy, Christopher Fox, Bryn Harrison, John Lely, Tim Parkinson, Michael Parsons, James Saunders, Howard Skempton and Markus Trunk. Additionally, Philip’s work has focussed upon a number of Canadian composers, including Martin Arnold, Cassandra Miller and Linda Smith, and he has been associated with a number of composers from the Wandelweiser collective, most notably Jürg Frey. Solo recordings include releases on ‘another timbre’, ‘HatHut’, ‘Huddersfield Contemporary Records’, ‘Bruce’s Fingers’, ‘Edition Wandelweiser’ and ‘sub rosa’, featuring music by Laurence Crane, Michael Finnissy, Christopher Fox, Jürg Frey, Richard Glover, Bryn Harrison, Tim Parkinson, Michael Pisaro, James Saunders and Christian Wolff.

Alongside the music cited above, Philip pursues a passion for freely improvised music, after significant encounters with the music of AMM and Sheffield-based musicians Martin Archer, Mick Beck and John Jasnoch. He has worked with improvisers in a variety of contexts and recently devised a programme of composed music by musicians more normally known as improvisers as well as others who have been influenced by improvisation in some form. This led to a CD release, ‘Comprovisation’, which featured newly commissioned works by Mick Beck, Chris Burn and Simon H Fell.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Music associated with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company
  • Recent Canadian experimental music
  • Music by British composers, including Laurence Crane, Michael Finnissy, Christopher Fox, Bryn Harrison, Michael Parsons, James Saunders
  • Music of John Cage, Christian Wolff and Morton Feldman
  • Recent experimental music from the USA and UK
  • Music associated with the ‘Wandelweiser’ collective

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Music
  • Performance
  • Experimental Music
  • Improvisation
  • John Cage
  • Christian Wolff
  • Morton Feldman
  • indeterminacy
  • piano

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Philip Thomas is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2015 2018

John Cage and the 'Concert for piano and orchestra'

Thomas, P. & Iddon, M.

1/10/1529/10/18

Project: Research

Research Output 2007 2019

Adrián Demoč: Žiadba

Demoč, A., Lukoszevieze, A., Benjamin, M., Roche, H., Thomas, P. & Abbott, C., 22 Nov 2019

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

Composer
Music
Apartment

as if as: Chris Burn & Philip Thomas

Burn, C. & Thomas, P., 1 Sep 2019

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

Transcription

at143: Messiaen + Linda Catlin Smith

Lukoszevieze, A., Benjamin, M., Roche, H. & Thomas, P., 25 May 2019

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

fins

CageConcert

Thomas, P., Iddon, M., Melen, C. & Payne, E., 18 Nov 2019

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site

Concert
Players
Solo
John Cage
Web Sites

Morton Feldman - piano

Thomas, P., 12 Sep 2019

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

Open Access
File
Booklet
Piano music
Solo
Morton Feldman

Activities 2007 2019

Morton Feldman - Music for Dance and Film

Philip Thomas (Participant), Hilary Elliott (Participant)
18 Nov 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipating in a conference, workshop, ...

Morton Feldman - Piano

Philip Thomas (Participant)
1 Nov 2019

Activity: Other activity typesOther

Apartment House - Disappearing Music

Philip Thomas (Participant)
16 Oct 2019

Activity: Other activity typesOther

External Examiner (PhD) at University of Cambridge

Philip Thomas (Examiner)
19 Sep 2019

Activity: Examination typesPhD Examination

Christian Marclay 'Investigations'

Philip Thomas (Participant)
19 Jul 2019

Activity: Other activity typesOther

Press / Media

Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series

Julian Thomas

22/04/17

1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Other