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Philip Feeney, the Man Behind the Music
September 4, 2018
Piano and ballerina

Philip Feeney, born in 1954, studied composition with Robin Holloway and Hugh Wood at Cambridge, and with Franco Donatoni at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He has composed extensively for dance, collaborating with many different and varied choreographers including William Louther, Christopher Gable, Michael Pink, Cathy Marston, Didy Veldman, David Nixon, Adam Cooper and Sara Matthews; his works have been performed by dance companies as diverse as Northern Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Cullberg Ballet, Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and Scottish Dance Theatre, in addition to more than fifty works for Ballet Central, where he has been composer-in-residence for twenty-five years. He has also established an enduring collaboration with choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan, most notably on Giselle (2003) and the award winning The Bull (2005) for Fabulous Beast.

Philip has established a long-standing association with choreographer Michael Pink, which began in 1987 with Memoire Imaginaire, and over a span of nearly thirty years, they have together assembled an impressive back catalogue of full-length narrative ballets, leading from the celebrated Dracula and Esmeralda (originally created for Northern Ballet Theatre) to the landmark works produced for Milwaukee Ballet, Peter Pan (2010), Mirror Mirror (2014), The Picture of Dorian Gray (2016), and most recently Beauty and the Beast (2018).

Over recent years, Feeney has developed a fruitful collaboration with choreographer Cathy Marston, creating through-composed narrative scores using both original and pre-existing music, beginning with Snow Maidens (for TanztheaterKoblenz, using music by Sibelius and Lutoslawski) and Hamlet (for the Ballett im Revier, Gelsenkirchen, using the music of Schnittke), and culminating with the critically acclaimed full-length chamber ballet Jane Eyre for Northern Ballet. The collaboration has continued with the one act ballets Snowblind, for San Francisco Ballet, and The Suit, for Ballet Black. Feeney is currently working on a score for Marston’s new Ballet, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, mixing powerful original music with the high romanticism of Alexander Scriabin, and working on a new full-length score for Marston’s Victoria for Northern Ballet.

Philip Feeney

In Rehearsal for Lady Chatterley's Lover
September 4, 2018
Cathy Marston in rehearsal