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Douglas Finch

Douglas Finch was born in 1957 in Winnipeg, Canada and began improvising, composing and performing on the piano from an early age with the help of his mother. He later continued studying with Winnifred Sim, Jean Broadfoot and composer S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatte.
After studies with William Aide at the University of Western Ontario and Beveridge Webster at the Juilliard School in New York, Douglas Finch won several awards including a silver medal at the Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition in Brussels, 1978. Since then, he has had an active and varied career internationally as a performer and composer. He has composed works for piano, chamber ensemble, orchestra, theatre and film, as well as highly successful pieces for children.
After moving to London, he co-founded The Continuum Ensemble in 1994 and has collaborated in premiering many new works. He has organized several acclaimed events such as the improvisation festival: Tradition and Innovation at St. Giles Church Barbican Centre in 1998 and Coming Together – Frederic Rzewski and Associates at Trinity College of Music in 2006. His own improvisational skills have been featured on popular radio programmes such as CBC’s Morningside and BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters, and with artists including Naji Hakim, Eddie Prévost, Cindy Oswin and Peter Sheppard-Skaerved. His musical score for the feature film Painted Angels (directed by Jon Sanders), released in 1999, was described by Michael Church in The Independent as ‘an extraordinary triumph of artistic will.’ Projects have included tours of Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Japan with singer Dagmar Krause in the production ‘Fallen City’ based on Weill’s Mahagony with music by Eisler and Finch, and composing music for theatre including Transplant by Jeremy Seabrook and Michael O’Neal, Camden Rd. Theatre 2001 and Nirvana by Konstantin Iliev, Riverside Studio Hammersmith 2005. His CD with The Continuum Ensemble of Roger Smalley’s solo and chamber music for NMC was released in April 2004 to critical acclaim.
Among Douglas Finch’s chamber works are a series of Landscapes written for two pianos (premiered by Dietmar Schmuecker and Douglas Finch at the Vancouver New Music Festival in 1994), string quartet, piano and violin (premiered by Mieko Kanno and Douglas Finch, St. Giles Cripplegate, London 1999) piano solo, and String Orchestra (premiered by the Trinity String Ensemble, Nic Pendlebury, conductor, Old Royal Naval College Chapel 2001). Commissions include works for string quartet, piano and bassoon and guitar, as well as piano pieces for Elena Riu’s Salsa Nuevo published by Boosey & Hawkes, and new ‘R&B’ pieces for another Boosey & Hawkes publication in 2007. His recent work Song of Alcestis was premiered by Alessia Mankovskaya and the Trinity Cello Ensemble at the Chipping Camden Festival in May, and he is currently working on a music theatre project with Jonathan Chadwick and AZ Theatre.
Douglas Finch was Head of the Keyboard Faculty at Trinity College of Music, London from 1999 – 2007 and continues there as Professor of Piano and Composition. His music has also been published by Waterloo and Frederick Harris (Canada) and he is a member of SOCAN and an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre