BBC Radio 3


The Times

The Guardian

"hugely gifted"
The Sunday Telegraph

"His career really has taken off. I think he's one of our most exciting voices at the moment."
BBC Radio 3, Gillian Moore (Director of Music, Southbank Centre)

"a rising composer"
New York Times

"ethereally beautiful"
Herald Scotland

"ingenious...diaphanous...brimming with erotic energy"

"music of simply stunning beauty"

"lacks nothing in terms of an orchestral sense"
Richard Whitehouse, classicalsource.com

"the sounds being made by new composers like Edmund Finnis are very intriguing"
Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) NME

"Edmund Finnis is a 30-year-old composer who creates glistening, dancing music with an air of diffident mystery. It’s mentally tough, often focusing on just a few elements which are carefully weighed and transformed. But the sounds themselves are delicate and glowing, with an intriguing quality of being familiar and strange at once."
The Telegraph, Ivan Hewett

"...such hotshot composers as Mica Levi and Edmund Finnis, who work comfortably across a number of genres without ever being considered "crossover" because they have the skills to cut it whether they're making music for bedrooms, dancefloors or concert halls."
The Times

"He creates a completely unique and emotionally affecting sound-world."
BBC Radio 3, Elizabeth Alker

"It is rare to find a young composer – Edmund Finnis is still not yet 30 – with such a consistently impressive body of works containing so much striking music. ... What a pleasure it was to hear piece after piece, each with a unique soundworld, each with an immediately attractive and poetic sensibility."
Stephen Newbould, Artistic Director of BCMG (Birmingham Contemporary Music Group)

Reviews of The Air, Turning

"Inspired by Scottish poet Robin Robertson’s Finding the Keys, this piece was an ethereally beautiful exploration of the transient nature of the wind and its interactions with the natural world."
Herald Scotland

"very atmospheric...magical...powerful"
Seen and Heard International

"With sumptuous Russian music dominating this BBC SSO programme, the breeziness of Edmund Finnis’s The Air, Turning made for an ideal opener. Conductor Ilan Volkov gradually built up the full spectrum of string sound, from the bottom bass notes to eerie violin harmonics, which was then finely smudged with woodwind and brass colour."
The Scotsman

Review of Shades Lengthen (performed by Benjamin Beilman and London Contemporary Orchestra, conducted by Hugh Brunt)

"... Shades Lengthen, a beautiful new chamber violin concerto by Edmund Finnis. That was the centrepiece of a superb London Contemporary Orchestra concert in the incense-drenched cavern of St John-at-Hackney. Commissioned by London Music Masters and the Boltini Trust and played with mesmerising lyricism by Benjamin Beilman, the piece has an elegiac quality that reflects its title, with detunings and rich Tippettian counterpoint."
The Times, Richard Morrison

Sara Mohr-Pietsch, BBC Radio 3

Reviews for Parallel Colour (premiered by BCMG, conducted by Richard Baker)

"The symmetrical construction of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group's latest programme reflected the symmetry of the amazing work premiered at the heart of it.

Latest in the long line of BCMG's spectacularly successful Sound Investment commissions, Edmund Finnis' Parallel Colour employs two virtually identical ensembles, facing each other, with a lone double-bass as the linking king-pin. In some ways this symmetry goes back to the two orchestras of Bach's St Matthew Passion, and though Bach uses his forces for dramatic and contrasting ends, here Finnis sees his own more as vehicles for repetition and refraction, as mirror-like as the confluence of sea and sky on a still horizon.

There is sheer beauty in the timbres he creates - subdued, sometimes ethereal - and only towards the too-soon-reached end is there a slight livening-up of activity. [...] its effect was totally magical. Richard Baker conducted a willing BCMG in this premiere of what I would dare to declare a masterpiece in the genre. "
Birmingham Post

"...music of simply stunning beauty... exquisitely handled ... extremely impressive.... the most magical music of the evening"

Reviews for Seeing is Flux (performed by the London Sinfonietta conducted by Baldur Brönnimann)

"Notable was the level of technical accomplishment in works conceived in diverse styles and mostly produced by a younger generation of composers. Premiered as the final concert's centrepiece, Edmund Finnis's Seeing Is Flux takes its title from the American novelist Siri Hustvedt, its layered textures and ambiguous blend of innocence and sophistication demonstrating a keen ear for sonority skilfully deployed throughout a neat and effective structure; conductor Baldur Brönnimann held its iridescent surface up to the light in what proved to be a compelling reading."
The Guardian

"Melodic patterns swarmed like sardines through Edmund Finnis’s likeable Seeing is Flux"
The Times

(performed by the London Sinfonietta conducted by Garry Walker)

"The Sinfonietta opened with a graceful piece by Edmund Finnis called Seeing Is Flux, its featherlight strands deftly laced together."
The Guardian

Review for Panufnik Variations (performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by François-Xavier Roth; released on the LSO Live label)

"My absolute favourite of all of them was the ravishing Variation No.10 by Edmund Finnis...wonderful"
BBC Radio 3, Record Review

"Perhaps the most ingenious responses came from Max de Wardener, Raymond Yiu and Edmund Finnis. ... The variation by Finnis was brimming with erotic energy as it moved through diaphanous forms and was therefore a graceful precursor to Debussy’s La mer."

Review for in situ

"Elegant, shapely, cool in its timbres ... the piece deserves to slip into any imaginative programme."
Birmingham Post

Reviews/postings for Veneer (performed by violist Paul Silverthorne)

" Edmund Finnis' Veneer stirred magical cries from Paul Silverthorne's reverberating viola. "
The Times (Geoff Brown)

"a bracing study in natural harmonics"
Gramophone (Richard Whitehouse)

"...The Finnis had the biggest impression on me, since what might have been a somewhat alienating solo display of strange calls was transformed by the slight blur of the reverb effect into something fascinating. ..."
The Biting Point


" During Edmund Finnis’s Veneer, a detuned solo viola distills alternately sedate and skiddish thematic patterns from a slow-motion wave of natural harmonics. "
Q2 on WQXR (featured as part of "Album of the Week")

Reviews for Flicker (performed by Guildhall Symphony Orchestra)

“Now in his mid-twenties, Edmund Finnis has recently worked in dance and electro-acoustics though lacks nothing in terms of an orchestral sense. Over the course of its 8 minutes, Flicker (2008) touches on a variety of pithy yet distinctive motifs, given coherence by a secure formal grasp (both the culmination and conclusion of the piece were unobtrusively evident) and definition through the skilful deployment of timbre and texture. Lucidly rendered by the GSO, it gave notice of a creative talent of whom one looks forward to hearing more."
Richard Whitehouse for classicalsource.com

“The flickering of his work was almost visible, indeed: there was tension during the pauses – silences were loaded; woodwinds were obdurate in their superimposing musical fragments; fiery strings cast an electronic shadow on the musical texture – sometimes recalling an electric instrument’s feedback. Stinging metallic trumpets tore everything into pieces and, paraphrasing Ed Finnis’ comments in the programme notes, the tottering and insistent quality of the musical patterns moved forward with an ‘unsettling lack of inherent memory of what has gone before’.
…the overall impression was of a quivering satisfaction. And the mid air ending was, to quote a friend of mine, ‘just genius’."

“Entitled Flicker owing to its constantly changing surface texture, Finnis's composition exhibits sharp contrasts of mood varying between exuberance and mystery.
…it made an excellent showcase for the orchestra."