Edmund Finnis is a “hugely gifted composer” (Sunday Telegraph) whose music has been hailed as “magical” (The Times), “iridescent, compelling” (The Guardian), “exquisite” (Sara Mohr-Pietsch, BBC Radio 3) and “ethereally beautiful” (Herald Scotland). His works are regularly performed and broadcast, both at home in the UK and internationally.
Finnis’ multifaceted output ranges from intimate music for soloists and duets to immersive electronic pieces, music for film, ensemble music, and works for large orchestra.
He has written music for some of the leading performers of his own generation (Benjamin Beilman, Mark Simpson, Víkingur Ólafsson, Jess Gillam, Clare Hammond, Oliver Coates, Daniel Pioro), and renowned ensembles such as Britten Sinfonia, BCMG and London Sinfonietta. His orchestral works have been performed by orchestras including the LSO, the BBC Scottish Symphony, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
From 2013-16 Finnis was Composer-in-Association with the London Contemporary Orchestra. They gave numerous performances of his works and several new commissions, including Across White Air for solo cello with reverb, Between Rain for string orchestra, and the electronic piece Colour Field Painting, premiered on a summer evening on the top of London’s Primrose Hill.
The London Sinfonietta were early supporters of Finnis’ work. Over the last decade they have have performed, toured and recorded six of his works, including four that they commissioned: Veneer, Unfolds, Seeing is Flux, and Three Solos.
More recently Finnis has developed a close working relationship with the Manchester Collective. After touring several of Finnis’ chamber works they commissioned The Centre is Everywhere, a piece for 12 string players. It was released in 2021 as part of their debut album of the same name, on the Bedroom Community label.
Finnis studied at the Guildhall School with Julian Anderson. In 2012 he received a Paul Hamlyn Award, and in 2016 his violin concerto Shades Lengthen was shortlisted for an RPS Award. Since 2015 he has been a Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music.
The Air, Turning – an album of Finnis’ music – was released to critical acclaim in February 2019. Several of his pieces were used on the soundtrack to the Icelandic film, Hvítur, Hvítur Dagur (A White, White Day) which premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.