BIOGRAPHY

As one of Britain’s most innovative and celebrated composers, Michael Nyman’s work encompasses operas and string quartets, film soundtracks and orchestral concertos. Far more than merely a composer, he’s also a performer, conductor, bandleader, pianist, author, musicologist and now a photographer and filmmaker. Although he’s far too modest to allow the description ‘Renaissance Man’, his restless creativity and multi-faceted art has made him one of the most fascinating and influential cultural figures of our times.

Michael’s most recent success is his wonderful score for James Marsh’s extraordinary Man on Wire, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Based on Philippe Petit’s autobiography “To Reach the Clouds,” the documentary chronicles the amazing story of Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center. It seems appropriate then, that, many years ago, Nyman’s own music was Petit’s choice to prepare for that unique adventure in the sky.

Man on Wire racked up nine wins and 17 nominations for various international awards — including a surprise Best British Film BAFTA — making it one of the most celebrated films of 2009. The film won the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2008 and holds the unique distinction of being “The Best of All Time” reviewed film on the Rotten Tomatoes web site. Amazingly, 100 percent of the 136 reviews posted on the site were positive!

Praise for Michael Nyman:

“The other star of this film Man on Wire is the composer Michael Nyman (The Piano, 1993), one of the most exceptional and prolific in the past few decades. He is so distinctive that Hollywood studios unwisely dilute his work or stay away from him altogether. Thankfully, his collaboration with such cinema rebels like Peter Greenaway, Jane Champion, and Michael Winterbottom have contributed richly to celluloid.”

“His score for Man On Wire is an accumulation of reworked film scores he has done over the years. Nyman loyalists will recognize segments from ‘Chasing Sheep Is Best Left To Shepherds’ (The Draughtsman’s Contract, 1982), ‘Sheep and Tides’ (Drowning By Numbers, 1988), ‘Time Lapse’ (A Zed and Two Noughts, 1985), and ‘Stroking, Synchronizing’ (Water Dances, 1985). The last time I heard Nyman tracks incorporated in a motion picture was two years ago. The film in question was Michael Winterbottom’s Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2006), which also made my top ten list that year.”

“What an inspiration to play Nyman’s ‘Memorial’ from Peter Greenaway’s masterpiece The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover over Petit’s highest walk. How fitting that it was to Nyman’s music that Petit actually practiced his wire act in his backyard. I often listen to Nyman’s jazzy scores when I illustrate. Nyman’s Baroque-affected work is so locomotive and minacious that it stirs up the most mishandled of hearts. (Nyman) has one foot in the 1600s and the other in contemporary times. You can never go wrong overlaying a Nyman piece over your own movie (I should know!). Nyman has recently held an exhibition of his photography work and influences, called ‘Sublime’ with the assistance of the design firm Volumina.”

Michael was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and frequently travels throughout Europe, South America, and North America.

FILM

ELEFANTE BLANCO (2012)
ARTE, Canal Plus, Ad Vitam Distribution
Stars: Ricardo Darín, Jeremie Renier
Director: Pablo Trapero
Executive producers: Alejandro Cacetta, Pablo Trapero

THE ROAD TO FREEDOM PEAK (Documentary) (2012)
Dartmouth Films
Director: Max Pugh
Executive Producer: Christopher Hird

LA MALETA MEXICANA (Documentary) (2011)
Director: Trisha Ziff
Producers: Eamon O’Farrill, Trisha Ziff

KROKODYLE (2010)
Film Commission Torino-Piemonte, Interzone Visions
Stars: Jun Ichikawa, Francesco Martino, Orfeo Orlando
Director: Stefano Bessoni
Producers: Stefano Bessoni, Ivan Cenzi, Christian Favale, Francesco Rizzi,
Leonardo Cruciano

MICHAEL NYMAN IN PROGRESS (Documentary) (2010
Arthaus Musik, Monarda Arts
Director: Silvia Beck
Executive Producer: Oliver Becker

ERASING DAVID (Documentary) (2010)
Green Lions
Directors: David Bond, Melinda McDougall
Executive Producers: Beadie Finzi, Maxyne Franklin

NYMAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (Documentary) (2010)
Director: Michael Nyman
Producer: Michael Nyman

2 GRAVES (2010)
Zanzibar Films
Stars: John Burns, Seamus Casey, Jesse James Mogilner
Director: Yvonne McDevitt
Executive Producer: Michael Duke

9 MONTHS 9 DAYS (Documentary) (2009)
Artemecánica Producciones, Fonda para la Producción Cinematográfica de Calidad (FOPROCINE), La Rabia Films
Stars: John Burns, Seamus Casey, Jesse James Mogilner
Director: Ozcar Ramirez González
Producers: Ozcar Ramirez González, Alan Jonsson, Sandra Paredes, Hugo Villa, Trisha Ziff

AN ORGANIZATION OF DREAMS (2009)
Augustine Pictures
Stars: Steven Barber, Justinian Buckley, Jacques Driencourt
Director: Ken McMullen
Executive Producers: David Fairman, Barbara Gorna, Manuela Noble, Anders Palm,
Fleur Whitlock

CHARON (Short Film) (2008)
Zanzibar Films
Director: Chiara Ambrosio
Producer: Michael Nyman

NIENDORF (THE DAMAGED PIANO) (Short Film) (2008)
Director: Valerio Rocco Orlando
Producer: Valerio Rocco Orlando

MAN ON WIRE (Documentary) (2008)
Discovery Films, BBC Storyville, U.K. Film Council
Director: James Marsh
Producers: Nick Fraser, Jonathan Hewes, Andrea Meditch

LEONARDO’S LITTLE BLACK BOOK (Short Film) (2008)
Stars: Heidi Jackson, Christopher Nicholas, Luna Romano
Director: Phil Giordano
Producer: Phil Giordano

A SUMMER IN GENOA (GENOVA) (2008)
Revolution Films, Aramid Entertainment Fund, Film4
Stars: Colin Firth, Perla Haney-Jardine, Willa Holland
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Executive Producers: Simon Fawcett, Tessa Ross

THERESA, EL CUERPO DE CRISTO (THERESA, THE BODY OF CHRIST) (2007)
Artédis, Future Film Production, Lolafilms
Stars: Paz Vega, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin
Director: Ray Loriga
Executive Producers: Albert Martinez Martin, Ximo Pérez

NEVER FOREVER (2007)
Now Films, Vox3 Films
Stars: Vera Farmiga, David Lee McInnis, Joseph Y. Kim
Director: Gina Kim
Executive Producer: Seung-jae Lee

CAPTURING THE LIBERTINE (Documentary Short) (2006)
Folding Rain Filmworks
Stars: Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton, John Malkovich
Directors: The Brownlee Brothers, Arran Brownlee, Corran Brownlee
Producers: Chase Bailey, Laurence Dunmore, Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Russell Smith

CLOSE TO GREENAWAY (Documentary Short) (2005)
Gam Film S.r.l.
Directors: Tayo Cortes, F. Olivares
Producers: Livio Negri, Eva Teruel

JESTEM (I AM) (2005)
Agencja Produkcji Filmowej, Kid Film, Telewizja Polska (TVP)
Stars: Piotr Jagielski, Agnieszka Nagórzycka, Edyta Jungowska
Director: Dorota Kedzierzawska
Producer: Arthur Reinhart
Awards: Polish Film Awards Eagle Nominee – Best Film Score (Najlepsza Muzyka)
Polish Film Festival Award Winner – Best Score

DETROIT: RUIN OF A CITY (Documentary) (2005)
Directors: George Steinmetz, Michael Chanan
Producers: George Steinmetz, Michael Chanan

TRISTAM SHANDY: A COCK AND BULL STORY (2005)
BBC Films, Baby Cow Productions, EM Media
Stars: Steve Coogan, Jeremy Northam, Rob Brydon
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Executive Producers: Jeff Abberley, Julia Blackman, Henry Normal, Kate Ogborn,
Tracey Scoffield, David M. Thompson

THE LIBERTINE (2004)
The Weinstein Company, Isle of Man Film, Mr. Mudd
Stars: Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton, John Malkovich
Director: Laurence Dunmore
Executive Producers: Chase Bailey, Steve Christian, Louise Goodsill, Ralph Kamp,
Colin Leventhal, Marc Samuelson, Peter Samuelson, Donald Starr, Daniel J.B. Taylor

LUMINAL (2004)
Dreyco Productions, Imago Orbis
Stars: Jameela Mustchin, Maria Papas, Denis Lavant
Director: Andrea Vecchiato
Executive Producer: Philip Bergkvist

EXHIBITION (2004)
Celluloid Mûhely, Pro-Trade Bt.
Star: Sarolta Csik
Director: Barnabás Tóth
Producer: Balázs Lóth

9 SONGS (2004)
Revolution
Stars: Kieran O’Brien, Margo Stilley
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Executive Producer: Andrew Eaton

NATHALIE… (2003)
France 2 Cinéma, DD Productions, Vértigo Films
Stars: Fanny Ardant, Emmanuell Béart, Gérard Depardieu
Director: Anne Fontaine
Executive Producer: Christine Gozlan

THE ACTORS (2003)
Bórd Scannán na hÉireann, Close Call Films, Company of Wolves
Stars: Michael Caine, Dylan Moran, Michael Gambon
Director: Conor McPherson
Executive Producers: Hanno Huth, Rod Stoneman, Paul Webster

24 HOURS IN THE LIFE OF A WOMAN (2002)
Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC), Cinévia Films, Filmförderungsanstalt (FFA)
Stars: Agnés Jaoui, Michel Serrault, Bérénice Bejo
Director: Laurent Bouhnik
Executive Producers: Philippe Roux

LIVING RUSSIA, OR THE MAN WITH THE CAMERA (Re-Release) (2002)
VUFKU
Star: Mikhail Kaufman
Director: Dziga Vertov

HAUTE FIDÉLITÉ (2001)
Bórd Scannán na hÉireann, Close Call Films, Company of Wolves
Stars: Nelly Borgeaud, Charlotte Clamens, Olivier Galfione
Director: Elia Films

THE SON’S ROOM (2001)
Bac, Miramax
Stars: Nanni Moretti, Laura Morante
Director: Nanni Moretti
Executive Producers: Angelo Barbagall, Federico Fabrizio, Vincenzo Galluzzo, Lorenzo Luccarini, Nanni Moretti

SUBTERRAIN (2001)
Picture Farm, Sarah Earl Productions Limited
Stars: Jamie Harris, John Challis, Michelle Gomez
Director: Rupert Wyatt
Executive Producers: Stefan Ambruster, Kathy Condou, Jack Davenport, Nicholas Kent, Oliver Milburn, Kylie Minogue, Michael Nyman

THE CLAIM (2000)
Alliance Atlantis Communications, Arts Council of England, BBC
Stars: Wes Bentley, Peter Mullan, Milla Jovovich
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Executive Producers: Andrea Calderwood, Martin Katz, Alexis Lloyd, Mark Shivas,
David M. Thompson

THAT SINKING FEELING (Short Film) (2000)
Brockwell City Pictures
Stars: Paloma Baeza, Tim Crouch, Daniel Newman
Director: Rebecca Johnson
Producers: Claire Bennett, Alexei Boltho

PURELY BELTER (2000)
Film Four
Stars: Chris Beattie, Greg McLane
Director: Mark Herman
Executive Producers: Stephen Woolley

THE END OF THE AFFAIR (1999)
Columbia Pictures
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore, Stephen Rea
Director: Neil Jordan
Producers: Neil Jordan, Stephen Woolley, Kathy Sykes
Awards: Golden Globe Nominee – Best Original Score (Motion Picture)
BAFTA Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music Nominee

NABBIE NO KOI (1999)
Office Shirous, Yes Visions Company
Stars: Naomi Nishida, Jun Murakami, Tomi Taira
Director: Yuji Nakae
Executive Producers: Shirô Sasaki, Isao Takenaka

WONDERLAND (1999)
BBC, Kismet Film Company, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Stars: Shirley Henderson, Gina McKee, Molly Parker
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Executive Producers: David M. Thompson, Stewart Till

RAVENOUS (1999)
ETIC Films, Engulf & Devour Productions, Inc., Fox 2000 Pictures
Stars: Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, David Arquette
Director: Antonia Bird
Executive Producer: Tim Van Rellim
Awards: Golden Satellite Award Nominee – Best Original Score
Saturn Award Nominee – Best Music

GATTACA (1997)
Columbia Pictures, Jersey Films
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law
Director: Andrew Niccol
Producers: Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher
Awards: Golden Globe Nominee – Best Original Score (Motion Picture)
Saturn Award Nominee – Best Music
Catalonian Intl Film Festival Sitges Award Winner – Best Original Soundtrack

ANZAR (Documentary Short) (1997)
Universidad de Guadalajara
Directors: Gustavo Dominguez, Pablo Valadez
Producer: Lorena Rossette

DER UNHOLD (OGRE) (1996)
Canal+, France 2 Cinéma, Héritage Films
Stars: John Malkovich, Gottfried John, Marianne Sägebrecht
Director: Volker Schlöndorff
Executive Producers: Claude Berri, Andreas Grosch, Lew Rywin, Jeremy Thomas

CARRINGTON (1995)
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Stars: Emma Thompson, Jonathan Pryce
Director: Christopher Hampton
Executive Producers: Francis Boespflug, Philippe Carcassonne, Fabienne Vonier

ANNE NO NIKKI (THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK) (1995)
AF Production Committee, Bungei Shunju, Hakuhodo
Stars: Fumie Kashiyama, Gô Katô, Tetsuko Kuroyanagi
Director: Akinori Nagaoka

À LA FOLIE (1994)
Cofimage 5
Stars: Anne Parillaud, Beatrice Dalle, Patrick Aurignac
Director: Diane Kurys
Producer: Alexandre Arcady

MESMER (1994)
Accent, Mayfair
Star: Alan Rickman
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Executive Producer: Ingrid Windisch

THE PIANO (1993)
Miramax
Stars: Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill
Director: Jane Campion
Executive Producer: Alain Depardieu
Awards: Golden Globe Nominee – Best Original Score (Motion Picture)
Australian Film Institute Award Winner – Best Original Music Score
BAFTA Film Award Nominee – Best Score
Chicago Film Critics Association Award Winner – Best Original Score
Film Critics Circle of Australia Award Winner – Best Musical Score

THE MICHAEL NYMAN SONGBOOK (Documentary) (1992)
Arte, Bioskop Film, The Decca Record Company
Stars: Ute Lemper, Michael Nyman, Beverley Davidson
Director: Volker Schlöndorff
Executive Producer: Herbert Chappell

THE FALL OF ICARUS (1992)
Directors: Jacques Bourton, Thomas De Norre

PROSPERO’S BOOKS (1992)
Miramax
Stars: John Gielgud, Michael Clark
Director: Peter Greenaway
Executive Producers: Kees Kasander, Denis Wigman

ICH WAR EIN GLÜCKLICHER MENSCH (1991)
DEFA-Studio für Dokumentarfilme
Director: Eduard Schreiber

LES ENFANTS VOLANTS (1991)
Gramophone Enterprise
Stars: Anemone Abot, Didier Abot
Director: Guillaume Nicloux
Producer: Jean-Paul Alram

THE HAIRDRESSER’S HUSBAND (1990)
CNC
Stars: Jean Rochefort, Anna Galiena
Director: Patrice Leconte
Executive Producer: Monique Guerrier

MEN OF STEEL (1990)
BBC
Director: Agnieszka Piotrowska

THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER (1989)
Miramax
Stars: Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon
Director: Peter Greenaway
Producer: Kees Kasander
Award: Catalonian Intl Film Festival Sitges Award Winner – Best Original Soundtrack

MONSIEUR HIRE (1989)
Orion
Stars: Michel Blanc, Sandrine Bonnaire
Director: Patrice LeConte
Producers: Philippe Carcassonne, Rene Cleitman
Award: César Award Nominee – Best Music (Meilleure musique)

HUBERT BALS HANDSHAKE (Short) (1989)
Allarts Enterprises, Allarts Production
Star: Peter Greenaway
Director: Peter Greenaway
Producers: Milfid Ellis, Andi Wright

DROWNING BY NUMBERS (1988)
Prestige
Star: Joan Plowright
Director: Peter Greenaway
Executive Producers: Kees Kasander, Denis Wigman

FEAR OF DROWNING (Short Film) (1988)
Allarts Enterprises
Star: Peter Greenaway
Directors: Vanni Corbellini, Peter Greenaway
Producer: Paul Trybits

LE MIRACULÉ (1987)
France 3 Cinéma, Initial Groupe, Koala Films
Stars: Michel Serrault, Jean Poiret, Jeanne Moreau
Director: Jean-Pierre Mocky
Executive Producer: Jean-Pierre Mocky

A ZED & TWO NOUGHTS (1986)
British Film Institute (BFI), Allarts Enterprises, Artificial Eye
Stars: Brian Deacon, Eric Deacon, Andréa Ferréol
Director: Peter Greenaway
Producers: Kees Kasander, Peter Sainsbury

I’LL STAKE MY CREMONA TO A JEW’S TRUMP (Documentary) (1986)
Stars: Alexander Balanescu, Michael Nyman, Elisabeth Perry
Director: Sara Jolly

BALLET MÉCANIQUE (Re-Release) (1986)
Stars: Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy, Katherine Murphy
Director: Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy

L’ANGE FRÉNÉTIQUE (Short Film) (1985)
Royal College of Art School of Film & Television
Stars: Cerith Wyn Evans, Martin Jones
Director: Maggie Jailler

THE KISS (Short Film) (1985)
Stars: Omar Ebrahim, Anne Pigalle
Director: Paul Richards

INSIDE ROOMS: 26 BATHROOMS, LONDON & OXFORDSHIRE (Documentary) (1985)
Artifax
Stars: Cosey Fanni Tutti, Geoffrey Palmer
Director: Peter Greenaway
Producer: Sophie Balhetchet

MAKING A SPLASH (Short Film) (1984)
Media Software International / Mecca Leisure
Director: Peter Greenaway

THE COASTLINE (Documentary) (1983)
Director: Peter Greenaway

NELLY’S VERSION (1983)
Mithras
Star: Eileen Atkins
Director: Maurice Hatton
Producer: Penny Clark

FROZEN MUSIC (1983)
BFI Production Board
Director: Michael Eaton

BRIMSTONE & TREACLE (1982)
Sherwood, United Artists
Star: Sting
Director: Richard Loncraine
Executive Producers: Naim Attallah

THE DRAUGHTSMAN’S CONTRACT (1982)
BFI, Fox Lorber
Stars: Anthony Higgins, Janet Suzman
Director: Peter Greenaway
Producer: David Payne

ZANDRA RHODES (Short Film) (1981)
Central Office of Information (COI)
Star: Zandra Rhodes
Director: Peter Greenaway
Producer: Annabel Olivier-Wright

TERENCE CONRAN (Short Film) (1981)
Central Office of Information (COI)
Star: Terence Conran
Director: Peter Greenaway
Producer: Annabel Olivier-Wright

THE FALLS (1980)
BFI
Stars: Peter Westley, Aad Wirtz
Director: Peter Greenaway

A WALK THROUGH H: THE REINCARNATION OF AN ORNITHOLOGIST (1979)
British Film Institute (BFI)
Stars: Colin Cantlie, Jean Williams
Director: Peter Greenaway

1-100 (Short Film) (1978)
Director: Peter Greenaway

VERTICAL FEATURES REMAKE (1978)
ACGB
Star: Colin Cantlie
Director: Peter Greenaway

KEEP IT UP DOWNSTAIRS (1976)
Pyramid
Stars: Diana Dors, Jack Wild, William Rushton
Director: Robert Young
Executive Producer: Mark Forstater

GOOLE BY NUMBERS (Short Film) (1976)
Director: Peter Greenaway

5 POSTCARDS FROM CAPITAL CITIES (Short Film) (1967)
Director: Peter Greenaway

TELEVISION

ACT WITHOUT WORDS I (TV Short) (2000)
Blue Angels Films, BBC, Tyrone Productions
Star: Sean Foley
Director: Karel Reisz
Executive Producers: Joan Egan, Joe Mulholland, Rod Stoneman

IL MERCATO DEL PESCE DI VENEZIA (TV Short) (1999)
Ganga, RaiSatArt
Director: Francesco Cabras
Producers: Francesco Cabras

TITCH (1998)
Star: Peter Jones
Executive Producer: Tim Van Rellim

THE FINAL SCORE (TV Short) (1992)
TV21
Stars: Michael Nyman, Stan Bowles
Director: Matthew Whiteman
Producer: Graham K. Smith

NOT MOZART: LETTERS, RIDDLES AND WRITS (1991)
Artifax
Star: Ute Lemper, David Thomas, Julian Glover
Directors: Pat Gavin, Jeremy Newsom
Producer: Elizabeth Queenan

DEATH IN THE SEINE (TV Short) (1991)
Allarts TV Productions, Erato Films, Mikros Image
Stars: Leonie Beverloo, Lars Crama, Niels Crama
Director: Peter Greenaway
Producers: Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Marietta De Vries, Kees Kasander

FORTY MINUTES (“Out of the Ruins”) (TV Documentary) (1989)
Stars: Michael Dean, Ian Holm, Jane Asher
Executive Producer: Roger Mills

OUT OF THE RUINS (1989)
BBC
Director: Agniezska Piotrowska

THE MAN WHO MISTOOK HIS WIFE FOR A HAT (1987)
ICA Television
Stars: Oliver Sacks, John Tighe, Emile Belcourt
Director: Christopher Rawlence
Producer: Debra Hauer

ARSENAL (Three Episodes) (1987)
Televisió de Catalunya (TV3)
Director: Manuel Huerga
Producer: J.A. Pons

THE DISPUTATION (1986)
Channel 4 Television Corporation, Electric Rainbow Productions, Lord Tower Productions
Stars: Alan Dobie, Bernard Hepton, Christopher Lee
Director: Geoffrey Sax
Producer: Jenny Reeks

FAIRLY SECRET ARMY (1984-1986)
Video Arts
Stars: Geoffrey Palmer, Diane Fletcher, Michael Robbins
Executive Producers: John Cleese, Antony Jay, Michael Peacock

THE COLD ROOM (1984)
HBO
Star: George Segal
Director: James Dearden
Producers: Mark Forstater, Bob Weis, Ingrid Windisch

ACT OF GOD (TV Documentary Short) (1980)
Thames Television
Director: Peter Greenaway

NEW MEDIA

ENEMY ZERO (Video Game) (1996)
ETIC Films, Engulf & Devour Productions, Inc., Fox 2000 Pictures
Star: Jill Cunniff
Director: Kenji Eno
Producer: Kenji Eno