MICHAEL BONAVENTURE (b. 1962, Edinburgh), composer, concertising organist and promoter of new and experimental music based in Edinburgh & Amsterdam. Extended cyclic works predominate in his output, which includes a large number of electronic and electro-acoustic pieces as well as chamber, instrumental, choral and organ music. Recent examples are ‘Morphology’ (2017 – 18) for organ & electronics, ‘Seven Days’ (2011 – 16) for saxophones & piano, ‘Darenth’ (2011) and an ongoing and open-ended series of ‘Preludes, Interludes & Postludes’ (2016 -) for organ, ‘Castellations’ (2015) for carillon and ‘Trilogy’ (2008 – 16) for choir, organ & electronics. His music has been performed internationally, and many of his electronic works have been broadcast on Resonance EXTRA/Resonance FM radio. As a seasoned performer of contemporary music, with innumerable composer collaborations stretching back to the early 1980’s, he has concertised throughout the UK, in Europe & USA, on BBC Radio 3 & Radio Scotland, premiered over 100 new works and made numerous CDs.
Michael Bonaventure was born in 1962 in Edinburgh, Scotland. A composer, general keyboardist, concertizing organist and promoter of new and experimental music, formerly based in London and now living in Edinburgh & Amsterdam, his output contains a large body of electronic and electro-acoustic works as well as chamber, solo instrumental, percussion, choral and organ pieces. His music is published and distributed by Firehead Editions and Editions Henry Lemoine.
Bonaventure’s sonic universe is heavily inspired by mysticism and ritual, natural and imaginary worlds, astronomical and supernatural phenomena; much of his work is rooted in minimalism and improvisation. Extended, cyclic works predominate in recent productivity: these include ‘Morphology’ (2017 – 18) for organ and electronics, ‘Seven Days’ (2011 – 16) for saxophones and piano, ‘Darenth’ (2011) and an ongoing and open-ended series of ‘Preludes, Interludes & Postludes’ (2016 -) for organ, ‘Castellations’ (2015) for carillon, ‘Epsilon Centauri’ (2015) for piano and electronics, ‘Black Odyssey’ & ‘Green Odyssey’ (2013) for piano, and ‘Trilogy’ (2008 – 17) for choir, electronics and organ. His music has been performed in the Netherlands & Germany, France & Spain, New Zealand, the USA & Canada as well as in the UK, at venues & festivals including the Canterbury Festival, North York Moors Chamber Music Festival, Hexham Abbey Festival, Orgel-Mixturen Festival in Cologne, Westminster Cathedral, York Minster, Southwark Cathedral, the Orgelpark in Amsterdam, STEIM (Amsterdam) and at JAM concerts in London. Many of his electronic works have been broadcast on Resonance EXTRA/Resonance FM radio. In 2017 an album,’Michael Bonaventure – Works 2008 – 2017′, containing mainly electroacoustic pieces, was released by the Unexplained Sounds Group label:
Together with composers & organists Huw Morgan and Lauren Redhead he is a member of the collective Automatronic, formed in 2013 to promote new music for organ and electronics; and in the Netherlands he is a member of another group, Muizmanz, along with composers Luiz Henrique Yudo and Rene Baptist Huysmans. Muizmanz presents annual concerts in the historic Grote Kerk at Oosthuizen, just outside Amsterdam, mixing ancient with new music under the banner ‘The Sonority Cabinet’.
Bonaventure is also a seasoned interpreter of new music, with innumerable composer collaborations stretching back to the early 1980s. A huge number of works have been (and continue to be) written for him by composers including Judith Weir, Eddie McGuire, Lyell Cresswell, Stuart MacRae, Gabriel Jackson, Geoffrey King, Laurence Crane, Paul Patterson, Ian McQueen, Roderik De Man, Luiz Henrique Yudo, Robert Van Heumen, Jean-Pierre Leguay, Hans Christian Detleffsen, Glyn Perrin & Robin Holloway, among many others. He has concertized in churches, cathedrals, universities and at festivals throughout the UK, Europe & USA, broadcasting on BBC Radio 3 & Radio Scotland, premiering over 100 new works & arrangements for organ, and releasing 7 solo CDs to date: these include four volumes of ‘Contemporary British Organ Music’ on the sfz label surveying works by Laurence Crane, Gabriel Jackson, Paul Patterson, Martyn Harry, Avril Anderson and many others, and the later organ cycles of Olivier Messiaen for Delphian Records, including a universally acclaimed rendition of the massive ‘Livre du Saint Sacrement’, released in 2008.
March 1, 2018.