Michael Parsons

Michael Parsons (born 1938) studied classics at St. John’s College, Oxford, piano and composition at the Royal College of Music, London (1957-62). His early compositions were influenced by Schoenberg, Webern and the European avant-   garde, but during the 1960s he became more involved with indeterminacy and experimental music. In 1969 he was co-founder of the Scratch Orchestra with Cornelius Cardew and Howard Skempton. While teaching in art schools in the 1970s he was associated with the Systems group of visual artists, and wrote participatory pieces for untrained performers and environmental works such asEcho Piece (performed on a frozen lake in Finland in 1976). Recent works include versions of choral odes from Sophocles’ Antigone, Three Sappho Lyrics, settings of Alkman and Ibycus (for the Finnish vocal ensemble Fiori), Paraphrase for orchestra (Basel Sinfonietta commission, 2011), and Nevrazumitelny for the Vocal Constructivists.