Entertainment & Arts

Michael Nyman composes Hillsborough memorial symphony

Michael Nyman Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Michael Nyman hopes the Symphony will help the healing process for families of Hillsborough victims

Celebrated British composer Michael Nyman has composed a Hillsborough memorial symphony to open 2014's Liverpool Biennial on 5 July.

The hour-long Symphony No 11: Memorial is based on music that Nyman was recording on the afternoon of the Hillsborough tragedy 25 years ago.

It will be performed by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Local-born mezzo soprano Kathryn Rudge will sing the names of the 96 Liverpool football fans who lost their lives.

They died following a crush at the FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989 and their families are currently appearing at fresh inquests into their deaths.

They are being held in Warrington after being ordered in December 2012, when the High Court quashed the original accidental death verdicts.

Nyman said he hopes the work will make "a small but significant contribution to the healing process still necessary for the families of the lost fans."

The symphony will be performed at Liverpool Cathedral, with the orchestra and Rudge accompanied by the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth and Training Choirs, conducted by Josep Vicent.

'Moving tribute'

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said the city would "never forget those who lost their lives at Hillsborough".

"Memorials are a symbol of our solidarity and support for the families, and Nyman's specially commissioned piece of music will be a moving and unforgettable tribute," said Anderson.

Image caption Liverpool-born mezzo soprano Kathryn Rudge will sing the names of the 96 Hillsborough victims

"It is certain to be a highlight of this year's Biennial and a fantastic example of art being used to help shine a light on the dignity and bravery of those who have strived for justice for the 96," he added.

The symphony is inspired by Nyman's piece of music known as Memorial, a funeral march-style piece composed in 1985 - subsequently used in the film The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover, starring Michael Gambon and Helen Mirren.

As a separate project for the Liverpool Biennial, Nyman will create a new film installation entitled Aztecs in Liverpool, including footage collected by Nyman over the past 20 years in his newly-adopted home of Mexico.

The 2014 Biennial Exhibition is entitled A Needle Walks into a Haystack and will take place in seven venues across the city, including the Bluecoat and the historic Trade Union Centre on Hardman Street.

Other events announced on Wednesday include a transformation of Tate Liverpool's Wolfson Gallery by French architect, Claude Parent.

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