Michael Nyman’s Concerts For Victims Of Knife Crime

Award winning composer Michael Nyman, is to dedicate a series of concerts to recent victims of knife crime. He has also produced a new arrangement of a work previously written for murdered Queen’s Park Rangers youth player Kiyan Prince, for a special performance on Friday. “When Kiyan was knifed to death, my mind and motions were focused on what a tragic, pointless loss of yet another young life it was”, Nyman said. “This was made even more poignant by the fact he was a brilliant youth team player for QPR, the club I have supported since 1971. It was a sheer waste of talent and a sheer waste of life.”

Kiyan, 15, was stabbed to death outside his school, The London Academy in Edgware, trying to protect a friend in May 2006. His killer, 17 year old Hannad Hasan, was sentenced to life at the Old Bailey last July. Given the spate of similar killings, he has re-arranged the work, called ‘For Kiyan Prince’, to be performed by his band with the singers Sarah Leonard and Marie Angel, as part of a three day festival of his work at Cadogan Hall in Chelsea. It will be performed alongside ‘Memorial’, a piece used in the film ‘The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover’ which was written to mourn the deaths of the 39 Juventus fans who died in 1985 when a wall collapsed at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels. “I’m doing this partly as a protest, partly as a big question mark. I don’t have any answers, it’s a kind of open-mouthed gasp of what is going on in our society”, he said.

Nyman, 64, who’s other work includes the scores for ‘The Draughtsman’s Contract’ and ‘The Piano’, said we now appeared to be living in a society where “knives seem to be the rule rather than the exception.” But the composer questioned whether the Government’s new ¬£3 million campaign to alert teenagers to the dangers of carrying knives would help, “Governments quite often do doom and gloom and try to scare people by horror, as with Aids in the Eighties, but it generally doesn’t do it.” He has recently bought another home in Mexico City, a place many people associate with crime. “But I feel much safer than I do in Islington”, he said.

Louise Jury the chief Arts correspondent of the Evening Standard wrote the above article titled ‘Knife Crime’ earlier this week.

Tickets for the concerts range from £10 to £35

Steve Russell