The pianist on Adele’s chart-topping album 21 and therefore surely 2011’s most listened to piano player, Neil Cowley, has been announced as the City’s musician in residence for UK City of Culture in 2013.
This unique residency is a partnership between PRS for Music Foundation, UK City of Culture 2013 and the Nerve Centre, Derry’s music hub and base for the residency. Neil will be working and collaborating with a range of musicians, performers, organisations and communities from across the city and local area to create and perform a large scale, original piece of new music, which will become one of the key events in the UK City of Culture 2013 programme. Through its links with local talent, organisations and communities, the Nerve Centre will pull together a network that Neil will engage and collaborate with, to create a truly unique and inspirational programme of events.
Neil Cowley said: “I am truly honoured, proud and excited. My passion for this position and the forthcoming projects associated with it has been the soundtrack to my existence in recent months. Now finally I can begin a year of discovery, fun and fulfilment as I get to unravel the musical heart of this unique city and its people.”
Neil was selected from a group of exceptional musicians who were nominated by music industry and arts sector leaders. The panel also liked Neil’s idea of involving people from all walks of life in workshops that would unite people around the idea of creating an “eighth gate” in the City Walls through music.
Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Culture Company 2013, UK City of Culture, said: “The appointment of a Musician in Residence is a tremendous addition to our City of Culture programme. Having Neil Cowley in place in this important post will be a substantial benefit to musicians from all over the city.
“I am absolutely delighted to have someone of the calibre of Neil working with us throughout an exciting year ahead.”