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Michael McCartney

Job Role: Tutor in Composition With Notated Music Skills

Department: Composition and Creative Music Technology

Honours: BFA (State University of New York College at Purchase)


Originally from New York City, Michael McCartney has enjoyed an international career as an editor of contemporary music, working with composers in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands and the USA.

Michael has worked closely with composers as diverse as Simon Bainbridge, Harrison Birtwistle, Mark Anthony Turnage, Barry Guy, Joby Talbot, Per Nørgård and Poul Ruders, which has given him a unique insight into a wide range of compositional styles, techniques, and aesthetics.


Michael has a keen interest in both tonal and post-tonal harmony, the Second Viennese School, the Tone-Clock theory of Peter Schat, and in 20th century American composers.

With a deep knowledge of the notation of contemporary music, he gives expert guidance to students in the preparation of their own scores.

As a performer, Michael has commissioned – and given the first performances of – dozens of works for classical guitar; and he has often performed and recorded student works at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Notable Achievements

His own compositions, although very few, have been performed in New York, Nottingham, and at the Barbican Centre in London. Michael’s arrangements, including piano reductions of the operas of Stuart MacRae and arrangements for guitar, have been published by Chester Music, Novello & Co. and Boosey and Hawkes.

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