Philip Feeney studied composition at the University of Cambridge with Robin Holloway and Hugh Wood, and subsequently at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome under Franco Donatoni. His works have been performed extensively worldwide and he is most noted for his work in ballet and dance. After a period as pianist/composer for the Teatrodanza di Roma from 1980-84, he returned to London and has been composer in residence for Ballet Central and Musical Director for their national tour ever since. From 1991-95 he lectured in composition at Reading University.
As a pianist, Mr. Feeney has worked with many companies, including Northern Ballet Theatre, the Gulbenkian Company, Birmingham Royal Ballet, London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, Carlos Acosta, Adventures in Motion Pictures, White Oak Project and the Martha Graham Company. Apart from over forty scores he has composed for Ballet Central, he has collaborated with many different choreographers including William Louther, Jane Dudley, Christopher Gable, Michael Pink, Didy Veldman, Michael Keegan-Dolan, Derek Williams, David Nixon, Adam Cooper and Sara Matthews.
His long-standing association with Northern Ballet Theatre (NBT) began in 1987 with "Memoire Imaginaire" which initiated a prolific collaboration with choreographer Michael Pink, which went on to produce "Strange Meeting" and "Danse Classique." In 1993, he was commissioned to compose Jazz Concerto for choreographer Derek Williams. His first full-length production for NBT was Christopher Gable’s "Cinderella," and it was for Gable and Pink that in 1996 he wrote the highly acclaimed score for "Dracula." This was closely followed by the music for Michael Pink’s "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1997). All three ballets have been recorded on CD. While writing the score for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, he composed the music for Didy Veldman’s "Greymatter" for Rambert Dance Company, with designs by Lez Brotherston.
In September 2001, he composed the score for a full-length ballet of "A Streetcar Named Desire" (choreographer, Didy Veldman) for NBT and has continued a fruitful collaboration with Veldman in "I Remember Red" for Cullberg Ballet, Track for Scottish Dance Theatre (2004) and Outsight for Gulbenkian Ballet (2004).
In 2002, his music for "Manoeuvres" (choreographer Patrick Lewis) was toured by English National Ballet culminating in a season at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
In September 2000, he collaborated with Michael Keegan-Dolan, artistic director and choreographer of the Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre on "The Flowerbed," recently revived at the Barbican in London, and this was followed a year later by "The Christmas Show." In 2003, he wrote the music for Keegan-Dolan’s critically acclaimed "Giselle" which was commissioned by the Dublin Theatre Festival. It subsequently transferred to Yale University Theatre in the USA and the Barbican in London. In the autumn Giselle was performed in Poland and New Zealand. Giselle was followed by "The Bull," again for the DTF completing an award-winning London season in 2007 at the Barbican. The Bull went on to tour in Berlin in the autumn of 2009.
Within Ballet Central he has established a triumphant partnership with choreographer Sara Matthews, now director of Central School of Ballet, with whom he has collaborated on eight ballets, and a revival of "Dances from a Knot Garden" (2003) is programmed for the forthcoming Ballet Central National tour.
It was Ballet Central that provided Mr. Feeney and David Nixon with the opportunity to work together on their first collaboration, a short work for soprano (Amy Freston) and pipe organ, the "Song for St. Andrews," which was premiered in the church of St. Andrews in Holborn. More recently he wrote the music for "Mikaela Polley’s Ascent" which was critically well-received.
He renewed a longstanding collaboration with designer Lez Brotherston in dancer/choreographer Adam Cooper’s "Les Liaisons Dangereueses." Mr. Feeney’s score was premiered in Tokyo in January 2005 and went on to enjoy a successful London season at Sadlers Wells.
In July 2007, he composed a one act prequel to "Peter and the Wolf" for "In the Wings” conceived by Anne Geenen and choreographed by Didy Veldman. It was premiered at the Carré Theatre in Amsterdam and embarked on a UK National Tour in the spring of 2008. It was well received on Broadway in New York. At the same FBDT toured the UK with the final instalment of Keegan-Dolan’s Irish Midlands’ Trilogy, "James, Son of James," for which he wrote the music and played live at the first performance in the Beckett Theatre, Dublin.
In February 2008, Mr. Feeney resumed his connection with Northern Ballet Theatre with the three act ballet "Hamlet" (choreographer: David Nixon).
Mr. Feeney most recently collaborated with Michael Pink on the blockbuster ballet "Peter Pan," and is currently creating a commissioned score for Pink's newest world premiere, "Mirror Mirror," based on the story of Snow White.