From Composition to Performance

Innovations and interactions in contemporary string quartets

Funded by a British Academy Larger Research Grant (2007-2009)


This project includes the commission of a new work by Michael Finnissy (premiered by the Kreutzer Quartet in February 2007), documentation and investigation of composer-performer collaboration, and filming of rehearsal and performance processes of twentieth-century string quartet repertoire:

Igor Stravinsky – Three Pieces for String Quartet (1914)
Witold Lutosławski. – String Quartet (1964)
György Ligeti – String Quartet No. 2 (1968)
Michael Finnissy – Second String Quartet (2007)

The aim was to identify new procedures and methodologies for research into string quartet performance practice and original ways of presenting the findings to performers, composers and musicologists, students and professional musicians.


Book chapter
Bayley, A. and Heyde, N. (2013) Interpreting indeterminacy: filming Lutosławski’s String Quartet. In: Mantzourani, E. (ed.), Polish Music Since 1945. Krakow: Musica Iagellonica, pp. 228-243. ISBN: 9788370991852

Bayley, A. (2010) Multiple Takes: Using Recordings to Document Creative Process. In: Bayley, A. (ed.), Recorded Music: Performance, Culture and Technology Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, pp. 206-224. ISBN: 978-0-521-86309-4

Journal articles
Bayley, A. and Heyde, N. (2016) Communicating through notation: Michael Finnissy’s Second String Quartet from composition to performance’ In: Music Performance Research.

Bayley, A. (2011) Ethnographic research into contemporary string quartet rehearsal. In: Ethnomusicology Forum Vol 20 Issue 3, pp. 385-411. DOI: 10.1080/17411912.2011.645626

Bayley, A. (2010) Enquête sur la genèse du Deuxième quatuor à cordes de Michael Finnissy. In: Genesis: Revue Internationale de Critique Génétique, Vol 31, pp. 37-54. ISBN: 978-2-84050-711-6

Kreutzer Quartet. (2012) Michael Finnissy Second and Third String Quartets. NMC Recordings D180


Kreutzer Quartet. (2012) Quartet Choreography. métier DVD video. MSVDX 101