updated 13 March 2023
© Matthias Lehmann

Annesley Black

Canadian composer born 8 September 1979 in Ottawa, Ontario.

After studying jazz and electronic music at Concordia University in Montreal, Annesley Black received a BA in composition from McGill University under the direction of Brian Cherney in 2004. She then studied composition with York Höller and Hans Ulrich Humpert at the Cologne Hochschule für Musik und Tanz from 2004 to 2006. Black completed her studies in composition with Mathias Spahlinger, in electronic music with Orm Finnendahl, and in applied music with Cornelius Schwehr at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg from 2006 to 2008.

Sport and movement are major themes in Black’s work. She believes that the arts and sport are naturally linked, despite them existing in two apparently opposed worlds. “Sport and music have a lot in common, such as virtuosity, movement in space and time,” says Black. “Both compete for people’s free time, for pages in the newspaper, for public support.”1

Black’s pieces have been performed in Germany, Canada, and elsewhere, and in festivals such as Warsaw Autumn, Ultraschall Berlin, the Darmstadt Summer Courses, ECLAT Festival Stuttgart, Donaueschingen Festival, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, SALT New Music Festival in Victoria, British Columbia, and Ottawa Chamber Music Festival. Her music has been played by a variety of ensembles including Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Ascolta, ensemble mosaik, Ensemble SurPlus, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Quasar Saxophone Quartet, Tsilumos Ensemble, Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, Quintett Boréale, Composers Slide Quartet, and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony. Solopoly, Black’s musical theater piece for five percussionists, was staged at the Mannheim National Theater in May 2015.

From 2008 to 2011, Black was an assistant sound engineer at SWR Experimentalstudio for recording sessions and concerts. She has collaborated with many choreographers, artists, and directors and has played in rock groups such as the New International Standards (along with members of Arcade Fire) and the Special Interest Group.

Between 2012 and 2020, she was vice president of the German Society for Electroacoustic Music (DEGEM) and has been a member of the Academy of Arts, Berlin, since 2018. Black has taught theoretical and practical composition at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, as well as electroacoustic composition at Dr. Hoch’s Conservatory. Black was co-curator of the Heroines of Sound festival with Sabine Sanio in 2022. In the same year, she became professor of electroacoustic composition and sound art at the University of Music Würzburg.

1. Watch online in the video portrait by Sophie Narr, produced by Deutscher Musikrat. 

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2023


Site des Éditions Juliane Klein.

Liens internet

(liens vérifiés en novembre 2022)


  • BLACK, Annesley, « Things That Didn’t Work the First Time », 1 CD Kairos, 2022, 018006KAI ;
  • BLACK, Annesley, « No Use in a Centre », 1 CD+DVD Wergo, 2013, WER 6590 2.


  • BLACK, Annesley, « Resilienz. Nachhaltige Methoden des Dekens und Schaffens », in MusikTexte n°175, November 2022, pp. 5-6.
  • THAN, Anthony, « Reality Sounding: Annesley Black’s not thinking about the elephants », in Circuit n°29/3, 2015, pp. 73-90.