- Keith Potter
(b Crows-an-Wra, West Cornwall, April 19, 1963). English composer. He studied at the University of Nottingham with Peter Nelson and Nigel Osborne (1981–4), then with Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (1984–7). In 1985 he co-founded Nanquidno, a group of pianists at two keyboards. Piano music has been central to Fitkin's output; from the early multiple piano works, such as Loud (1989), Log (1990) and Line (1991), each composed for the British ensemble Six Pianos, Fitkin turned after 1991 to writing exclusively solo pieces.
The piano's neutrality and relatively unified sound quality are strong attractions for a composer much concerned with clarity, with music as abstract formal design and with an aesthetic that, despite a frequent use of quasi-programmatic titles and an often considerable urgency of expression, is essentially classical. Fitkin's style, as well as his aesthetic, has developed out of minimalism, notably the European variety associated with his Dutch teacher. Many of his compositions stress rhythmic propulsion allied to an individual timbral pungency. At the same time his style incorporates a pronounced lyrical streak and a harmonic language which ranges from the acidic to the plangent....