An invitation from Boulez to work at IRCAM in the early 1980s has resulted in six realisations at the Institute to date, including the widely praised tape piece Mortuos Plango Vivos Voco, Bhokti for instrumental ensemble and tape, Ritual Melodies for computer-manipulated sounds, and Advoya for cello and live and prerecorded sounds. Harvey has also composed for most other genres: orchestra (Madonna of Winter and Spring, Cello and Percussion Concertos, Lightness and Weight et Whom Ye Adore), chamber (three String Quartets, Song Offerings and Tendril, for instance) as well as works for solo instruments. He has produced a large and varied output of choral works, many suited to church performance: the biggest being the church opera Passion and Resurrection (1981) which was the subject of a BBC television film, and has subsequently performed some twelve times in various cathedrals and churches.
Harvey's opera Inquest of Love, commissioned by the English National Opera was premiered at the Coliseum in June 1993, and repeated at Theatre de la Monnaie, Brussels in January 1994. Harvey now attracts commissions from a host of international organisations. His music has been extensively played and toured by, amongst others, the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne of Montreal, Ictus Ensemble of Brussels and Sinfonia 21. He has honorary doctorates from the universities of Southampton and Bristol, is a Member of Academia Europaea, and in 1993 was awarded the prestigious Britten Award for composition.
He is currently Visiting Professor of Music at the Imperial College, London, and is Honorary Professor at Sussex University.
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