‘what emerges in the haunted ruins of capitalist destruction? – vulnerability, precarity, unpredictability – these might actually be useful tools for finding and understanding new stories – stories of multi-species collaboration, stories of transformative encounter – not a tale of heroic progress but a symbiotic ‘becoming with’ the world that sings to and hears resurgence’(with thanks to Donna Haraway; Anna Tsing)
Longer Bio (for 2022-23)
Liza Lim (b. 1966, Perth, Australia) is a composer, educator and researcher whose music focusses on collaborative and transcultural practices. Beauty, rage & noise, ecological connection, and female spiritual lineages are at the heart of recent works such as Sex Magic (2020) for Claire Chase; the orchestral cycle, Annunciation Triptych: Sappho, Mary, Fatimah (2019-22), and the piano concerto World as Lover, World as Self (2021). Her large-scale cycle Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus (2018) has found especially wide resonance internationally and highlights ecological listening to beyond-the-human realms.
one of the most important, powerful and original compositions of the decade.
(Tim Rutherford-Johnson on Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus)
Liza Lim has received commissions from some of the world’s pre-eminent orchestras and ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC, SWR and WDR Symphony Orchestras, Ensemble Musikfabrik, ELISION, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, International Contemporary Ensemble, Arditti String Quartet and the JACK Quartet. She was Resident Composer with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2005 and 2006. Her music has been featured at the Berlinerfestspiele, Spoleto Festival, Miller Theatre New York, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Venice Biennale, Lucerne Festival, and at all the major Australian festivals. Awards recognising her wide-ranging career and depth of compositional practice include the Australia Council’s Don Banks Award (2018), the ‘Happy New Ears Prize’ of the Hans and Gertrud Zender Foundation (2021) and the 2022 APRA AMCOS National Luminary Award. She was DAAD Artist-in-Berlin in 2007-08 and Composer-in-Residence at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in 2021-22. She was a founding member of the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne (2012-2016) and was elected a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin in 2022.
Liza Lim is currently Professor of Composition and inaugural Sculthorpe Chair of Australian Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She has given composition masterclasses all over the world and established the HCR CD label and Divergence Press at the University of Huddersfield where she was Director of the Centre for Research in New Music (2008-2017). Lim’s output spans intimate and collaborative instrumental solos, to five strikingly different operas and her catalogue has been published by Casa Ricordi (Milan, London, Berlin) since 1992. Her music appears on 10 monographic CDs and 26 other discs. CD releases and premieres of her work have consistently appeared on The New Yorker’s annual Notable lists 2013-2021. Her recent 3-CD album of operas and vocal works, ‘Singing in Tongues’ (2021) was celebrated in The New York Times ‘5 Classical Music Albums to Hear Right now’. Reviews for that album said:
The vocal writing, and the instrumental parts that seem indissolubly fused with it, is visceral, confrontational, and totally compelling, and the work takes on an exceptional power and directness. The Guardian
The music of Australian composer Liza Lim turns opera on its head, finding thrilling new paths for contemporary vocal music. The Quietus
Next projects include commissions from Ensemble Intercontemporain, Festival Musica Strasbourg and Festival d’Automne à Paris (The Tailor of Time, for 30 musicians including oboe & harp soloists, for Sept 2023); Lucerne Festival Forward (Multispecies Knots of Ethical Time for 17 musicians featuring gestural performer Winnie Huang, for Nov 2023); Musica Viva Australia (Transcendental Étude for Kirill Gerstein); Sydney Symphony Orchestra (Salutations to the Shells, a fanfare/overture, for 2024); a ‘cello concerto for Nicholas Altstaedt, BRSO, Concertgebouworkest and others tbc (2024-25); Cikada Ensemble (Ghosts make form, for ‘cello and piano for 2024) & a work for Ensemble Klangforum Wien (2025).
Liza Lim lives in Melbourne
8 nodal points
Garden of Earthly Desire (1988)
Machine for Contacting the Dead (2000)
Tongue of the Invisible (2011)
Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus (2018)
Sex Magic (2020)
Annunciation Triptych: Sappho, Mary, Fatimah (2019-22)
String Creatures (2022)
The Oresteia (1991-93)
Yue Ling Jié (Moon Spirit Feasting) (1999-2000)
The Navigator (2007-08)
Tree of Codes (2014-16)
Atlas of the Sky (2018)