Liza Lim

born 1966, Perth AU

Internationally acclaimed composer Liza Lim combines the intelligence of modernism with visceral energy and vibrant colour. A recurring thematic thread in her music is the exploration of the idea of crossing cultural boundaries and of ecstatic transformation. Her compositions explore a range of resources from opera and the orchestra to visual arts installations, often including non-Western instruments and have been performed by some of the world's most eminent ensembles. Notably, she was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to write the large orchestral work, Ecstatic Architecture to celebrate the inaugural season of the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2004.

She has been composer-in-residence with the Sydney Symphony in the last two years producing the works Immer Fliessender, Flying Banner and The Compass (jointly commissioned by Bayerischer Rundfunk and Musica Viva). Other recent achievements include a major feature in the Festival d'Automne Paris 2005 who commissioned three new works (In the Shadow's Light for the Kairos Quartett; The Quickening for soprano Deborah Kayser and qin player Yang Chunwei and Mother Tongue, premiered by the Ensemble InterContemporain).

“The qin or Chinese zither is for me, an emblem of how the sensuous and the physical world connects with the numinous, how visceral experience is intertwined with the subtle realms of energy, the interplay of tactility and dream.”

    —Liza Lim

Klangforum Wien premiered Songs found in dream at the Salzburg Festival in August 2005 and ELISION Ensemble presented the installation work Glasshouse Mountains, a work looking at Indigenous and European traces at this important Australian site, made in collaboration with artist Judy Watson for the Queensland Music Festival in July 2005.

Awards recognizing Liza Lim's work include Australia's most prestigious composition prize, the Paul Lowin Award for orchestral composition, the Young Australian Creative Fellowship, a two-year Australia Council Fellowship, the 2002 APRA Classical Music Award for “Best Composition” and a Fromm Foundation Commission to work with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. She has been commissioned to write for ensembles such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble InterContemporain, the Arditti String Quartet, ELISION Ensemble, orchestras of Symphony Australia, and Festival d'Automne Paris. Liza has created large projects for the Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth Festivals as well as for the West and South-west German Radio Orchestras.

In 2003, Liza Lim was a featured composer at both Musica Nova in Helsinki and the 09(03) Festival in New Zealand. Portrait concerts of her work have been presented by Radio Bremen, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, and Ensemble für Neue Musik Zürich. Her music has been celebrated at international festivals and concert seasons such as IRCAM Paris, Venice Biennale, Cologne Philharmonie, Wien Modern, Salzburg Festspiele, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Milano Musica, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Musikmonat Basel, and Festival Ars Musica in Brussels.

Lim has also worked extensively with members of the ELISION Ensemble since 1986. The ensemble toured her opera, Moon Spirit Feasting (Yuè Lìng Jié), in six seasons of widely acclaimed performances at the 2000 Adelaide Festival, the 2001 Melbourne Festival, in 2002 at the Hebbel Theater Berlin, Zurich Theater Spektakel, and the Saitama Arts Centre and at the 2006 Brisbane Festival. In collaboration with artist Domenico De Clario, Lim has created a series of site-specific installation pieces which are documented with photographs and recordings in the book/CD the intertwining — the chasm published by the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane. These projects each explored meditative states over all-night or week-long time-spans. In 1999, she worked with artist Judith Wright on Sonorous Bodies, a video installation for the Queensland Art Gallery that toured to the Hebbel Theater Berlin in 2001.

Lim earned her Doctor of Philosophy from the The University of Queensland, her Master of Music from The University of Melbourne, and her Bachelor of Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts. She has studied composition with Richard Hames, Riccardo Formosa, and Ton de Leeuw. She has been a guest lecturer at the Darmstadt Summer School, the University of California San Diego, Cornell University, Getty Research Institute, major Australian universities and at IRCAM Agora Festival. She was a lecturer of composition at Melbourne University in 1991. Liza Lim was the guest curator for the twilight concert series of the 2006 Adelaide Festival.

Liza Lim's scores are published by BMG-Ricordi Milano and Ricordi London. Recordings of her music have been released on HatArt (The Heart's Ear, Ensemble für Neue Musik Zürich), ABC-Classics (The Heart's Ear, ELISION Ensemble and Ensemble Modern), Dischi Ricordi (Garden of Earthly Desire and The Oresteia, ELISION), and Vox Australis (Burning House, Satsuki Odamura and After the fire, ELISION).

Liza Lim was awarded a DAAD Künstlerprogramm Artists Residency to live and work in Berlin during 2007-08 and is now Professor of Composition at Huddersfield University, UK.

> Work List

> Ecstatic Architecture

> Machine for Contacting the Dead

Further Links:

Liza Lim article ABC Classic FM

Liza Lim documentary

Liza Lim represented by Ricordi

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