Universal Music (Ricordi) page
University of Huddersfield staff page Liza Lim
(b. August 1966 in Perth; lives in Melbourne, Australia)
Liza Lim connects her compositional practice to areas of thought and knowledge such as Australian Indigenous and Asian aesthetics and ritual; a Sufi poetics of bewilderment, communion and ecstasy; weaving & knot-making as a cross-modal ‘technology for thinking’. New projects explore ideas around ecology, temporal slippage and the uncanny (Extinction Events & Dawn Chorus) & mobs and power (Atlas of the Sky). She has written four operas, the first three for the ELISION Ensemble which toured the major Australian festivals as well as theatres in Berlin, Zurich, Paris, Moscow and Tokyo. Her fourth opera, Tree of Codes, commissioned by Opera Cologne, Ensemble Musikfabrik and Hellerau-European Centre for the Arts was premiered in Cologne in 2016 and goes to a second production at the Spoleto Festival in the States in 2018. Her musical language has developed through creative exchanges with musicians, particularly through projects that have reimagined instruments. Recent collaborations include those with Alban Wesly (Axis Mundi), Séverine Ballon (An ocean beyond earth), Melvyn Poore (The Green Lion eats the Sun), Florentin Ginot (The Table of Knowledge), Tristram Williams (Ehwaz; Roda), Wu Wei (How Forests Think) and Eugene Ughetti (An Elemental Thing).
She has received commissions and performances from some of the world’s pre-eminent orchestras, eg: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, BBC, WDR, SWR, Sydney Symphony (where she was composer-in-residence in 2005 & 2006 ), festivals, eg: Festival d’Automne Paris, Salzburg, Lucerne, Holland, Venice Biennale, and ensembles, eg: Musikfabrik, Ensemble Intercontemporain, ELISION, Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Arditti String Quartet.
She is currently Professor of Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she leads the ‘Composing Women’ program, and at the University of Huddersfield. She was Visiting Professor of Composition at Shanghai Conservatory of Music during 2017. Liza Lim was formerly Director of CeReNeM, the Centre for Research in New Music at the University of Huddersfield, UK (2008-2017) where she established the highly regarded HCR CD label as well as the online publication platforms: CeReNeM Journal, Divergence Press and Speculations in Sound. She has taught at various international summer schools (eg: in Darmstadt, Royaumont, Beijing). In 2018, she is resident composer at Boston University’s Centre for New Music and at ‘June in Buffalo’ as well as serving on the faculty of the Darmstadt Summer School. Her research has been supported by grants from the British Academy, an Australia Council Interdisciplinary Fellowship and Ian Potter Foundation Senior Fellowship. Other recognition for her work includes the Don Banks Award ‘for outstanding and sustained achievement in music’ (2018), Peggy Glanville Hicks Residency (1995), Paul Lowin Prize for Orchestral Composition (2004), Fromm Foundation Award (2004) and DAAD Artist-in-Berlin (2007-08). Liza Lim received her PhD from the University of Queensland, an MMus from the University of Melbourne and BA(mus) from the Victorian College of the Arts. She is a founding member of the Academy of the Arts of the World, Cologne and curated the music programme for their inauguration in 2012. Her work has been published by Casa Ricordi (Milano, London & Berlin) since 1989. Her work appears on CDs with Hat Hut, WERGO, ABC-Classics, Neos, Aeon and Winter & Winter.
[Lim] holds a commanding position in international music, her intricately sensuous scores welcomed both at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and at German new-music festivals. Yet she shows an acute sensitivity to the local and particular, to voices on the margins of a smoothly integrated global culture…Lim exemplifies a younger generation of composers who have revivified modernism by kicking away its technocratic façade and heightening its visceral power.
Alex Ross, Singing in Tongues, The New Yorker, 21 April 2014.
Also see collation of press about Tree of Codes (2016)
Writings about/by Lim
Appleby, R. (2012) Women of Note. Perth, Freemantle Press.
Burnard, P. (2012) Musical Creativities in Practice. Oxford, OUP.
Clarke, E., Doffman, M. and Lim, L. (2013) Distributed Creativity and Ecological Dynamics in Liza Lim’s Tongue of the Invisible. Music and Letters 94 (4) 628-663.
Feneyrou, L. (2015) Liza Lim. IRCAM resources (online). in French
Kerry, G. (2009) New Classical Music: Composing Australia. Sydney, UNSW Press.
Lim, L. (2013) A mycelial model for understanding distributed creativity: collaborative partnership in the making of ‘Axis Mundi’ (2013) for solo bassoon. online Proceedings of CMPCP Performance Studies Network Conference, 4th-7th April 2013, Cambridge, UK.
Lim, L. (2012) Patterns of Ecstasy. Darmstädter Beiträge zur neuen Musik (21) 27-43.
Rutherford-Johnson, T. (2017) Music After the Fall. Oakland, University of California Press.
Rutherford-Johnson, T. (2011) Patterns of Shimmer. Tempo 65 (259) 2-9.
Rutherford-Johnson, T. (2010) Processes of Revelation. INTO, Journal of Sound & Music, October. 26-31.
LIM_Australia Council 2018 Don Banks Award acceptance speech, 06.03.2018
A selection of interviews and excerpts of compositions can be found at: BBC3 website.
Asenjo, M.A. & Lim, L. (2015) Entrevista a Liza Lim. Espacio Sonoro. (In Spanish & English)
Ford, A. & Lim, L. (2015) ‘Spiritual Ecstasy and Earthly Desire’, Interview with Liza Lim. In Earth Dances. Melbourne, Black Inc.
Gottschalk, J. & Lim, L. (2011) ELISION: transference (2) – Liza Lim. soundexpanse.
Sdraulig, C. & Lim, L, (2015) Liza Lim interviewed by Charlie Sdraulig. Youtube video. produced as part of ‘Re-imagining Opera’, Stanford/UCSD Graduate Seminar, Fall 2015.
Szpirglas, J. & Lim, L. (2009) Interview with Liza Lim (about The Navigator). Festival d’Automne Paris Catalogue.
Rafael-José Díaz (2011) Para Liza Lim, TRAVESÍAS, Cuaderno de apuntes de Rafael-José Díaz.