Professor Liza Lim


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Biographical details

Liza Lim is an Australian composer, educator and researcher whose interests include collaborative and transcultural practices in music with a focus on perspectives from ecological anthropology, post-human/anthropocene studies and research into distributed creativity. Her compositional practice is deeply imbued with a sense of the socio-cultural lineages of objects and performance practices hence her interest in musical form as an emergent expression of group processes. Her works, and in particular four operas: The Oresteia (1993), Moon Spirit Feasting (2000), The Navigator (2007) and Tree of Codes (2016), as well as the recent large-scale cycle Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus (2018) explore themes around ritual, temporal slippage and the uncanny. Her genre-defying percussion ritual/opera Atlas of the Sky (2018), is a work involving community participants that investigates the emotional power and energy dynamics of crowds.

Professor Lim has been commissioned by some of the world’s pre-eminent orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, BBC Symphony, WestdeutscherRundfunk and SudwestRundfunk Orchestras, and was composer in residence with the Sydney Symphony in 2005 and 2006. Her music has been featured at Festival d’Automne à Paris, Holland Festival, Venice Biennale, Tage für neue musik Zürich, amongst many other festivals, and she has made operas and installation works commissioned by the Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane Festivals. She has had close creative collaborations with ensembles such as MusikFabrik, Ensemble Intercontemporain, ELISION, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, Arditti String Quartet and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Her fourth opera, Tree of Codes, commissioned and premiered by Cologne Opera, Musikfabrik and Hellerau in Cologne and Dresden was described as ‘a major contribution to the music theatre of our time’ (Egbert Hiller, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, May 2016) and had the distinction of receiving a new production at the Spoleto Festival, USA in May and June 2018.

Lim has a strong publication record with an extensive catalogue of compositions published by Casa Ricordi (Milan, London & Berlin) since 1989. Her music appears on CD labels such as Hat Hut, WERGO, ABC-Classics, Neos, and Winter & Winter. She has published journal articles on areas such as transcultural aesthetics, performer collaboration and distributed creativities. Her research has been supported by grants from the British Academy, by an Australia Council Interdisciplinary Fellowship and Ian Potter Foundation Senior Fellowship as well as numerous international commissions. Other recognition for her work includes the Don Banks Award for Music (2018), the Peggy Glanville Hicks Residency (1995), Paul Lowin Prize for Orchestral Composition (2004), Fromm Foundation Award (2004) and DAAD Artist-in-residence Berlin (2007-08).

Liza Lim was appointed Professor of Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2017 and leads the Composing Women Program. She 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 Divergence Press and CeReNeM Journals. She maintains a part-time role at Huddersfield. She was Visiting Professor of Composition at Shanghai Conservatory, China during 2017. In 2018, she was composer-in-residence at Boston University’s Centre for New Music as well as serving on the teaching faculty of the Darmstadt Summer School. 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 was a founding member of the Academy of the Arts of the World, Cologne and curated the music program for their inauguration in 2012.

Teaching and supervision

Liza Lim supervises both undergraduate and postgraduate composition students. She leads the Sydney Conservatorium's Composing Women Program.

Awards and honours

Don Banks Award for outstanding and sustained contribution to Music, Australia Council 2018

APRA-AMCOS Art Music Awards, Winner Best Instrumental
Best Vocal Work

APRA-AMCOS Art Music Awards 2017, Winner, Instrumental Work of the Year forHow Forests Think& Vocal Work of the Year for the opera,Tree of Codes

Selected grants

2014

  • Australia Council Senior Fellowship (interdisciplinary arts); Lim L; Australia Council for the Arts/Senior Fellowship.

Selected publications & creative works

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Book Chapters

  • Lim, L. (2017). Intervention: Knots and other forms of Entanglement. In Eric Clarke, M Doffman (Eds.), Distributed Creativity : Collaboration and Improvisation in Contemporary Music, (pp. 207-213). Oxford: Oxford University Press. [More Information]
  • Lim, L. (2012). Patterns of Ecstasy. In Michael Rebhahn, Thomas Schafer (Eds.), Darmstadter Beitrage zur neuen Musik, (pp. 27-43). Germany: Schott Musik.

Journals

  • Clarke, E., Doffman, M., Lim, L. (2013). Distributed creativity and ecological dynamics: A case study of Liza Lim's 'Tongue of the Invisible'. Music and Letters, 94(4), 628-663. [More Information]

Musical Compositions

  • Lim, L. (2018). Atlas of the Sky. Melbourne, Australia: Ricordi.
  • Lim, L. (2018). Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus. Vienna, Austria: Ricordi.
  • Lim, L. (2018). The Su Song Star Map. Boston, United States of America: Ricordi.
  • Lim, L. (2018). The Table of Knowledge. Cologne, Germany: Ricordi.
  • Lim, L. (2017). An Elemental Thing. Brisbane, Australia: Ricordi.
  • Lim, L. (2017). Ronda - The Spinning World. Frankfurt, Germany: Ricordi.
  • Lim, L. (2016). An ocean beyond earth. Melbourne, Australia: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2016). How Forests Think. Bendigo, Australia: Ricordi.
  • Lim, L. (2016). The turning dance of the bee. Zurich, Switzerland: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2016). Tree of Codes: 'Cut-outs in time', an opera. Cologne, Germany: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2015). Speak, Be Silent. Geneva, Switzerland: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2015). The Green Lion Eats the Sun. Cologne, Germany: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2014). The Weaver's Knot. Cologne, Germany: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2014). Winding Bodies: 3 Knots. Oslo, Norway: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2013). Axis Mundi. Cologne, Germany: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2011). 3 Angels. Berlin, Germany: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2011). Gyfu (Gift). Munich, Germany: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2011). Tongue of the Invisible. Amsterdam, Netherlands: G. Ricordi and Co..

2018

  • Lim, L. (2018). Atlas of the Sky. Melbourne, Australia: Ricordi.
  • Lim, L. (2018). Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus. Vienna, Austria: Ricordi.
  • Lim, L. (2018). The Su Song Star Map. Boston, United States of America: Ricordi.
  • Lim, L. (2018). The Table of Knowledge. Cologne, Germany: Ricordi.

2017

  • Lim, L. (2017). An Elemental Thing. Brisbane, Australia: Ricordi.
  • Lim, L. (2017). Intervention: Knots and other forms of Entanglement. In Eric Clarke, M Doffman (Eds.), Distributed Creativity : Collaboration and Improvisation in Contemporary Music, (pp. 207-213). Oxford: Oxford University Press. [More Information]
  • Lim, L. (2017). Ronda - The Spinning World. Frankfurt, Germany: Ricordi.

2016

  • Lim, L. (2016). An ocean beyond earth. Melbourne, Australia: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2016). How Forests Think. Bendigo, Australia: Ricordi.
  • Lim, L. (2016). The turning dance of the bee. Zurich, Switzerland: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2016). Tree of Codes: 'Cut-outs in time', an opera. Cologne, Germany: G. Ricordi and Co..

2015

  • Lim, L. (2015). Speak, Be Silent. Geneva, Switzerland: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2015). The Green Lion Eats the Sun. Cologne, Germany: G. Ricordi and Co..

2014

  • Lim, L. (2014). The Weaver's Knot. Cologne, Germany: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2014). Winding Bodies: 3 Knots. Oslo, Norway: G. Ricordi and Co..

2013

  • Lim, L. (2013). Axis Mundi. Cologne, Germany: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Clarke, E., Doffman, M., Lim, L. (2013). Distributed creativity and ecological dynamics: A case study of Liza Lim's 'Tongue of the Invisible'. Music and Letters, 94(4), 628-663. [More Information]

2012

  • Lim, L. (2012). Patterns of Ecstasy. In Michael Rebhahn, Thomas Schafer (Eds.), Darmstadter Beitrage zur neuen Musik, (pp. 27-43). Germany: Schott Musik.

2011

  • Lim, L. (2011). 3 Angels. Berlin, Germany: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2011). Gyfu (Gift). Munich, Germany: G. Ricordi and Co..
  • Lim, L. (2011). Tongue of the Invisible. Amsterdam, Netherlands: G. Ricordi and Co..

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