Prof Liza Lim

Home Institution:

University of Huddersfield, UK


Liza Lim is Professor of Composition and Director of CeReNeM, the Centre for Research in New Music, joining the University of Huddersfield in 2008. She initiated and established the HCR CD/DVD label, CeReNeM Journal (see Issue 5, 2015) and Divergence Press and has also led two large research projects for the centre.

Lim connects her compositional practice to areas such as Australian Indigenous aesthetics (‘shimmer’) and non-western epistemologies of time and space; the way external representations (eg: knots) amplify and extend cognition; ecologies of collaboration and distributed creativities.

She has written four operas, the most recent being Tree of Codes (2013-15) based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s book of the same name, commissioned by Ensemble musikFabrik, Opera Cologne and Hellerau European Centre for the Arts for a premiere in April 2016. Previous operas, The Oresteia (1993), Moon Spirit Feasting (1999) and The Navigator (2008) were all written for the ELISION Ensemble who performed the works in seasons in Melbourne, Adelaide, Berlin, Zurich, Tokyo, Brisbane, Moscow and Paris.

Lim’s work has been recognized with major commissions from organisations such as the Holland Festival and Ensemble musikFabrik, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio, BBC, WDR and SWR Symphony Orchestras, Ensemble Intercontemporain Paris, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Lucerne Festival, Salzburg Festival, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and Pinakothek der Moderne Munich. She was composer-in-residence with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2005 and 2006 and has worked closely with musicians of the ELISION Ensemble for over 20 years producing large-scale projects for all the major Australian festivals. She curated a concert series for the 2006 Adelaide Festival and for the 2012 ‘Cutting Edge’ Festival in Cologne.

Awards include the Paul Lowin Prize for the orchestral work ‘Ecstatic Architecture’, Fromm Foundation Award, DAAD Artist-in Residence in Berlin (2007-08), Senior Creative Fellowships from the Ian Potter Cultural Trust (2008) and the Australia Council (2014) and a British Academy small grant supporting a project on distributed creativity in collaboration with Eric Clarke and Mark Doffman (Oxford). In 2012, she was appointed one of the founding members of the Akademie der Künste der Welt, an international think-tank focused on intercultural dialogue and the arts based in Cologne.

She has a catalogue of over 65 works with Casa Ricordi (Milan, London, Munich & Berlin) who have published her work since 1989. Portrait CDs of her work have been released on ABC-Classics, Dischi Ricordi, Wergo and HatArt with the CD Tongue of the Invisible selected for ‘best of 2013’ lists in The New Yorker and Sunday Times. Further discs featuring her music are due out on AEON, Neos and Winter & Winter.

Liza Lim gained her PhD from the University of Queensland, MMus from the University of Melbourne and BA (music) from the Victorian College of the Arts. She has given guest lectures and masterclasses at the University of Harvard, University of California San Diego, UCBerkeley, Cornell University, New York University, Manhattan School of Music, Getty Research Institute LA, Institute of Musical Research, London, Royal College of Music, RMIT’s Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory, National University of Singapore, Kunstuniversität Graz and at Glasgow, Oxford, Cambridge and BathSpa Universities.



Supporting Materials

1. SCORE: Liza Lim, The Green Lion Eats the Sun (2015), for doublebell euphonium:

2. ARTICLE: Creative isomorphism between object, idea and states of consciousness

[In: 2nd International Conference on Music and Consciousness, 14-17 April 2015, Oxford University, UK]

3. VIDEO: Invisibility (2009) for solo violoncello