Hometown: Montréal, Quebec
Called a “brilliant musical scientist” and lauded for “creating a stir with listeners for her breathless imagination and ability to capture Gen-X and beyond generation”, Montréal-based composer, Nicole Lizée, creates new music from an eclectic mix of influences including the earliest MTV videos, turntablism, rave culture, Hitchcock, Kubrick, and 1960s psychedelia. She is fascinated by the glitches made by outmoded and well-worn technology and captures these glitches, notates them and integrates them into live performance.
Lizée’s compositions range from works for orchestra and solo turntablist featuring DJ techniques fully notated and integrated into a concert music setting, to other unorthodox instrument combinations that include the Atari 2600 video game console, omnichords, stylophones, Simon™ and karaoke tapes.
Lizée’s commission list of over 40 works includes the Kronos Quartet, BBC Proms, San Francisco Symphony, l’Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, Eve Egoyan, Tapestry Opera, New York City’s Kaufman Center, So Percussion, and the Gryphon Trio. Her music has been performed worldwide in venues including Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall – and in festivals including the BBC Proms (UK), Huddersfield (UK), Bang On a Can (USA), Roskilde (Denmark), All Tomorrow’s Parties (UK), Luminato (Canada), Ecstatic (NYC), Casalmaggiore (Italy), and Dark Music Days (Iceland).
Lizée is a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellow (New York City/Italy). In 2015, she was selected by acclaimed composer and conductor Howard Shore to be his protégée as part of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Mentorship Program. Additional awards and nominations include a Prix Opus (2013), Dora Mavor Moore Award in Opera (2015), two Prix collégien de musique contemporaine (2012, 2013), the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers’ Top 10 List (2008) and the 2002 Canada Council for the Arts Robert Fleming Prize for achievements in composition.