Cecilia Livingston, composer

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After the kingfisher's wing
Has answered light to light, and is silent,
the light is still
At the still point of the turning world.

— T.S. Eliot, "Burnt Norton", Four Quartets

 
 

With music described as "haunting" and "eerily beautiful" (Tapestry Opera), Canadian composer Cecilia Livingston specializes in music for voice. She is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow in Music at King's College London (UK), studying opera creation, and was a 2015-2017 Fellow at American Opera Projects in New York.

Winner of the Canadian Music Centre's 2018 Toronto Emerging Composer Award, the 2018 Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes for female opera creators in Canada, and a winner in the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers, her music has been heard at Nuit Blanche, the 21C Music Festival, World Choir Games, on tour with The Bicycle Opera Project, with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Kingston Symphony, and with Toronto’s Thin Edge New Music Collective. She worked with Steve Reich at Bang On a Can’s Summer Music Festival and at Soundstreams' Emerging Composer Workshop, and her next project is a full-length opera with TorQ Percussion Quartet and Toronto's Opera 5

 Self Limited Photography

Self Limited Photography

An associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre and a National Councillor of the Canadian League of Composers, her creative and research work is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the SOCAN Foundation, and SSHRC (the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada). Her articles and reviews have appeared in Tempo (Cambridge), the Cambridge Opera Journal, The Opera Quarterly (Oxford), Canadian Music EducatorNotations (Canadian Music Centre), Ludwig Van Toronto (formerly Musical Toronto)Musicworks magazine, at the International Conference on Music Since 1900, the Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy conference and the RMA Annual Conference. Her master’s and doctoral research was fully funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS-M and CGS-D); she holds a doctorate in Composition from the University of Toronto, supervised by Christos Hatzis, where she was awarded the Theodoros Mirkopoulos Fellowship in Composition.

 
... this vast and curious creative mind ...
— WholeNote magazine, 2017
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Current Projects

 
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opera (90'00); premiere 2019 (Canada), 2020 (Europe)

with the support of 

O sea-starved, hungry sea

CD release 2018
soprano Danielle Buonaiuto
and pianist John Wilson

art song by Livingston
(Kalypso and Penelope),
Natalie Draper, James Young, and Douglas Buchanan

recorded at New World Symphony, Miami

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Music

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Calendar (2018-)

 
 

2019, March 19

Toronto, Canada

Singing Only Softly, chamber opera
with the support of the Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes
for female opera creators in Canada

Musique 3 Femmes
Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Canadian Opera Company

 

2019, March 6

Kingston, Canada

Singing Only Softly, chamber opera
with the support of the Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes
for female opera creators in Canada

Musique 3 Femmes, ensemble-in-residence, Dan School of Drama and Music 
Queen’s University, Kingston,
Isabel Bader Centre for Performing Art

 

2019, February 12

London, UK

Penelope, for soprano and piano

Women on the Verge in collaboration with Borough New Music

 

2019, January 5

New York City, USA

Penelope, for soprano and piano

New Music Shelf and Black Tea Music
Marc A. Scorca Hall, National Opera Center, Opera America

 

2018, December 1

New York City, USA

Give Me Your Hand, for mezzo-soprano and piano

New Music Shelf and Black Tea Music
Marc A. Scorca Hall, National Opera Center, Opera America

 

2018, November 15

Toronto,Canada

 

2018, November 9

Toronto, Canada

Two Dreams, for soprano and string quartet

“Schoenberg and Livingston”
Alexandra Smither, soprano; Ton Beau String Quartet

 

2018, November 3

San Antonio, Texas, USA

"'salt strange and sweet': Timbre and Tension in Written on Skin"

Conference paper. American Musicological Society Annual Meeting

 

2018, October 31

Calgary, Canada

 

2018, October 24

Washington, USA

 

2018, October 20

Alberta, Canada

 

2018, October 18

Grande Prairie, Canada

 

2018, October 6

Guelph, Canada

Parting, for soprano and piano

Maghan McPhee, soprano; Carl Philippe Gionet, piano
"Women and the Sounds of War: Endings and New Beginnings"
Creative Women at the End of the First World War Conference (Oct 5-7, 2018)

 

2018, September 22

Montreal, Canada 

Singing Only Softly, chamber opera

with the support of the Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes
for female opera creators in Canada

presentation of work-in-progress by Musique 3 Femmes
Opera Canada and McGill University’s “Opera’s Changing Worlds” summit

 

2018, August 15

Concord, NH, USA

Penelope and Kalypso, for soprano and piano

Danielle Buonaiuto, sopranoJason Wirth, piano
Avaloch Farm Music Institute in conjunction with the United Church of Penacook   

 

2018, August 11

Hamilton, Canada

Listen to the Chorus, immersive video installation
at Photophobia 2018
hosted by Hamilton Artists Inc. and the Art Gallery of Hamilton
created for Nuit Blanche Toronto

Madeleine Co. and Nasim Asgari, spoken-word poet
score by Cecilia Livingston

 

2018, August 9

Saskatoon, Canada

Lullabies, for voice and marimba

Michelle Colton, percussionist
Prairie Music Residency Faculty Recital, University of Saskatchewan

 

2018, July 25

Toronto, Canada

Guest lecture, "The Composer's Imagination", University of Toronto

 

2018, July 6

London, UK

Kalypso, for soprano and piano

Alexandra Rose Hospenthal, soprano; Lucìa Sanchez, piano
London House, Goodenough College

 

2018, June 16

London, UK

Kalypso, for soprano and piano

Alexandra Rose Hospenthal, soprano; Katie Wong, piano
London House, Goodenough College

 

2018, June 8

Toronto, Canada

Guest lecture, "Composing For Voice: Building a Career"
Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop

 

2018, May 26

Kingston, Canada

"What a Feast!" from The Masque of the Red Death 
opera chorus/scene

Bicycle Opera Project with Cantabile Choirs of Kingston
Mark Sirett, conductor

 

2018, May 10, 11, 12

Toronto,Canada

The Attendant, from Four Scenes of Loss
opera scene; libretto by Morris Panych
Natalya Gennadi, soprano; Camille Rogers, mezzo-soprano
Topher Mokrzewski, piano

Tapestry Opera's Songbook VIII, part of New Opera 101
Michael Hidetoshi Mori, director

 

2018, April 21

Toronto, Canada

Canadian Music Centre 2018 Toronto Emerging Composer Award presentation

Soundstreams, "Freddy's Tune"
Gryphon Trio, with Dafnis Prieto (drums), Roberto Occhipinti (bass), Scott Good (trombone) and DJ SlowPitchSound - Honourable Mention, CMC 2018 TECA

 

2018, February 25

San Francisco, USA

Penelope, for soprano and piano

Marina Davis, soprano; Steven Bailey, piano
San Francisco Conservatory of Music

 

2018, February 20

London, UK

Give Me Your Hand, for soprano and piano

Alessia Naccarato, soprano; Krystal Tunnicliffe, piano
20|21 Concerts in collaboration with Borough New Music 

 

2018, February 20

Toronto, CANaDA

Troy, for vibraphone quartet

TorQ Percussion Quartet at the Tranzac

 

2018, February 13

Ottawa,Canada

Toronto Symphony Orchestra Canada Mosaic Project composer delegate
presentation to Minister of Canadian Heritage, Parliament Hill

 

2018, January 21

Toronto, Canada

"Canadian Opera 151- Where do we go from here?:
Imagining the future of Canadian opera"

Symposium, New Music Festival
University of Toronto

 

2018, January 20

Toronto,Canada

The Wild Goose, for tenor and piano
from a set of arrangements of Wade Hemsworth by Livingston
for the Canadian Art Song Project

Lawrence Wiliford, tenor; Emily Rho, piano
Pocket Concerts

 

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Writing

 
 

2018

"'salt strange and sweet': Timbre and Tension in Written on Skin."
Conference paper. American Musicological Society Annual Meeting, 1-4 Nov. 2018

 

2018

Review-essay, Andrew Norman's A Trip to the Moon. The Opera Quarterly, Oxford University Press, Vol. 33, No. 2 (2018), 188-202.

 

2017

Interview with The WholeNote magazine with Lindsay Lalla, by Lydia Perovic, about art song, working with text, and Lalla's "Imperfect Song" recital. 
click here for the web version
click here for WholeNote's September 2017 issue PDF (page 32)

 

2017

"'salt strange and sweet': Musical and Dramatic Tensions in Written on Skin.
Conference paper. 54th Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association, University of Liverpool, 7-9 Sept. 2017

 
 

2016

"'Here Be Dragons': Voice and Opera at the Edge of the Map." Cambridge Opera Journal, Cambridge University Press, Vol. 28, No. 3 (2016), 373-383.

 

 

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