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

 
 
photo by Kaitlin Moreno

photo by Kaitlin Moreno

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

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

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, and the Toronto Arts Council. 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 2017 Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy conference and the 54th RMA annual conference in Liverpool. 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

 
 

2019, February 12

London, UK

Penelope, for soprano and piano

Women on the Verge in collaboration with Borough New Music

 

2018, February 20

London, UK

Give Me Your Hand, for soprano and piano

Alessia Naccarato, soprano
20|21 in collaboration with Borough New Music 

 

2018, February 20

Toronto

Troy, for vibraphone quartet

TorQ Percussion Quartet at the Tranzac

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2018, January 21

Toronto

"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

The Wild Goose, by Wade Hemsworth, arr. Livingston
from a set of arrangements of Hemsworth by Livingston
for the Canadian Art Song Project

 
 

2017, December 14 and 15

Vancouver

Moon, for solo piano

"Music for the Winter Solstice" at Music on Main
Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, piano
Nicole Lizée, composer & performer
Wallgrin, violin & voice; Carman J. Price, vocals

 

2017, November 27

Toronto

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

 

2017, October-November

Canada and USA, various

Two Dreams (arranged for soprano and piano)

Alexandra Smither, soprano
Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition 2017-2018 winner's tour

with Trevor Chartrand, piano
22 Oct. 2017, Toronto, ON
25 Oct. 2017, Harrisonburg, VA (USA)
28 Oct. 2017, Sackville, NB

with Pierre-André Doucet, piano
20 Nov. 2017, Calgary, AB
22 Nov. 2017, Vancouver, BC
click here for more information through the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition website

 

2017, October 27

Toronto

Two Dreams, for soprano and string quartet

Rachel Krehm, soprano; Ton Beau String Quartet

 

2017, October 22

Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Kingston

Leap of the Heart, fanfare for orchestra
commissioned through the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Canada Mosaic Project celebrating Canada's Sesquicentennial

Click here for more information about this particular "Sesquie" commission

"Canadian Seasons" (Masterworks Series)
Kingston Symphony
Evan Mitchell, conductor

 

2017, September 30

Nuit Blanche, Toronto

Listen to the Chorus, immersive video installation for Nuit Blanche Toronto

Madeleine Co. and Nasim Asgari, spoken-word poet
score by Cecilia Livingston
click here for more information on the Nuit Blanche site
click here for a trailer from Madeleine Co.

 

2017, September 23

Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto

Leap of the Heart, fanfare for orchestra
commissioned through the Toronto Symphony Orchestra Canada Mosaic Project celebrating Canada's Sesquicentennial

click here for more information about this particular "Sesquie" commission

"A Tribute to Glenn Gould"
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Peter Oundjian, conductor
Colm Feore, host

 

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Writing

 
 

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

 

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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