Liz Lane is a British composer who has been described as 'the fine composer who's got such a gift for melody' [Ian McMillan, BBC Radio 3] and whose music has been lauded as 'creatively brilliant' [4barsrest.com], 'easily appealing, yet musically reputable' [Musical Times], 'quite stunning - a beautiful work' [Will Goodchild, composer] and 'spell-binding... touched the very core of one's heart' [David Fanshawe, composer and explorer]. Her music has been broadcast on BBC 1, ITV and BBC Radio 3. Liz's many diverse works range from music celebrating aerospace engineering for 280 musicians aged 7-70; a 40th wedding anniversary song cycle, recorded and played at a surprise party; a full length ballet for the London Children’s Ballet; a co-creative event with older people choirs and dancers facilitated by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; and music for brass band and Bhangra.
She is Composer in Association with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and Composer in Residence with Lydbrook Band in the Forest of Dean. Her music has been performed throughout the UK and abroad, including Europe, USA and Japan, and in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Fairfield Halls Croydon, Barcelona Cathedral, Wales Millennium Centre and even under the wings of Concorde at Aerospace Bristol.
Performers include Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Brighouse and Rastrick Band, Carducci Quartet, Cory Band, Foden's Band, Eastern Virginia Brass (USA), Grimethorpe Band, Manger Musikklag (Norway), Norfolk ChamberConsort (USA), Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, San Domenico Virtuoso Program Orchestra (USA), Symphonic Brass of the RAF, Andrew Kennedy, Anne Howarth (USA), Austin Larsen (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), David Thornton, Marlene Ford (USA), and Steven Mead.
Commissions and performances
Liz's musical style might be described as frequently melodic but seldom predictable, with an appeal that enables her to write for performers of all abilities and varied occasions.
Since 2014, she has received four commissions from Bristol Cultural Development Partnership including Silver Rose, written to commemorate the anniversary of the start of World War 1 and premiered with narrator Robert Hardy CBE at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, with repeat performances including Aldeburgh, Birmingham and Trinity College Cambridge. Dance where the Spirit Enlightens was written to mark the 70th anniversary of Arts Council England and the more recent co-creative Ghost Cinemas project with Mark Vasey, Steven Mead, Dildar Singh celebrated cinemas in Bristol which are now other venues. Commissions also include A different kind of urban for the Open University Choir to mark the 50th anniversary of Milton Keynes, Tide and Time premiered by Foden's Band with Michael Fowles in 2018 and Beyond the Light in memory of Bramwell Tovey performed by Grimethorpe Colliery Band and Ben Palmer in 2023, both for the RNCM Brass Band Festival. Festival commissions have included Cheltenham, Presteigne and Three Choirs.
Online performances in 2020 and 2021 included River of Time for the Wye Valley River Festival performed by Lydbrook Band, narrator Rhys Trimble with animation by Gary Andrews, Family Band (online) written following a consultation evening for Yorkshire youth hub NYMAZ - including kitchen percussion instruments, and A different kind of living for the Open University Choir and bass clarinet. She also co-created Bluebird, a series of online miniatures with soprano Belinda Evans; the collaboration Darkest Night with cornet player Tom Hutchinson and animation Gary Andrews received over 10,000 views on social media.
In March 2021 she was appointed Composer in Association with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band; Enchanted Light, part of the Bluebird series, was broadcast with Belinda Evans (soprano) and Colin Booth (ottavino) on BBC Radio 3. Robin Robin recorded by Steven Mead, Brighouse and Rastrick Band and David Thornton was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in November 2021. 2021 aw premieres such as Holding the Hill for the Forest of Dean Orchestra, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Imjin River in Korea, and Rhythm of Light for the Hepworth Band, celebrating the life and work of sculptor Barbara Hepworth. She was also commissioned to write Hear the Call, marking the birthday of the NHS and recognising social care and frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Background and education
Liz started composing at an early age and received widespread media coverage as a child composer, including an ITV television documentary And I Write Music and a televised performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She graduated from Cardiff University and subsequently achieved a postgraduate diploma from the Royal College of Music. Liz was awarded a PhD in Composition from Cardiff University in March 2010.
She worked extensively with the late composer and explorer David Fanshawe; published collaborations include orchestral and brass band arrangements of The Lord's Prayer from ‘African Sanctus’, including performances by Orchestra of Opera North, Northern Sinfonia and Black Dyke Band; Pacific Song, performed at the Miami Convention Center and English Suite, premiered by the Southbank Sinfonia at the Royal Festival Hall. She regularly created wind quintet arrangements for who visited care homes and special needs schools.
Public lectures, adjudicating and writing
Liz has given lectures about her work to Wells Evening Society (2010 and 2015), Vega Probus (2016), Hereford Music Circle (2017) and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (2017). In 2017 she adjudicated at the Bristol and District Organists' Association Composition Competition and BASCA British Composers Awards. She was a judge at the RWCMD Cory Composition Prize in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and in 2019 led the young composers competition workshop. Liz has been invited to be part of the team of adjudicators for the prestigious Brass in Concert contest at the Sage Gateshead in 2022. She was also Guest Editor for Sound and Music 'The Sampler' magazine and regularly writes articles and reviews for the brass band press, including British Bandsman and Brass Band World.
Liz is a French horn player and percussionist and played professionally for a number of years, including with the Wilbraham Brass Soloists. Although these days her focus is mainly on composing, she still enjoys the opportunity to perform, most recently as part of a brass quintet in a hot air balloon for the Jenner Project. She is also a proficient piano player, and achieved Grade 8 distinction at the age of 13.
Liz is a part-time Senior Lecturer in Composition and Performance at the University of the West of England, receiving the 2016 UWE Bristol Computer Science and Creative Technologies Researcher of the Year for her work with OpenUp Music where she was previously Composer in Association, collaborating closely with the South-West Open Youth Orchestra, winners of the 2017 RPS Music Award - learning and participation; she is currently a trustee. She is also an Associate Lecturer with the Open University and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Liz is an experienced teacher and has delivered education projects for Cheltenham and Presteigne Festivals, also Worcester University; in 2017, she was composer and project manager for arts education projects Sinfonia Cymru's Boats, Tunnels and Bridges.
Current and future projects
Current and future projects include 'What the Lark Saw' to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams for the Three Choirs Festival 2023, works for euphonium and piano, solo bass clarinet, and spinet, Surtaal Symphony, a large-scale cross-cultural venture for Bhangra band, brass band and soprano and the Jenner Project, a community opera to commemorate the bicentenary of smallpox pioneer Edward Jenner. She is published by Composers Edition, Kirklees and Wright and Round in the UK, and Bronsheim Music in the Netherlands.