Liz Lane is a British composer whose music has been described 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 style is frequently melodic but seldom predictable, with an appeal that enables her to write for performers of all abilities and varied occasions.
Commissions and performances
Liz's music has been broadcast on BBC 1, ITV and BBC Radio 3, and her many diverse works have ranged from music celebrating aerospace engineering for 270 musicians aged 8-80; a 40th wedding anniversary song cycle, recorded and performed at a surprise party; a full length ballet for the London Children’s Ballet; a co-creative event with older people choirs and dancers in London; and a work for ottavino. Performers include the world's no. 1 ranked brass band The Cory Band, Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Carducci Quartet, Brighouse and Rastrick Band, Foden's Band, Frank Renton's Brass Machine, Symphonic Brass of the RAF, National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, Steven Mead, David Thornton, Andrew Kennedy, Marlene Ford (USA), Eastern Virginia Brass (USA), Norfolk Chamber Consort (USA), San Domenico Virtuoso Program Orchestra (USA) and the Almost Orthogonal Quartet (Israel), at venues such as Wales Millennium Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Fairfield Halls Croydon, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Peacock Theatre London, Casino Maltese Malta, Barcelona Cathedral and Murcia Cathedral. Festival commissions have included Cheltenham Festival and Presteigne Festival and she regularly works closely with Lydbrook Band, where she is Composer-in-Residence, and conductor Ian Holmes.
Since 2014, she has received three commissions from Bristol Cultural Development Partnership including Silver Rose, written to commemorate the anniversary of the start of World War 1, premiered with narrator Robert Hardy CBE at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, with repeat performances including Aldeburgh, Birmingham and Trinity College Cambridge and Dance where the Spirit Enlightens to mark the 70th anniversary of Arts Council England. Most recently, A different kind of urban was commissioned and premiered by the Open University Choir to mark the 50th anniversary of Milton Keynes, Tide and Time was premiered by Foden's Band at the RNCM Brass Band Festival, River of Time was written for the Wye Valley Music Festival (online) and performed by Lydbrook Band, narrator Rhys Trimble and animation Gary Andrews, and Family Band (online) composed following a consultation evening for Yorkshire youth hub NYMAZ - including kitchen percussion instruments! During the 2020 pandemic, she has co-created Bluebird, a series of online miniatures with soprano Belinda Evans; the collaboration Darkest Night with cornet player Tom Hutchinson and animation by 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, written to announce the new role, 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.
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 creates wind quintet arrangements for New Harmonie, who visit 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 also Guest Editor for Sound and Music 'The Sampler' magazine. 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 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 was now 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 commissions for the Hepworth Band commemorating the work of sculptor Barbara Hepworth, the Open University Choir reflecting on the role of singing in the pandemic and beyond, a work for the Forest of Dean Orchestra commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Imjin River in Korea, a co-collaborative project celebrating 'ghost cinemas' in Bristol featuring international euphonium soloist Steven Mead and UWE graduate student Mark Vasey's generative invention the 'Wurley Bird', and Surtaal Symphony, a large-scale cross-cultural venture for Bhangra band, brass band and soprano. She is published by Composers Edition, Kirklees and Wright and Round in the UK, and Bronsheim Music in the Netherlands.