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Called “a brilliant musical scientist” (CBC), “breathtakingly inventive” (Sydney Times Herald, Australia), “utterly inspiring” (I Care If You Listen, NYC) and lauded for “creating a stir with listeners for her breathless imagination and ability to capture Gen-X and beyond generation” (Winnipeg Free Press), award winning composer and video artist Nicole Lizée creates new music inspired by eclectic mix of influences including the earliest MTV videos, turntablism, rave culture, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Alexander McQueen, thrash metal, early video game culture, 1960s psychedelia and 1960s modernism. 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.

Nicole’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™, vintage board games, and karaoke tapes. In the broad scope of her evolving oeuvre she explores such themes as malfunction, reviving the obsolete, and the harnessing of imperfection and glitch to create a new kind of precision.

Awards include the 2024 JUNO Award for Classical Composition of the Year, the 2023 Music Critics Association of North America Award for Best New Opera, the 2022 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Opera (her opera received six Dora Awards), the 2019 Prix Opus for Composer of the Year, the 2017 SOCAN Jan V. Matejcek Award, the 2013 Canada Council Jules Léger Prize for Chamber Music and the Canada Council Robert Fleming Prize for achievements in composition. She is a Lucas Artists Fellow (California) and a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellow (Italy). She was selected by acclaimed composer and conductor Howard Shore to be his protégée as part of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. In 2017 she created the music for the National Film Board of Canada’s logo. This Will Not Be Televised, her seminal piece for chamber ensemble and turntables, placed in the 2008 UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers’ Top 10 Works. Her work for piano and notated glitch, Hitchcock Études, was chosen by the International Society for Contemporary Music and featured at the 2014 World Music Days in Wroclaw, Poland. Additional awards and nominations include an Images Festival Award (2016), three Prix Opus nominations for Composition of the Year (2013, 2019, 2024), and two Prix collégien de musique contemporaine, (2012, 2013).

In 2001 Nicole received a Master of Music degree from McGill University. After a decade and a half of composition, her commission list of over 60 works is varied and distinguished and includes the Kronos Quartet, Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic, the BBC Proms, the San Francisco Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Banff Centre, Bang On A Can, So Percussion, Ligeti Quartet, Southbank Sinfonia, Donaueschingen Festival, the National Film Board of Canada, Against the Grain, Eve Egoyan, stargaze, the Australian Art Orchestra, l’Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, CBC, Radio-Canada, NYC’s Kaufman Center, Joby Burgess/Powerplant, Music on Main, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Ben Reimer, Vicky Chow, Tapestry Opera, Standing Wave, Gryphon Trio, NYC’s MATA Festival, TorQ Percussion, Fondation Arte Musica/Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, E-Gré National Music Competition, Innovations en Concert, Continuum, Soundstreams, SMCQ, Thin Edge New Music, Arraymusic, Megumi Masaki, ECM+, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Her music has been performed worldwide in renowned venues including Carnegie Hall (NYC), Royal Albert Hall (London), Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam) and Cité de la Musique (Paris) – and in festivals including the BBC Proms (UK), Huddersfield (UK), Roskilde (Denmark), Bang On a Can (USA), Classical:NEXT (Rotterdam), All Tomorrow’s Parties (UK), Barbican’s Sound Unbound (UK), Metropolis (Australia), Sydney Festival (Australia), X Avant (Canada), Luminato (Canada), Other Minds (San Francisco), C3 (Berlin), Ecstatic (NYC), Switchboard (San Francisco), Melos-Ethos (Slovakia), Casalmaggiore (Italy), and Dark Music Days (Iceland).

Nicole was the Composer in Residence at Vancouver’s Music on Main from 2016-18.
She is a Korg Canada and Arturia artist.

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