Lisa Cheney is an Australian composer of acoustic and acousmatic music, hailing from Queensland and now living in Melbourne. Her music communicates through varied styles which often explore notions of connection and authenticity through fascinations with the ‘edge’ of beauty; expression, poeticism, fragility, delicacy, resonant space, pacing, light and dark and atmospheric soundscapes. Cheney’s work has been described as ‘atmospheres of unfathomable spaciousness’ (Partial Durations), ‘melodic slivers with plaintive intensity’ (The Australian) and ‘fantastic and frightening in its detail and colour’ (Resonate). Her body of work incorporates orchestra, chamber, voice, acousmatic collaborations, arrangements and works for theatre and ballet.

Cheney is the recipient of several scholarships and awards, including the Silver Harris and Jeff Peck Prize for Composition, the Slow Music Festival’s Quiddity Composition Prize,  and is a grant recipient from the Australia-Korea Foundation for creative research in South Korea. Her music has been commissioned and performed by The Southern Cross Soloists, The Australian Voices, the Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, Plexus, Syzygy, Sydney Antiphony, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Ballet amongst others.

Cheney holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition (2008) and Master of Music (2013) from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music where she studied with Gerard Brophy and Gerardo Dirie respectively. Her research in to the early career experiences of female composers in Australia was supervised by Brydie-Leigh Bartleet. She is currently an Australian Post Graduate Research Scholarship recipient completing her PhD in Music at The University of Melbourne, supervised by Elliott Gyger and Katy Abbott Kvasnica. Cheney has been the Academic Assistant to the Melbourne Conservatorium Composition Faculty and currently tutors in music composition and theory.

She has been a composition fellow at the Atlantic Music Festival, AYO National Music Camp, Brevard Music Centre, Yale Norfolk New Music Workshop, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Cybec Composers’ Program and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s Composers’ School. The Pool and the Star (2014) written as part of the Cybec Program was selected to be performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at the Metropolis New Music Festival under the baton of Finnish maestro Olli Mustonen.

Cheney’s passion for championing new music can be seen in her role as co-founder and curator of ‘Making Waves’: an online listening space dedicated to Australian composition. She is currently working on a new opera for children based on Edward Lear’s nonsense poem The Owl and the Pussycat.

Select scores are available for purchase through the Australian Music Centre.

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