Cecilia Livingston

Last updated: September 13, 2023

Cecilia Livingston specializes in music for voice. She is composer-in-residence at the Canadian Opera Company (2022–) and was composer-in-residence at Glyndebourne Opera (2019–2022). Her music is driven by melody, mixing styles from minimalism to The American Songbook to create work that is lyrical and unsettling. 

Cecilia’s residencies at the COC and Glyndebourne build on her two-year fellowship at The American Opera Project in New York. Her opera Singing Only Softly won the inaugural Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes and was nominated for two 2020 Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Theatre (including Outstanding New Opera), and her harp and vibraphone duo Garden features on the 2020 JUNO Classical Album of the Year for Solo or Chamber. Her music has been heard at Bang on a Can’s summer festival, Toronto’s Nuit Blanche art festival, the 21C Music Festival, with the Royal Conservatory of Music, the international World Choir Games, with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Kingston Symphony, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Toronto’s Thin Edge New Music Collective, and on Deutsche Grammophon’s Digital Stage. 

Current projects include a song cycle with Orange Prize winning poet Anne Michaels, new work for Soundstreams, and an opera for TorQ Percussion Quartet and Opera 5. Her creative work is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and SOCAN Foundation. 

In the summer of 2022, Cecilia joined the faculty at the Banff Centre’s Opera in the 21st Century program, and she is Vice-President of the Canadian League of Composers and an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre. 
She was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow in Music at King’s College London and her articles and reviews have appeared in Tempo (Cambridge), the Cambridge Opera Journal, and The Opera Quarterly (Oxford); she has given papers on contemporary opera at the Royal Musical Association and American Musicological Society annual conferences. 

Winner of the Canadian Music Centre’s Toronto Emerging Composer Award and a winner in the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers, she studied with Steve Reich at Bang on a Can’s summer festival and Soundstreams’ Emerging Composer Workshop. She holds a doctorate in composition from the University of Toronto, where she was awarded the Theodoros Mirkopoulos Fellowship in Composition. 

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