b.1973, Canada

Born in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan , Nicole Lizée has written for unorthodox instrument combinations including turntables, the Atari 2600 video game console, Simon and Merlin hand held games, and karaoke tapes.

Her works have been performed in festivals including the MATA Festival (NYC), Winnipeg New Music Festival (Canada), Huddersfield (UK), X Avant (Canada), Open Ears (Canada), Ecstatic (NYC), and C3 (Berlin). In 1995 she received a Bachelor of Music degree from Brandon University where she majored in piano and composition. In 2001 she received a Master of Music degree in composition from McGill University in Montreal.

Nicole has received commissions from several artists and ensembles including l’Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, Kronos Quartet, CBC, the Kaufman Center/Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, Transmission, So Percussion, Arraymusic, Ensemble Kore, Soundstreams, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Standing Wave, Continuum, Bradyworks, Brigitte Poulin, Megumi Masaki, Ben Reimer, Motion Ensemble, Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Toca Loca and l’Association des Orchestres de Jeunes du Québec. Nicole received the 2013 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. She currently resides in Montréal (Canada).

A new Nicole Lizée work commissioned by Soundstreams will be premiered at the 'Passion After st. Matthew' concert on April 15, 2014. This event will be streamed live on Soundstreams.ca.

Artist Compositions


Premiere Title of Commission Listen
04/15/2014 Hymns to Pareidolia Listen Close

The piece reflects structures found in Bach’s score and imagines how unlikely instruments, including stylophones, omnichords, oscillators and vinyl would work in Baroque practices, such as in basso continuo, canons, chorales, or hockets. The psychological concept of Hymns to Pareidolia invites us to embrace unexpected sensory illusions as familiar.

03/02/2021 White Label Experiment (for John Cage) Listen Close

Composed to celebrate what would have been the hundredth birthday of avant-garde pioneer John Cage, this work pays homage to the ideas and philosophies embodied in his music and his words. Lizée—noted for incorporating turntables and other electronic devices into the concert-music setting—here makes extensive use of various objets trouvés (including typewriters and vinyl records on portable turntables struck with mallets) as percussion instruments, regardless of their original purpose.