In our 2019/20 Season, we are exploring how "old" can meet "new." This theme runs across our season in many ways, including six short new works by living composers written to complement the programs.
Tafelmusik: Tell us a little about yourself, and how you started composing music.
Cecilia Livingston: I was born and raised in Toronto and when I was about five years old I started piano lessons with Valerie Weeks (who has performed with Tafelmusik many times, making this commission a beautiful coming-full-circle!) Even when I was so little, she really encouraged me to feel and respond to the music I played on the piano, and to think it was very normal to have a harpsichord in one’s living room. She was my first glimpse of a musical life.
I’ve never fit the typical “young composer” narrative: alas, no baby genius moment, composing my first masterpiece on a Fisher-Price keyboard! I really started composing in university: I was in a music education program, but realized that the composition assignments in my theory classes were what I couldn’t wait to work on. I switched degree programs and by the end of my undergrad I figured this was the direction for me.
Now I split my time between Toronto and London (UK), where I’m composer-in-residence at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In my spare time (ha ha, a concept unknown to composers!) I like running, eating other people’s cooking, and watching dreadful reality TV that has nothing to do with classical music.Read Full Story