ELISION began life performing at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne in 1986. It established its international reputation as a new music ensemble through its engagement with complex and virtuosically challenging aesthetics. ELISION’s 16-strong membership includes some of the world’s leading musicians who have defined contemporary instrumental technique with their recordings and publications. Over 30 years, the ensemble has focussed its practice on exploring musical form with cross-artform and transcultural perspectives, providing inspiring models of collaborative practice, which has had an impact on succeeding generations of artists.
ELISION has performed at venues such as the Hebbel Theater Berlin, the Berlin Philharmonie, Saitama Arts Theatre Tokyo, Pompidou Centre, Sydney Opera House, Queensland Art Gallery, and Vienna Konzerthaus; at festivals such as Wien Modern, Maerzmusik, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Festival Ars Musica of Brussels, Züricher TheaterSpektakel, the 50th Warsaw Autumn Festival, Ultima Oslo, TRANSIT Leuven, Spitalfields London, the Chekov International Theatre Festival Moscow, and Festival d’Automne à Paris. These engagements complement two decades of major appearances at the Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide Festivals with long-form installation and mixed media works (eg: Lim & de Clario Bardo; Barrett & CROW Opening of the Mouth; Rodgers & Cooper Tulp; O’Dwyer & Watson); operas (Moon Spirit Feasting, The Navigator) supported by the Australia Council’s Major Festivals Initiative, as well as feature concerts (eg: John Zorn, John Rodgers for Adelaide Festival). Other significant collaborations include work with artists Heri Dono (Indonesia) and Australians, Justine Cooper, Judith Wright and Judy Watson. The group’s discography extends to twenty-two compact discs including recordings made at the Deutschlandfunk, Radio Bremen and BBC London Studios for release on KAIROS, NEOS, NMC and MODE, reviewed to acclaim in Gramophone, The Wire, New York Times and BBC Music Magazine.
ELISION has opened new international markets for Australian performers and composers: notable achievements include the first-ever appearances of Australian contemporary opera at the Opéra National de Paris and the Fomenko Theatre in Moscow; the curation of a concert series at Kings Place London from 2009-12; and residencies at the Universities of Harvard, Stanford and Huddersfield which brought the work of young Australian composers into contact with their international peers. ELISION has joined with leading groups Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt) and CIKADA (Oslo) in developing Australian work and profiling significant Australian performers such as Simon Hewett (conductor), Deborah Kayser (soprano), Carl Rosman (Clarinet) and Graeme Jennings (violin) amongst others. ELISION has commissioned over 200 new works, including repertoire classics such as Liza Lim’s Mother Tongue, co-commissioned with the Ensemble Intercontemporain and Festival d’Automne à Paris. Lim’s Garden of Earthly Desire commissioned jointly with Handspan Theatre continues to be performed internationally 28 years later. The ensemble has delivered major projects in partnership with funding agencies such as the Australia Council, Arts Queensland, Arts Victoria, Siemens Culture Foundation, Sound & Music UK, Arts Council England, Canada Arts Council, Norwegian Ministry of the Arts, Australia-Japan Foundation, Italian Cultural Institute, Alliance Française and the Goethe Institute.
Daryl Buckley | Artistic Director | ELISION Ensemble