ELISION has been celebrated for its unique instrumentarium, close and longterm artistic relationships with composers, its virtuosity, and the ability and deep commitment of its musicians to renegotiate and re-invent performance practice and technique.
Notable ELISION 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; residencies at the Universities of Harvard, Stanford, Huddersfield, and Southwestern Texas; and the premiere of Richard Barrett’s CONSTRUCTION – a two-hour cycle commissioned by the European Capital of Culture programme at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2011 for live broadcast by BBC Radio 3.
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. ELISION has also joined with leading groups Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt), CIKADA (Oslo), Line Upon Line (Austin) and MusikFabrik (Köln) for large-scale projects. Conductors worked with include Jean Deroyer, Franck Ollu, Christian Eggen, Manuel Nawri, Simon Hewett, Denis Cohen, Carl Rosman, Pierre-André Valade and Eugene Ughetti. Of singular importance to ELISION was the relationship with Italian conductor Sandro Gorli, established in the early 1990’s, which led to him becoming a resident conductor for the ensemble for the better part of that decade.
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 (including Lim and de Clario Bardo’i-thos-grol; Barrett and CROW Opening of the Mouth; Rodgers & Cooper Tulp; Lim operas (Moon Spirit Feasting, The Navigator) supported by the Australia Council’s Major Festivals Initiative, as well as feature concerts (including John Zorn, John Rodgers for Adelaide Festival). Other significant collaborations include work with Indonesian artist Heri Dono 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 Maida Vale Studios for release on HCR, KAIROS, NEOS, NMC and MODE, reviewed to acclaim in Gramophone, The Wire, New York Times, the Sunday Times and BBC Music Magazine.
Main image: ELISION Ensemble onstage at the Melbourne Recital Centre, 2023 (photo Lauren Murphy)