Liz Dilnot Johnson (1964) lives on the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire. Her richly diverse music includes danceworks, films, opera, luscious choral, vocal and orchestral works and a wealth of delicately layered and complex chamber music, performed all over the world.
As composer-in-residence with Ex Cathedra, the choir’s most recent commission When A Child Is A Witness – Requiem for Refugees (2022) was premiered at Coventry Cathedral with adult and children’s choirs and refugee groups, ‘bringing together in a most radiant manner…a diverse body of music …so that all enhance one another’ (Church Times). ‘She has an extraordinary intuition for knowing what works’ (Jeffrey Skidmore, OBE).
Johnson’s debut double album Intricate Web (2017) features the prize-winning Sky-burial performed by the Fitzwilliam String Quartet with vocalist Loré Lixenberg ‘a master-class in writing for voice and for string quartet’ (MusicWebInternational). The Clarinet Quintet Sea-change for multiple clarinets and string quartet, commissioned by clarinetist Ronald Woodley, features twenty-five different instruments: five clarinets ranging from contrabass to E flat plus string quartet armed with small percussion, voices and Swanee whistles; ‘palpably exciting and dynamic’ (Fanfare).
The multiple award-winning music video Can You Hear Me? with music from the large-scale cantata I Stand At The Door for mezzo-soprano, baroque violin solo, choir and baroque orchestra sets words by Greta Thunberg, Kurt Masur, Book of Revelations, David Hart and Liz herself. The work was recently performed by Ex Cathedra at Birmingham Town Hall with Lucy Russell as soloist, ‘Johnson’s love-song to the planet’ (Ex Cathedra).