Juliet Palmer

composer, sound artist and performer

New Zealand-Canadian composer Juliet Palmer is known as a “post-modernist with a conscience” (The Listener) whose work “crosses so many genres as to be in a category of its own” (Toronto Star). Juliet is the artistic director of Urbanvessel, a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration. Recent works: Inside Us, audio-video installation and performance featuring Laura Swankey and the VOICE OVER mind Choir (Western Front, Vancouver); burl for pianist Stephen De Pledge (NZ Festival); The Man Who Married Himself, librettist Anna Chatterton & choreographer Hari Krishnan (Toronto Masque Theatre); Vermillion Songs, tenor Simon O’Neill & NZTrio; Invicta, text by Blackfoot Pikani spoken word artist Zaccheus Jackson (Signal Theatre & NYO Canada); Quarry, soprano Sarah Albu & Continuum (Touching Ground Festival);  Sweat, a cappella opera, writer Anna Chatterton (Bicycle Opera tour; National Sawdust, New York); and Singing River, site-specific performance, Wonscotonach/Don River (Aanmitaagzi, Native Earth, Evergreen and Pan Am Path). Her 2010 boxing opera Voice-Box was acclaimed as a “performance piece that smashes the boundaries between disciplines and leaves them sprawled out on the mat, down for the count” (Musicworks).

Upcoming: Sweat, CalArts, Los Angeles (March 2019); Oil & Water, Detroit Symphony Orchestra (June 2019); Choreography of Trauma, Continuum and The Element Choir (2020); and a commissioned work for Canada’s Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Gemma New (2020).

Based in Toronto since 1997, Juliet’s work has been featured around the world with performances at: New York’s Lincoln Center, London’s Southbank Centre, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Bath International Festival, Voix Nouvelles France, Italy’s Angelica Festival, Evenings of New Music Bratislava, Musica Ficta Festival Lithuania, NYYD Festival Estonia, The Istanbul Festival, Soundculture Japan, the Adelaide Festival, the New Zealand International Arts Festival, and Canada’s World Stage Festival, Koerner Hall, National Arts Centre, Orpheum Theatre, Chan Centre, Crow’s Theatre, Theatre Centre, Music Gallery, Sound Symposium, Open Space, Western Front and Ottawa Chamberfest.

Performers of her music include Canada’s Aventa, Tapestry New Opera, Continuum, Soundstreams, Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, Toca Loca, l’Orchestre Métropolitain conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Bicycle Opera, Penderecki String Quartet, New Music Concerts, Arraymusic, Eve Egoyan, Krisztina Szabó, Patricia O’Callaghan, Trio Fibonacci, the Gryphon Trio, and Motion Ensemble; Les Percussions de Strasbourg; Italy’s Fontanamix; London’s Piano Circus; Slovakia’s Veni Ensemble; California EAR Unit and the Bang on a Can All-Stars; the New Zealand String Quartet, Auckland Philharmonia, Orchestra Wellington and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Juliet was the 2011/12 Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards composer-in-residence at the New Zealand School of Music and the 2012 composer-in-residence of Orchestra Wellington. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Sunnybrook Research Institute in 2018, a position funded by the Ontario Arts Council. She is the winner of the Detroit Symphony’s Elaine Lebenbom Award and the recipient of a Chalmers Arts Fellowship 2018-19.

Juliet holds a PhD in composition from Princeton University and an M.Mus in performance, composition and time-based art from Auckland University. Her teachers and mentors include: Louis Andriessen, Jack Body, Phil Dadson, Michael Gordon, Eleanor Hovda, David Lang, Paul Lansky, Annea Lockwood, Meredith Monk, Steve Mackey and Julia Wolfe.