ELIZABETH HILLIARD is an exceptional singer based in Dublin, widely regarded as an imaginative and dramatic interpreter of new music. She has worked in close collaboration with composers including Jennifer Walshe, Christopher Fox and David Bremner and champions Irish art music and composers, achieving recognition at home as well as in the UK and USA.
Highlights of her career to date include: An invitation to London with the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland to perform in both The Irish Embassy in London and Cafe OTO for the 2018 launch of CMC’s promotional album new music:new Ireland three, presentation of and musical director of Béal 2016 (Inappropriate Moments), a 2-day festival held at the Project Arts Centre, featuring the unaccompanied vocal-ensemble music by Jennifer Walshe, including the Irish premiere of much of her music and a newly-commissioned work.
Her debut album Sea to the West in 2016 was acclaimed by Colin Clarke in Fanfare Archive as ‘a highly specialized but massively rewarding disc’. In September 2020, she performed in Jennifer Walshe’s Ireland: A Dataset in the Imagining Ireland series live-streamed by the National Concert Hall of Ireland, which was highlighted by Alex Ross in the New Yorker as one of the Top 10 Performances of 2020.
Her current main focus is ‘Great Women’: A work that celebrates the unsung heroes who have shaped Ireland. This work is written by the composer Gráinne Mulvey (a member of Aosdána and Professor in TU Dublin Conservatoire). Gráinne and Elizabeth been collaborating for over a decade. This is their most ambitious project yet, bringing together some amazing historical figures from Ireland’s history including Countess Markievicz, Rosie Hackett and Ireland’s former Presidents, Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese.
Great Women was commissioned by the Dublin International Chamber Music Festival (formerly the Great Music in Irish Houses Festival) to mark its 50th anniversary in 2020 with support from Arts Council / An Comhairle Ealaíon. For the festival, Elizabeth has filmed a performance of this in the State Apartments of Dublin Castle with award-winning film director John Comiskey and director Hélène Montague. This will be available to view from the https://dicmf.com/elizabeth-hilliard (18th June – 27th June).
Earlier this year she also recorded the work at Hellfire Studios with studio engineer Ben Rawlins. This has been released by Métier / Divine Art Records – Julian Cowley of The Wire writes of the release: ‘Dublin-based soprano Elizabeth Hilliard delivers an astonishing performance of Gráinne Mulvey’s intense and impassioned song of praise for Irish women, who have led a struggle against the manifold oppressions of patriarchy.’.
The Dublin International Chamber Music Festival will be hosting an event to celebrate the release on the 18th of June also, which will be streamed on YouTube.
In the video below, Elizabeth Hilliard performing at Finding A Voice Festival earlier this year. Finding a Voice is an annual four-day concert series that focuses on music by women composers through the ages and around the world, in celebration of International Women’s Day – 8th March. Located in the beautiful town of Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Finding A Voice features performances from leading Irish and international musicians. www.findingavoice.ie