Composer, Teacher, Music Workshop leader

Liz Johnson is a composer, teacher and music workshop leader. Based in the beautiful Malvern Hills, she has taught composition at Birmingham Conservatoire BCU since 1999.

Johnson's richly diverse music ranges from luscious choral and vocal works to delicately layered and complex chamber music, broadcast on BBC Radio 3, with performances by ensembles and performers including the Brodsky QuartetRoderick Williams, Ex CathedraThe Opera Group, Ixion, Noszferatu, the Fitzwilliam Quartet,  Ensemble Bash, the Goldberg Ensemble, the Ionian Singers, Juice, Dr K Sextet and BCMG String Quartet No.3 Intricate Web was selected by Sir Peter Maxwell Davis for the opening of Kings Place, London.  Moon Incantations for children's choir reached the final of the British Composer Awards. Is This It? a mini opera was performed at Covent Garden by the Opera Group and other commissions include Tide purl for string quartet, Inflorescence for soprano saxophone and piano, and Diptera for solo harp. 

Works with dance include Two Pages with choreographer Eva Perdiki, Under Your Breath with choreographer Sela Kiek.


Recent projects: Reflections of an Eccentric English Artist - a flexible suite for unaccompanied cello based around Hildegard's Ave generosa; Almost... for sax octet inspired by David Hart's poetry; and songs for treble voices As Shadows Grow; Gigerlette for soprano and chamber ensemble.

Current projects: Intricate Web CD recording of Johnson's complete string quartets with the Fitzwilliam Quartet, singer Loré Lixenberg and clarinettist Ronald Woodley, due for release in April 2017. Includes the award-winning Sky-burial, setting words by Kathleen Jamie, and a set of new pieces setting Jo Shapcott's quirky poetry for female voice. Sea-change: a new clarinet quintet, commissioned by Birmingham Conservatoire Research Dept, also recorded for the CD, features five different clarinets for the soloist.

CD launch concerts:

  • Friday May 19th 2017, 7.30pm, St James' Church, Piccadilly
  • Saturday May 20th 2017, 7.30pm CBSO Centre, Birmingham
  • Tickets will be available soon! 

Other new works by Liz Johnson coming in 2017:

Triptych II and III - new pieces for baroque oboe and baroque cello based on the art of Dora Williams

Colwall's Requiem for Aleppo

Premiere performance 2nd April 2017 with the choir of St James the Great, viola soloist Adam Römer and young performers at St James Church, Colwall, Herefordshire, directed by Peter Johnson.


Other new collaborations: with visual artist Fion Gunn and digital choreographer Sarah Rubidge. And collaborating with poet David Hart on a new opera/ballet Crag Inspector probably for production in around the year 2024....

CD releases:  Flotilla saxophone consort, O Vos available from  

Songs and Icons Lekan Babalola, Ide Osun available from

Liz also works extensively in the community, having worked as a full-time teacher for 11 years before going freelance. She leads and designs inclusive creative music workshops both with adults (creative workshops and also teacher training) and in mainstream schools, and in special  schools, care homes and hospitals. 

Liz delivers composition and creative music projects for organisations including BCMG Learning and Participation team, Open University, Presteigne Festival, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Malvern Concert Club, Welsh National Opera and local schools. 

 Liz leading the Banded About Ensemble, Birmingham

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