B I O G R A P H Y
Sarah Lianne Lewis is a Welsh composer, currently based in the Vale of Glamorgan. Her music has been described as “quiet and delicate” (Matthias Roth, Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, 2016), “full of imaginative sonorities” (Steph Power, Wales Arts Review, 2016), with “pristine dissonance and eerie ambience” (Weeping Tudor Productions, 2018). She explores semi-improvisatory gestures within larger ensembles, and the intentional blurring of lines between acoustic and electronic sound.
Born and raised in Aberystwyth, Sarah was introduced to music at a young age by her family who were keen amateur musicians. She began piano lessons at the age of five, and started learning violin at the age of eight. Throughout both her primary and secondary school years, she was heavily involved with school and county-level vocal & string ensembles, choirs and orchestras, which led to her joining the Three Counties Choir at the age of 17, and the National Youth Choir at 19 years old. Whilst at secondary school, she began composing for her GCSE and A-Level Music classes, and was encouraged by her school music teacher to enter the Young Composer of Dyfed, which led to her first piece for string quartet premiered in 2006 by the Athena String Quartet as part of the competition.
Sarah attended Cardiff University between 2006 and 2011, first studying a joint degree in Music and History, and then completing a Masters in Composition. Following her studies, she continued her professional development as a composer, attending composition courses such as Aberystwyth Musicfest (2008-10), St Magnus Composers’ Course (2012), Aldeburgh Music’s English Song Project (2013), IRCAM’s ManiFeste Academy (2017), and Musiikin Aika Composers’ Course (2017). She was invited to attend ENOA’s Composing for Voice & Electronics programme in 2013, supported by Aldebugh Music, and was subsequently invited to attend the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence Academie in 2015 and Heidelberg Festival as a Composer Fellow in 2016.
In 2017, she was selected for Quatuor Bozzini’s Composers’ Kitchen through Sound and Music’s Embedded programme, and the work created on the residency was awarded the George Butterworth Prize in 2018.
In recent years, Sarah has worked with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestra Symphonique Ose!, the JACK Quartet, the Mivos Quartet, UPROAR ensemble, the Berkeley Ensemble, Cobalt Piano Duo, the Ligeti Quartet, Nevis Ensemble, Ensemble Télémaque, Fenella Humphreys, and Sarah Maria Sun.
Sarah is currently the Composer Affiliate with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, a tenure she holds from 2020-24; the youngest, and the first ever woman, to hold such a residency with the orchestra. She is also currently one of three UK-based composers awarded a fellowship by the PRS for Music Foundation to represent young outstanding British talent at the Classical:NEXT conference in Rotterdam in Autumn 2021.
Her music has been performed in the UK, Europe, Canada, & Australia, and featured on UK, US, and European radio stations.
Recordings of her music are available through the Birmingham Record Company and Ty Cerdd records.