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Lillie Harris graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2016, having studied composition with Haris Kittos and won the Elgar Memorial prize for her final portfolio. Musical from a young age, she became interested in composing through learning instruments, her flair for languages and her love of creative writing – narrative ideas and complex emotions are often a core element in her compositions. Originally from Canterbury, she is now based in London, where she dedicates the sunniest window in her flat to growing tomato plants.
Lillie’s pieces have been workshopped and performed by ensembles including the Ebor Singers, the Assembly Project, Florilegium and ensemble recherche, and she has participated in young composer schemes with Psappha, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Society. Her Dormientes Bestia for Paetzold recorder and tape was in the winning programme of the Royal College of Music’s 2016 Contemporary Competition, and in 2017 she was awarded the Tenso Young Composer’s Award for her song-cycle setting of poems by August Stramm. In 2019 the London Symphony Orchestra commissioned her to write new pieces for its Elmer’s Walk interactive concert for under-5s. Also in 2019, her setting of poet Alice Oswald’s ‘Dunt: a poem for a dried up river’ was joint winner of the echo vocal ensemble’s composition competition. In 2018–19 Lillie was one of four outstanding composers selected for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain’s Young Composers Scheme, and two fruits of that collaboration, Margaret and Not Been Found, were released on the NMC label in January 2020 (NMC DL3038).
Outside of composition, Lillie writes the user manual for the notation software Dorico, sings with Covent Garden Chorus, and works as an engraver and copyist, primarily for film and TV music recording sessions.