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May Lyon : Associate Artist

I cannot imagine life without music, in all its various, beautiful forms. I see music as one of the markers for a healthy society, as well as being fascinated with its diversity. I wish to add to that. For me, to create music is part of being human.

Random Audio Sample: Bugs : for violoncello duet by May Lyon, from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 117.

Photo of May Lyon

Photo: May Lyon (2018)

Artist website: http://maylyon.com

May Lyon is a composer and music educator based in Melbourne. Lyon's music explores a range of themes, from deep human emotions, representations of nature to mathematical concepts, as well as the lighter side of life. Stylistically eclectic, Lyon's compositions move from dramatic and intense, to quirky. Narrative, precision, duality and rhythm are all strong recurring elements.
In March 2021 the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra performed a newly commissioned work Opal: Double concerto for horns and orchestra, written for Nicolas Fleury and Rachel Shaw, conducted by Ben Northey. In 2023 Lyon's first opera, Pieces of Margery, will be performed in conjunction with Melbourne based opera company More Than Opera under the baton of Alan Cook. In 2019 Cook premiered Orchestral Equations (2014) with the The National Capital Orchestra.
Lyon is currently studying a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Sydney as part of the 2020-21 Composing Women Program, under the supervision of Liza Lim and Matthew Hindson. Collaborations as part of this course are with the Sydney Dance Company, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellows, and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. In 2019 Lyon completed a Master of Music (Composition) as a recipient of the Fay Marles Scholarship at the University of Melbourne under the guidance of Dr Katy Abbott Kvasnica and Dr Elliott Gyger. Lyon started formal music study in 2008, at the age of 28, majoring in Composition from 2009.
In 2019 Lyon was a finalist for the Beluera Emerging Composer Award as part of the prestigious Melbourne Prize for Music. In 2017 Lyon was a participant in the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program, writing Ignition under the mentorship of Brenton Broadstock OA. Following this, Lyon was commissioned by the MSO to compose the main piece for the 2019 Snare Drum Award, Phosphorus. In 2016-17 Lyon received several commissions, including composing for Syzygy Ensemble as part of the Melbourne Recital Centre's "Local Heroes" program, Ensemble Goldentree, and The Glen Johnston Composition Award. Lyon received several scholarships during her undergraduate studies, including the Adolf Spivakovsky Scholarship for Composition of Music for verse re-rhymes, which was premiered by Ensemble 21 in August 2010. Lyon completed her BMus Honours in 2014 having studied with Dr Stuart Greenbaum, Dr Elliott Gyger.
Past performances and collaborations have included the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Goldentree, Zelman Symphony Orchestra, Rubiks Collective, Syzygy Ensemble, E21, Melbourne Women's Choir, flautist Robin Meiksins (Chicago) multi-arts organisation Forest Collective and vocal group Icon Trio. In January 2018 Lyon was a participant in the Prime Composition workshop with composer Adrian Sutton, resulting in a short work, I love maths. I also like outerspace, that was performed during intervals at Melbourne performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Lyon's music was featured on ABC Classic's New Waves in 2017, several times on 3MBS, including Live at the Wireless, and continues to be included on various Making Waves podcasts, including an hour length interview for Making Conversations in 2017.

May Lyon — current to May 2022

Teacher/Influence on

Robert McIntyre

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2019 Melbourne Prize for Music Finalist - Beleura Emerging Composers Award 2019
2009 Adolph Spivakovsky Scholarship for the Composition of Music Winner Verse re-rhymes

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Opal : Double Concerto for Horns and Orchestra (2021) Commissioned by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Phosphorus : for solo percussion (2019) Commissioned by Lyn, Tim & Kris Edwards, together with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for the 2019 Snare Drum Award.
Digital sheet music sample Echo : for Soprano and Horn (2018) Commissioned by Ensemble Goldentree for International Women's Day 2018
Digital sheet music sample The Fate of Phaethon : for soprano, horn and string quartet (2017) Commissioned by Ensemble Goldentree.
Digital sheet music sample Ignition : For Chamber Orchestra (2017) Commissioned as part of the 2018 Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers' Program.
Digital sheet music sample Ode to Damascus : for flutes, clarinet, violin, cello and piano (2016) Commissioned for Melbourne Recital Centre / University of Melbourne with the support of Majlis Pty Ltd