Joy Lisney
Joy Lisney - cellist

"… playing with an aplomb and rapport, a definition and vitality, an insight and ardour that many cellists better known and more experienced would do well to honour."
Classical Source

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Cambridge University Composer in Residence

 Joy is delighted to have been awarded the post of Composer in Residence at Cambridge University Music Society for the 2016-17 season. …
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Joy Lisney

Joy Lisney is one of the most exciting young musicians to emerge in recent years. Her early promise as a cellist was highlighted by Carlton Television when they chose her, at the age of six, as a possible high achiever of the twenty first century.

She has since fulfilled expectations with a distinguished international career, launched by a debut series of two concerts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 2012.

Joy has enjoyed collaborations with artists including Dame Emma Kirkby, Alexander Baillie, Howard Williams, Huw Watkins, the Allegri Quartet and the Wihan Quartet and also performs regularly in duo with her father James Lisney. Venues for duo recitals have included Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Queen's Hall Edinburgh, St. George’s Bristol, the Leipzig Gewandhaus and St. John's Smith Square. In 2014 she performed all five Beethoven cello sonatas in a single concert in a tour concluding with a sold-out performance at London’s Southbank Centre. Projects in 2017 have included a Schubert Quintet Tour with the Allegri Quartet, concerto performances by Prokofiev, Haydn and Turnage and the Cello Song recital tour.

As a passionate advocate of new music Joy has commissioned two new works from the Dutch composer Jan Vriend, the first of which she recorded on her debut CD in 2012. In 2014 she performed as a London Sinfonietta Emerging Artist at the BBC Proms in a concert broadcast on Radio 3 to celebrate the 80th birthday of Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies. In April 2017 Joy performed on the opening night of the Park Lane Group Recital Series at St. John’s Smith Square, giving a solo recital including two premieres, one of which was her own composition ScordaturA. Joy has also given European premieres of works by Judith Weir and Cecilia McDowall.

As a composer, Joy has won the Ralph Vaughan Williams and Sir Arthur Bliss Prizes and she was also Composer in Residence at Cambridge University Music Society for 2016-17. Joy is in the second year of her PhD in Composition at King’s College, Cambridge, supported by the AHRC, and is Honorary King’s College Vice-Chancellor’s Scholar. Her first string quartet was premiered by the Arditti Quartet and she has since had music performed at the King’s Lynn and Aldeburgh Festivals and the Park Lane Group Series.

Joy is also the founder and conductor of the Seraphin Chamber Orchestra, a string orchestra which combines the best players of Cambridge University with young professionals from the South of England. Their next concert will take place at the Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington Street on 4th February: please see for details.

Plans for 2018 include regular concerts with the Seraphin Chamber Orchestra, solo recitals featuring her own compositions at the Wigmore Hall and Easter at King’s and chamber music concerts with Michael Whight (principal clarinet RPO). Her most recent composition ‘Night Shadows’ will be performed by the St Peter’s Chamber Orchestra on a tour visiting venues in the UK, Italy and Austria.

Joy plays on a Seraphin violoncello generously lent by Beare Violins.


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