Elizabeth Knudson


Elizabeth Knudson (b. 1981) is a Vancouver-based freelance composer. She began composing at a very early age–as soon as she could reach the keys of the piano while sitting on her mother’s lap, she began telling her mother to “write this down!” She was promptly enrolled in piano lessons. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music from Simon Fraser University (2004), and a Masters degree in Composition from the University of British Columbia (2006). In 2008, she was accepted as an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

Ms. Knudson has had works performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, West Coast Symphony, Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, Phoenix Chamber Choir, musica intima, Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, and Turning Point Ensemble, among others. Her works have been performed at concerts and festivals in Canada, the USA, Germany, Macedonia, and Albania.

In 2012, Ms. Knudson was the recipient of the Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Grant through the International Horn Society, for the composition of a new trio, “Alchemy”. She was also the recipient of the Golden Key International Honor Society’s composition award for her orchestral piece, “The Gnarled Root” (2004), and winner of the Association of Canadian Women Composers’ national choral composing competition, (2005). In 2011, Elizabeth was selected for residency in the Canadian League of Composers/Canadian Music Centre’s inaugural Composer Mentorship Programme.

Outside of composing, Elizabeth plays cello in the West Coast Symphony Orchestra, as well as in her own string quartet, and teaches privately.

Composer website:  http://elizabethknudson.ca/

Featured Works

Tides, for full orchestra.

Tides was conceived after visiting Albania and Macedonia, in summer 2012. The rugged beauty and colourful spirit of the Balkans fascinated me. This piece grew out of contemplating the continuity of time, and also the idea of an ancient land, where tides (both literal and metaphorical) have been changing and shaping its unique character for centuries. Precise, dancing rhythms inspired by Balkan folk music permeate the piece, contrasted with a fluid sense of motion and freedom.

Featured in Canadian Waves (Special Edition June 2016)