Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal



Juliet Palmer photo

Juliet Palmer | photo by Dahlia Katz

New Zealand-Canadian composer Juliet Palmer is known as a “post-modernist with a conscience” (The Listener) whose work “crosses so many genres as to be in a category of its own” (Toronto Star). Juliet is the artistic director of Urbanvessel, a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration. Recent works: Oil & Water, Detroit Symphony Orchestra (June 2019); rivers, solo CD release (Barnyard Records, 2018); Inside Us, audio-video installation and performance (Western Front, Vancouver); burl for pianist Stephen De Pledge (NZ Festival); The Man Who Married Himself, librettist Anna Chatterton & choreographer Hari Krishnan (Toronto Masque Theatre); Vermillion Songs, tenor Simon O’Neill & NZTrio; and Sweat, a cappella opera, writer Anna Chatterton (CalArts, Los Angeles; Bicycle Opera tour; National Sawdust, New York). Her 2010 boxing opera Voice-Box was acclaimed as a “performance piece that smashes the boundaries between disciplines and leaves them sprawled out on the mat, down for the count” (Musicworks).

‘a fluent and versatile stylist, equally at home in accessible tonal idioms as well as modal textures coloured with Messiaen-like harmonies and rhythms.’ 

— Owen Mortimer, Opera Now (UK), 2012

 Upcoming: Every Word Was Once An Animal with artist Carla Bengtson, biologist Emilia Martins, choreographer Darion Smith and video artist Jessie Rose Vala, Eugene, Oregon (August, 2019); Ukiyo, floating world, Urbanvessel and Toronto’s Thin Edge New Music Collective, ONGAKU Festival (September, 2019); small excesses, pianist Sarah Watkins and violinist Andrew Beer (Atoll CD release); Cutwork,Auckland Chamber Orchestra (October, 2019); Choreography of Trauma, Continuum and The Element Choir (February, 2020); and a commissioned work for Canada’s Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra with New Zealand conductor Gemma New (March, 2020).

Juliet was the 2011/12 Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards composer-in-residence at the New Zealand School of Music and the 2012 composer-in-residence of Orchestra Wellington. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Sunnybrook Research Institute in 2018 funded by the Ontario Arts Council. She is the winner of the Detroit Symphony’s Elaine Lebenbom Award and the recipient of a Chalmers Arts Fellowship 2018-19.

Juliet holds a PhD in composition from Princeton University and an M.Mus in performance, composition and time-based art from Auckland University.