Lucy Shirley

Composer, 2021

Lucy Shirley is a composer, pianist, and soprano currently based in Indianapolis, IN. Her  music is polystylistic and playful, gathering influence from a variety of genres, artforms, and  media. A lover of literature, art, history, and aesthetics, her music often explores the idea of  meaning and seeks to bridge the gap between “high” and “low” art by using musical clarity to  communicate emotional depth. 

Lucy Shirley made her debut performance at age two, singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little  Star” to her preschool class, a performance that was met with wide acclaim from her toddler classmates. Since then, she has shifted her focus toward composition and has had the pleasure  of working with composers such as Anthony Plog, Chen Yi, Christopher Dietz, Douglas  Knehans, Shawn Okpebholo, Yotam Haber, and Zhou Long. A lover of poetry, literature, and the aesthetics of art, Lucy’s works have been praised for their quirky, polystylistic neo classicism and often focus on the way music relates to language. 

Lucy recently won 2nd prize in the 2021 University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory Chamber Composition Competition and will have four of her art songs released in late 2021 in North Star Music’s Modern Music for New Singers: 21st Century American Art Songs anthologies. She has presented research at musicology conferences throughout the Midwest, and in March 2020, she won the Mu Phi Epsilon National Musicology Award for undergraduate research. As a pianist, Lucy was awarded the top prize in piano from The University of Indianapolis two years in a row, as well as winning first place in the annual concerto competition in 2019. Lucy is currently pursuing her Master’s in Music Composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory.