This is the latest volume in Wildbird’s excellent Australian Composers series, which specialises in the publication of “analytical rather than biographical” monographs containing clear, concise analyses supported by copious musical examples in notation. That being said, the writing is not overtly technical, and any non-specialist reader with a strong interest in the music of the composer in question might approach the material as an expertly written listening guide.

The Music of Liza Lim

Edited by Brian Howard, himself an Australian composer, the series has thus far included books on the music of Peter Sculthorpe, Richard Meale, Nigel Butterley and Carl Vine. Liza Lim has the distinction of being the first female composer to be featured.

British author, editor and critic Tim Rutherford-Johnson is perhaps best-known for the book Music after the Fall: Composition and Culture since 1989; he also edited the Oxford Dictionary of Music (Sixth edition). Here, he provides a biographical introduction which also serves as an overview of Lim’s compositional trajectory before examining Lim’s music in six chapters focusing respectively on solo instrumental, chamber, vocal, installation, orchestra and...