Litha Efthymiou is a London based composer whose music has been described as ‘powerful’ (Timmy Fisher, Bachtrack, 2018), ‘brilliantly realised’ (Tamara Gausi, Time Out, 2008) and ‘cutting edge’ (Helen Wallace, Kings Place Magazine, 2014).
Her work has been performed in venues including Kings Place, Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Bristol St George’s, Handel and Hendrix in London, the Sage Gateshead, and Southampton’s Turner Simms, by ensembles and soloists including the Ligeti String Quartet, violinist Darragh Morgan, Harpsichordist Jane Chapman, and the London Symphony Orchestra. Her music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Litha has been the recipient of awards from Arts Council England, PRS Women Make Music, the National Lottery, Hinrichsen Foundation, RVW Trust, and the Wellcome Trust.
Litha undertook her PhD in composition at the University of Bristol, supervised by composer John Pickard and she currently teaches composition at London College of Music. As well as composition work, Litha also writes about music and has published journal articles and book chapters for Contemporary Music Review, Context, Airea, Intellect, and Act.
Efthymiou, L. (2018) Present Shadows. Edition HH ISMN 979 0708146 681
Efthymiou, L. (2015) Tread Softly. Edition HH ISMN 979 0708146 681 032
Efthymiou, L. (2015) Kalyani. Edition HH ISMN 979 0708059 295
Efthymiou, L. (2014) Iberian Refractions. Edition HH ISMN 979 0708146 452
Efthymiou, L. (2012) States of Ice: Diamond Dust. Edition HH ISMN 979 0708092 896
Efthymiou, L and Schueregger, M (2021) Audience Perception in Experiential Embodied Music Theatre: A Practice-based Case Study, ACT: Zeitschrift für music and performance, Issue 10
Efthymiou, L and Scheuregger, M (2020) Composer-composer collaboration and the difficulty of intradisciplinarity, Airea: Arts and Interdisciplinary Research, 2.
Efthymiou, L and Hornby, E (2019) New Music Inspired by Old Hispanic Chant, Context Journal of Music Research, Issue 45.
Efthymiou, L. (2017) Devising an Opera: Myisi Contemporary Music Review, Vol. 35. No. 6.
List of works
Through that Twilight Sky (symphony orchestra). Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra at LSO St Luke's, May 2023. Supported by the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme. Conducted by François-Xavier Roth.
Moon Chase (concert band). Performed by Bury St Edmunds Concert Band at Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, May 2022 and September 2022. Conducted by Rob Head. This piece was developed as part of Sound and Music and Making Music's Adopt a Music Creator scheme.
Moments Held (symphony orchestra). Performed by Bristol University Symphony Orchestra at Victoria Rooms, Bristol, 2018. Conducted by John Pickard.
The Journey (chamber orchestra). Performed by St. Paul's Sinfonia, St. Paul's Church, London, March 2011. Conducted by Andrew Morley. Winner of the St. Paul's Sinfonia Composition Competition.
Strings (quartets and duos)
Synchrony (cello and waterphone). This short work was written for Tim Williams and Jen Langridge from Psappha Ensemble. It was written as part of Psappha's Composing For... scheme. The work was filmed on 16th May 2022 for web release in July 2022.
Tread Softly (string quartet). Commissioned by NMSW. Premiered at the RWA, Bristol, by the Bristol Ensemble string quartet, 7 June 2015. Subsequent performances at Royal Albert Hall's Elgar Room on 18 October 2015, Bristol St. George's on 20 September 2015, Hauser and Wirth Museum on 13 June 2015, and performances by the Ligeti Quartet at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre on 21 February 2019 and Combination Room, Cambridge on 27 February 2019. Performed in Germany on 9 and 10 October 2020, in St. Marhin's Church, Nortorf, and St. Peter's Church, St. Peter-Ording, by the Phacelia Ensemble. Published by Edition HH.
Iberian Refractions (two violins). Commissioned by NMSW. Premiered at St George's Bristol by the Bristol Ensemble, September 2014. Subsequent performance at Kings Place, London, 20 October 2018 as part of Women of the World Festival; Soundings (ACF London) by Darragh Morgan and Dave Larkin on 2 November 2022. Published by Edition HH. Funded by the Hinrichsen Foundation.
Moon from Earth (string quartet). Commissioned by Sound World and the Bristol Planetarium (We the Curious) for the Zelkova Quartet. The piece accompanies a new film that was created by We the Curious to celebrate the Apollo 11 moon landings. The piece was performed at We the Curious in Bristol on 20 July 2019, 2 and 30 August 2019, 20 September 2019, 18 October 2019, 29 November 2019, and will be showing at planetaria across the world.
Fragments (string quartet). Winner of the Greenwich International String Quartet Composition Competition. Premiered at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, by the acclaimed Wu Quartet, 2011.
Let Him Kiss Me With the Kiss of His Mouth (female choir SSA). Commissioned by Invicta Upper Voices. Premiered at Kings Place, London, 1 October 2016, as part of WOW Equator Festival.
Looking at Me (soprano and piano). Performed at Kings Place by Susanna Fairbairn and Matthew Schellhorn, 16 March 2014.
Riversong (chorus, piano and horn). Commissioned by Streetwise Opera and PRS Foundation. Premiered at ENO studios, London, 1 April 2017, as part of Streetwise Opera Hour.
Rough Seas (female choir and small ensemble). Commissioned by Portsmouth High School. Premiered at Portsmouth Cathedral, 24 March 2015.
Moon to Earth (female choir). Performed by Bristol Schola Cantorum at Bristol University, 2014. Conducted by Emma Hornby.
Lady M (soprano and wind quintet). Premiered by soprano Susan Parkes and the London Myriad Ensemble at St Mary le Strand in Holborn, London, 2008.
Present Shadows (flute, clarinet, piano, cello, double bass). Premiered at the Victoria Rooms, Bristol, November 2016. Published by Edition HH.
Bustling (recorder quintet). Commissioned by PRS Women Make Music and Consortium 5. Premiered at the Wilding Festival, St. George’s Bloomsbury, 16 June 2013, with subsequent performances nationwide.
Starless (four harps). Premiered at Queen Elizabeth Hall, as part of the Ether Festival, March 2011.
Atalanta's Race (brass quartet). Commissioned by Meridian Brass. Premiered at the Sonic Coast Festival, 25 October 2014.
Egg Soldiers (percussion quartet). Commissioned by Kettle’s Yard for acclaimed percussion group, Ensemble Bash. Premiered by Ensemble Bash on 6 May 2012 at Kettle’s Yard.
Musing (piano, oboe, clarinet, trombone). This work won a place at the 11th New London Wind Festival and was performed at Regent Hall, Oxford Street, London, 2010.
Scribbles (contemporary music group). Premiered at Blackheath Halls, London, 2010. Conducted by Gregory Rose.
A Light Went Out (classical guitar). Premiered at Kings Place, London, 23rd October 2021, with a subsequent performance on 16th July 2022 by Songbin Cho. Commissioned by the International Guitar Foundation as part of La Leona: Women and the Guitar, organised by IGF.
Waves (viola). Premiered at Kings Place, London, 20 October 2018 as part of Women of the World Festival. Subsequent performances at Soundings (ACF, London) by Richard Jones, Nov 3rd 2022; All Hallows by the Tower, City of London, 26 October; and Blue Room, Lincoln, 8 November 2018. Funded by the Hinrichsen Foundation.
States of Ice: Diamond Dust (classical guitar). Commissioned by the International Guitar Foundation. Performed at Kings Place, 27 October 2012; Sage Gateshead, 20 and 21 October 2012; and Bath Assembly Rooms, 24 and 25 July 2012, with subsequent performances at UK music festivals and regional chamber concerts (including in Sweden and Brighton 2018, and Kings Place Venus Unwrapped, 27 October 2019). Published by Edition HH.
Agrippina's Descent (violin and electronics). Premiered by violinist, Darragh Morgan at the Old Royal Naval College in May 2010.
Kalyani (piano). Published by Edition HH in 2014.
I Only Know I Am (a multimedia collaboration with Martin Scheuregger, the Bristol Ensemble, soprano Susan Parkes, and actor Ian Harris). Performed at Lincoln's Blue Room on 26 September 2019. Supported by St Hugh's Foundation, Wild Plum Arts and Britten Pears Foundation.
Rituals to Mould Her With (a multimedia collaboration with Effy Efthymiou, harpsichordist Jane Chapman, dancer Harriet Parker-Beldeau, and actress Esmé Patey-Ford). Performed at London's Kings Place on 5 February 2017, Handel and Hendrix in London in May 2017, RWA in Bristol in November 2016, and Southampton's Turner Sims in December 2016. Supported by Hinrichsen Foundation, RVW Trust, and the Brigstow Institute.
Myisi (a multidisciplinary stage work for nine musicians, actor, dancer and filmmaker). Commissioned by and performed at Tête-á-Tête Opera Festival, New Diorama Theatre on 26 July 2015.
Parting (a multidisciplinary stage work for 13 musicians, two actors, dancer and two filmmakers, in collaboration with a psychologist from the Institute of Psychiatry). Commissioned by Kings Place and premiered on 16 March 2014; previews at National Maritime Museum and Blackheath Halls, 2012. Supported by Arts Council England.
Fragments of Sun (a multidisciplinary opera, with dance and live video projection). Commissioned by and performed at the Tête á Tête Opera Festival, Riverside Studios, 11 and 12 August 2012.
Reminiscence (a multidisciplinary stage work). Performed at Jacksons Lane Theatre, 9 - 20 September 2008. Supported by the Playground Studio, Arts Council England and Wellcome Trust.
Wherever I Hang: A Hip Hop Ballet (a multimedia work for string quartet and Hip Hop dancers). Performed at Arcola Theatre, 14 and 15 September 2007. Supported by the National Lottery.
Theatre and Film
The Engineer's Corset (full production), Redgrave Theatre, Bristol, Louise Matthews Productions Ltd, 2015.
The Engineer's Corset (R and D), Brewery Theatre, Bristol, Bread and Circuses, 2013.
The History of the Pomegranate (full production) Sir John Mills Theatre, Pulse Festival; Tower Bridge Gallery; and Stoke Newington International Airport throughout 2009. Ahh Productions.