Liza Sobel Crane, Composer

Liza Sobel Crane is a composer and soprano based in Chicago. Her compositions are often influenced by current social issues. Recent inspirations include anxiety and stress in today’s society, the negative impact of social media and its links to depression and suicide, sexual assault, neurodiversity, and other health issues, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

Liza’s music has been performed in numerous worldwide venues, including at Carnegie Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Symphony Space, Bang on a Can, the Aspen Music Festival, Eighth Blackbird's Creative Lab, Aldeburgh Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, the Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn, Brevard Music Institute, Bowdoin’s International Music Festival, and nief-norf Summer Festival. Performers that have played her music include: the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the Minnesota Orchestra, Ensemble Dal Niente, Spektral String Quartet, Cygnus Ensemble, Third Coast Percussion, Nouveau Classical Project, Zafa Collective, Ekmeles Vocal Ensemble, Orkest de Ereprijs, West Point Woodwind Quintet, and Joseph Lin, first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet.

Liza’s piece, (E)Merging Dances, was performed by the New York Youth Symphony at their Carnegie Hall concert as part of their First Music Commission Program. She sang in the world premiere of her opera, I DID, DID I?, with the Zafa Collective at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago.

Liza’s piece, Reverse Forward, was commissioned by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago’s 100th anniversary virtual concert. The original concert was canceled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and seven composers were commissioned to create new pieces both inspired by the pandemic and the Civic Orchestra’s originally scheduled performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. Her Ticking Time Bomb was selected for the 2020 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute.  Her Requiem won the American Prize in the choral division and was a finalist in the BMI Young Composers Award. Liza's orchestra piece Tocsin was a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers’ Award.  Liza was a Fulbright scholar to the UK.

As a singer, Liza regularly performs both standard and new repertoire, including her own music.  She frequently performs music by living emerging composers and numerous composers have written pieces for her. Composers’ music she has performed include: Nathaniel Canfield, Nicholas Cline, Chung Eun Kim, Tyler Kramlich, Tom Peterson, Maxwell Ramage, Tom Schneller, Jasmine Thomasian, Zachary Wadsworth, and Ben Zucker.  In addition, she frequently collaborated with the late Walter Hilse, composer, organist, and professor at Manhattan School of Music, who composed twelve pieces for Liza.  Liza sang in Rutgers University's Opera Program.  She also attended the Castleton Artists Training Seminar festival, founded by the late Maestro Lorin Maazel.  Liza performed a recital of new music by Chicago based composers and George Crumb's Apparition with pianist Jonathan Hannau at Constellation as part of the Ear Taxi Festival.

Liza studied at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music (DMA), Rutgers University’s Mason Gross Conservatory (MA); Cornell University (BA with honors), and Manhattan School of Music. For more information, please see her website,


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