Joy Lisney – cellist, conductor, composer


I try to approach every type of music with the same philosophy – to take a fresh look at the score and to interpret what that particular composer means in their notation. I then put one hundred percent of myself into every moment of the music, no matter what the style

Praised for her stylish playing, musical maturity, formidable technical finesse and keen advocacy for new music, Joy Lisney is one of the most exciting young musicians to emerge in recent years in a busy career combining the cello with composing and conducting.

She has been performing internationally since her teens, at leading venues including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Queen’s Hall Edinburgh, St. George’s Bristol and the Southbank Centre, in concerts featuring some of the best known works for cello as well as specially-commissioned new music and her own compositions. Her first string quartet was premiered by the Arditti Quartet in 2015 and she premiered her own composition ‘ScordaturA’ for solo cello in 2017 at St John’s Smith Square as part of the Park Lane Group concert series.

there’s something really special about hearing a composer perform their own music – the sense of ownership is very potent and this was certainly the case with Joy’s work

In 2017 Joy founded the Seraphin Chamber Orchestra at King’s College, Cambridge. The orchestra, which she conducts, performs music from the rich repertoire for strings as well as encouraging living composers to write for the ensemble.

Forthcoming performances this season include the Elgar Cello Concerto and the Brahms Double Concerto (with Emma Lisney), the premiere of her new work for chamber ensemble, and concerts at Temple Music Foundation, West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge, St George’s Bristol, the Purcell Room, and St John’s Smith Square.

Her focus on the music she plays is total and without any mannerism or affectation. It flows straight from her person to the audience……Her understanding of the music of whichever period and style is utterly mature and her intent on conveying that understanding infectious and entirely natural

–  Jan Vriend, composer

Joy is currently studying towards a PhD in Composition at King’s College, Cambridge.

Full biography

High-res photos

For press enquiries and interviews please contact Frances Wilson