Dr Sylvia Lim

Key details:

Composition Professorial Staff
Sylvia Lim
Photo - Nina Close


Sylvia Lim is a composer based in the UK. Her works are intimate, exploring a small amount of material in depth - often a single sound, texture, or entity. She is interested in the materiality of sound, notions of close listening, perception, rawness and instability. Her music is influenced by natural phenomena in our world and the visual arts.

She works very closely with musicians, visual artists and dancers.  Sylvia’s music has been performed and/or workshopped by Plus-Minus Ensemble, EXAUDI, CoMA Singers, Liam Byrne, Natasha Zielazinski, Musarc, BBC Singers, Fournier Trio, Kaleidoscope Saxophone Quartet, tick tock, members of the Aurora Orchestra, and members of the London Symphony Orchestra. Her music has been published in the CoMA Partsong Book, and performed at the Cambridge Female Composers Festival, CoMA Festival, London Contemporary Music Festival, and Barbican OpenFest’s Unfinished. 

In 2019/20, she was on the London Philharmonic Orchestra Young Composers Programme and Psappha’s Composing for Piano scheme.  Sylvia completed her PhD (‘Exploring organic decay through sound’) at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she also gained a first class Bachelor of Music (Honours) and a Master of Music with distinction, winning the Ian Horsbrugh Memorial Prize for Composition in 2015.

Her composition teachers and doctoral supervisors during her studies include Paul Newland, Julian Philips, Richard Baker, Matthew Kaner, Stephen Plaice, Stephen Cornford (Oxford Brookes University) and Simon Shaw-Miller (University of Bristol). She currently teaches composition and workshop skills at Guildhall School of Music & Drama.