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Shirley Ly is a self-taught British female contemporary classical music composer from Greenwich in London, UK with Chinese and Vietnamese heritage. She has composed over 40 pieces for solo piano / violin / cello, duets, trios, quartets and quintets. She has released 4 albums: 9 Lives (2023), Paradise (2023)Blossom (2021), and Impetus (2018) and multiple singles i.e. Olive Tree (2024), Emerald (2023), and London Strive (2023). Her music has been played over a million times across more than 100 countries around the world, including by BBC radio and other radio shows, and is described to be a bridge between classical, romantic, and minimalist music with Eastern and jazz elements. Scala Radio has recently named her as a 'One To Watch' artist. She has performed her music across a variety of venues, including churches and halls, and will be performing in many more venues going forward in London and abroad. Shirley plays the piano in all of her pieces.

Shirley's compositions aim to capture her reflections and experiences of nature (i.e. the seasons, cats, swallows, swans, the ocean, turtles), global issues (i.e. climate change and devastating effects of war), living in London, dance, relationships with family and other loved ones, travel (i.e. to Vietnam, Berlin, Amsterdam), and dreams. She is currently composing works inspired by her grandfather, Tian Chen (1927 - 2014) and her solo travels in Southeast Asia, namely China and Vietnam. Her grandfather was a distinguished fine artist, poet and photographer from Guangzhou in China, and growing up, Shirley was greatly influenced by his love of the beauty of nature and the world, and his aspirations to capture and show this beauty in the form of art. 

Shirley did not come from a musical family. She began composing when she was a teenager after being inspired by the feelings evoked in a number of renowned films e.g. Cinema Paradiso, the Pianist, There Will Be Blood, Amélie and many others. She never gave up composing music even though she was rejected by all of the major music schools in London when she was a teenager, simply because of the love she has for composing. She subsequently studied Law at the London School of Economics. 

​For Shirley, composing music helps with the discovery of self as it allows reflections to be expressed freely. She considers music to be very powerful as it can be shared, not only in a physical way where people can listen to it but in the sense that it evokes emotions, triggers memories, and makes the mind wander into an abyss of imagination. ​She sincerely hopes that her work shares in this sense with you. 

Shirley has been featured on many publications, including by Classical Music Magazine, You Rice Me Up, Industry Times, Exulansis, Growth Illustrated, Disrupt Weekly and more.

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Shirley Ly, Contemporary Classical Music Composer and Pianist
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