Lior burst on to the Australian music scene in 2005 with his debut album – Autumn Flow. Recorded and released entirely independently, and spearheaded by the much loved opening track This Old Love.
Subsequent singles Daniel and the title track Autumn Flow both secured high rotation airplay via the national broadcaster Triple J, and further cemented this album into the hearts of the Australian public.
The album was released at a time when independently funded and released records were still a rarity, Lior being one of only a handful of artists paving the way for a model that is now deemed common place. Autumn Flow achieved Platinum status and went on to become one of the most successful independent debuts in Australian music history. A swag of accolades followed, including three Aria nominations (including Best Male Artist), as well as Triple J’s prestigious ‘J Award’ nomination for Album of the Year.
Following the success of Autumn Flow and led by the demand for his live performances, Lior released a live album Doorways of my Mind in 2006, which went on to be nominated for a further 2 ARIA awards including ‘Best Independent Release’ and ‘Best Breakthrough Artist’.
Lior’s sophomore album Corner of an Endless Road – released in 2008, followed on where Autumn Flow left, debuting at #2 on the Australian Albums chart and topping the Independent charts for several weeks. The album gave a greater indication of Lior’s rich cultural background with a number of tracks featuring Middle Eastern influences. Lior picked up another 2 ARIA nominations including ‘Best Independent Release’. The release was followed by a string of sold out national tours, including the unique Shadows and Light tour – a collaboration with live performance shadow artistry built specifically to Lior’s music. The tour showcased at the Sydney Opera House to wide critical acclaim and went on to perform a season at The Sydney Theatre Company.
Lior has released a further three studio albums – Tumbling Into the Dawn (2010), Scattered Reflections (2014) which was crowd funded, and Between You and Me (2018). These albums traverse broader territory and showcase Lior’s fertile musical palate. The track Learn to Live off Scattered Reflections is the featured song in Robert Connolly’s hugely successful film Paper Planes. Lior ’s studio albums have secured his place as a master craftsman in the art of songwriting.
Over the past decade, Lior has toured extensively both in Australia and internationally and has been a regular performer at WOMAD and art festivals around the world, including an entire season at the Edinburgh Festival. Alongside his own tours, Lior has also toured in collaboration with artists such as Melbourne vocal group Invenio headed by Gian Slater, as well as several visual artists, string quartets and full symphony orchestras nationally. Lior is renowned for the exceptional quality of his live performances. A testament to this is that Carole King personally invited him to support her and James Taylor on their Australian tour in 2010.
Aside from writing and releasing original albums, Lior has developed a keen interest in collaboration and diversification.
In 2013, Lior collaborated with renowned composer Nigel Westlake in writing a song cycle for voice and orchestra titled Compassion consisting of original melodies and orchestration set to ancient Hebrew and Arabic texts centred on the idea of compassion. Commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the work was premiered by Lior along with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House in late 2013 and subsequently went on to tour nationally with all the major state orchestras, including a performance at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in early 2014. Furthermore, the first half of these orchestral shows featured a collection of Lior’s songs from across his own album catalogue, with new orchestral arrangements and interpretations performed by Lior with the respective state orchestras.
A recording of Compassion was released in 2014 and went to #1 on both the Classical as well as Classical / Crossover charts. Lior and Nigel went on to win the ARIA for ‘Best Classical Album’ in 2014. In 2016, Lior premiered ‘Compassion’ in the US with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, performing over two nights at the Long Center, Austin Texas. The work was received with standing ovations and rave reviews. Lior also won the Austin Table Critics’ Award for ‘Best Symphonic Performance of 2015-16’ alongside the Austin Symphony for this performance.
Alongside his highly acclaimed albums and live projects, Lior also wrote and performed the much loved closing track Hoot’s Lullaby to the ABC Children’s show Giggle and Hoot. Hey Hootabelle, another Lior track commissioned by the ABC for the show went on to win the coveted ‘Best Original Song Composed for the Screen’ at the 2012 APRA Screen Music Awards.
In April 2015, Lior was invited as the sole Australian artist to perform at the prestigious 100 year anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, performing his song Safety of Distance with the Gallipoli choir leading in to the dawn service. In 2016, Lior wrote his first theatre score for the play The Wider Earth. Written and directed by David Morton, the play traces the soul searching voyage of Charles Darwin. The play premiered at the Queensland Theatre Company in late 2016 and later ran for an extended sellout season as part of the Sydney Festival at the Sydney Opera House in 2017. Lior was awarded the Queensland Theatre Matilda Award for ‘Best Original Score’.
In 2016, Lior also collaborated with the Tinalley String Quartet in performing a concert series From Nature to Eternity at the Sydney Opera House and MRC. The concerts premiered an original composition which Lior wrote together with Melbourne composer Ade Vincent. This work – Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night – is a song cycle which features original melodies and orchestrations set to the poetry of Dylan Thomas. Together with Ade Vincent and the Tinalley quartet, Lior was awarded the Melbourne Recital Centre Contemporary Masters Award in 2016.
In 2017, Lior worked on an album for the HUSH Foundation. The project is centred on songs written by Lior in collaboration with Sydney based vocal group The Idea of North and composer Elena Katz Chernin. The lyrics are based on answers to questions delivered to sick young kids at the Royal Melbourne Children’s Hospital Cancer Ward. The HUSH project has a dual purpose of both creating music to provide a better environment in the wards as well as raise funds for these wards. The album A Piece of Quiet garnered an ARIA nomination for ‘Best Children’s Album’ at the 2017 ARIA awards.
In 2017, Lior embarked on a collaboration with Paul Grabowsky. The collaboration is centred on a reinterpretation of a cross section of Lior’s song catalogue for piano and voice. Paul and Lior have toured this collaboration in Australia throughout 2017/18. Paul and Lior now have plans to produce an album of original songs together which they have started writing.
Lior has also embraced his role as a mentor for young songwriters. He is a founding member, co-writer and key mentor in the APRA National High School Songwriting Workshop Initiative – Songmakers in Residence.
In late 2018, Lior released his fifth studio album – Between You and Me. The first single Real Love featured a video clip which Lior worked on in collaboration with Stephen Page and the Bangarra Dance Company. Lior followed up the release of the album with an extensive tour throughout Australia culminating in a show together with the Australian Youth Orchestra at the Seymour Centre in Sydney.
2019 sees a wide range of exciting shows for Lior, including a featured performance of Compassion with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra as part of the Ten Days on the Island Festival. Lior has also been invited to return to Austin, US in November of 2019 to perform Compassion with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. In June 2019, Lior will perform together with Paul Grabowsky as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and throughout August will team up with the Australian Chamber Orchestra as the featured vocalist as part of their national tour. Lior also composed Forever Singing Winter Into Spring – an orchestral / electronic song cycle together with composer Adrian Vincent as part of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Metropolis New Music Festival which he performed together with the MSO in May at the Melbourne Recital Hall.