ARIA award-winning songsmith Lior makes his MCO debut with a major new song cycle.


19th of October




23 & 26 November

Melbourne Recital Centre

16 – 26 November
Victorian tour 

This November, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra will unveil an exciting new collaboration with singer/songwriter Lior and composer Ade Vincent. ‘To Be Human’ is an extraordinary new song cycle commissioned by the MCO, and performed with Lior as part of the Of People and Song concert.

‘To Be Human’ is a fresh contemporary direction for the MCO under the new artistic director, Sophie Rowell. “Together Lior and Ade have created a thought-provoking contemporary piece of art weaving Lior’s unique sound with the string resonance of the MCO. Together we will bring the creative process to life in this moving and evocative song cycle. I can’t wait to bring this new work to our audiences.” MCO artistic director, Sophie Rowell. 

MCO artistic director, Sophie Rowell. 

The first half of the concert celebrates the MCO’s depth of talent, particularly that of the viola section. MCO violist Merewyn Bramble takes centre stage in Rebecca Clarke’s Passacaglia following Matt Laing’s sparkling new arrangement of de Falla Siete Cancions. Rounding out the first half we celebrate the warmth and beauty of Grieg’s Holberg Suite.

‘To Be Human’ is a song-cycle in seven parts, for solo tenor voice, electric guitar, and orchestra, that holds a mirror up to the artists’ own experience as it was composed, providing a diary in musical form as the creative process unfolded. It combines solo tenor voice, contemporary songwriting, varied use of the string orchestra and reverb-drenched electric guitar to create a sound that evades a neat genre-description.

Why does art hold a reverence for humans? And what happens to if we outsource its creation? When experiencing art, there has always been an assumption that human experience was at the core of the creation. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence-created art, we’re now asking ourselves whether experiencing an AI artwork is as satisfying or interesting to us as experiencing a human-produced artwork. In this world premiere, Lior and Vincent examine that which is missing from AI-generated art: the hidden journey of the artist’s creative process.

“On writing ‘To Be Human,’ Ade and I have tracked, in real time, the wide spectrum of emotions and experiences that fill the creative process. What happens when the history and context inherent in the creation of an artistic work is removed? How does this alter the moment of interaction between artist and audience? As we stand on the cusp of AI’s increasing involvement in art, these are burning questions which ‘To Be Human’ aims to shine a light on”. – Lior

“This piece is not pushing against the tide of AI – I’m excited about AI and view it simply as another tool available to artists. The purpose of this piece is to reveal the humanity and experience of artists. A work of art is the tip of the iceberg; the artist’s life, history and influences are what’s beneath the surface. This piece aims to reveal some of what’s beneath the surface”. – Ade Vincent


Edvard Grieg Holberg Suite

Rebecca Clarke Passacaglia (arr viola & string orchestra)

Manuel de Falla Seven Spanish Folk Songs


Lior & Ade Vincent To Be Human

Tour Dates

Thursday 16/11/2023 19:30 Riverlinks Centre [SHEPPARTON]
Friday 17/11/2023 19:30 Horsham Town Hall
Saturday 18/11/2023 20:00 Cardinia Cultural Centre [PAKENHAM]
Thursday 23/11/2023 19:30 MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE
Friday 24/11/2023 19:30 Gippsland Performing Arts Centre [TRARALGON]
Sunday 26/11/2023 14:30 MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE

Further information

Media assets


To download this media release please click here

For review tickets and media enquiries, please contact Jacqui Bonner at or 0411 473 198