Clio Em (Clio Montrey) is a composer, contralto, multi-instrumentalist, and writer. She crafts creative pieces and performs genre-defying works that blur the borders between folk, classical, electronica, and science fiction. Clio sings at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien with the award-winning Arnold Schoenberg Chor in addition to her work as a contemporary soloist.
Clio has received numerous awards for her creative work, including five competitive composition grants from the Austrian Ministry of Arts and Culture, as well as the Alice and Betty Schultz Scholarship for her AIRSHIPS project from The Banff Centre.
“The songs are very well written… intelligent and inspired… if you’re curious about what type of music a child of the 21st-century can create, follow her, step by step.”
– Maurice Du Berger, reviewing Gravity Wing for I Care if You Listen
Clio is an alumna of McGill University (BMus composition – Jean Lesage, Jonathan Wild – and piano – Tom Plaunt), MUK (the Vienna Conservatory – MA composition with Christian Minkowitsch and diploma in classical operetta with Wolfgang Dosch), and MDW (the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna -postgraduate studies in composition working with voice and electroacoustic elements with Karlheinz Essl).
The contemporary classical concert series she founded and directed (2016-2018), Fleurs rejetées, was a contemporary take on the Salon des refusés. Clio composed the opera PHOTO SOCRATES to a libretto by Klara Du Plessis, which premiered in 2012 in Vienna. Her first opera as librettist, SLEEP, received its workshop premiere on 16 March 2019 through Chants Libres, set to music by composer Anthony R. Green. Clio was on the research team of Barbara Lüneburg’s project TransCoding/What if?, based at the Kunstuni Graz, as well as on the music preparation team for World of Hans Zimmer. Clio sang in the Element Choir backing Tanya Tagaq at Montréal Jazz Fest 2017.
Having finished her artistic training, she is supplementing her knowledge with an exploration of musicology and is currently researching the role of vocal music in science fiction worldbuilding, working toward a PhD at MDW (supervisor: Harald Huber).
Clio extends her artistic practice through improvisatory photography.