After a trio of guest curators – Brian Eno in ’09, Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed in ’10 and Steven “Pav” Pavlovic in ’11 – this year’s Vivid LIVE event will look inward and cede curatorial duties to Head of Contemporary Music at the Sydney Opera House, Fergus Linehan.

Further event details including Directors for the “lights” and “ideas” components of the festival will be unveiled in the coming weeks but organisers have today announced an exciting first round of musical performers. In an encouraging first move as Festival Director, Linehan has commissioned special one-off projects from Sufjan Stevens, American classical composer Nico Muhly (Bjork, Philip Glass, Grizzly Bear) and Bryce Dessner of The National.

“The main focus of my role will be to facilitate ambitious and at times outrageous ideas that enhance the contemporary music scene, celebrate the explosion of creativity that is Vivid Sydney and draw visitors to this most beautiful of cities.” Linehan said in a statement.

“For ten days each year, the team at the House throws open the doors of our inspirational venue and invites artists to realise projects that would otherwise be impossible. A great example of this is the project we have undertaken with the Barbican Centre in London and the Muziekgebouw in Eindhoven to commission three of the defining creative minds of New York’s current music scene – Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly and Bryce Dessner – to create and perform a unique evening of new works.”

Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House (25 May – 3 June) is part of Vivid Sydney (25 May – 11 June), the city’s annual celebration of light, music and ideas. The full Vivid Sydney program, including Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House will be announced on Thursday 15 March.