Shirley is an English composer, conductor and violinist of Jamaican descent whose music is performed and screened worldwide and whose prolific range of compositions includes symphonies, ballets, operas and concertos. Shirley is also Professor of Music at the University of Westminster, where she has taught since 2001. In 2019 she was appointed an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for services to music. Shirley has composed music for contemporary choreographers, including fulfilling commissions for the Royal Ballet School’s choreography workshops. Her most famous dance composition for solo cello and string orchestra, Shift, forms a score for the award-winning ballet, PUSH, whose international tour has included performances at major venues in over 30 countries including Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. Her music for the stage includes her score for the play, The Lodger, as well as for A Child of the Jago, an opera in two acts presented by the South Bank Centre with sponsorship from the Arts Council. A Child of the Jago earned Shirley a nomination in 1997 for Woman of the Year in recognition of her contribution to the arts.e.