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Elena Firsova

b. 1950

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Elena Olegovna Firsova (Russian: Еле́на Оле́говна Фи́рсова; also Yelena or Jelena Firssowa; born 21 March 1950) is a Russian composer.

Firsova was born in Leningrad into the family of physicists Oleg Firsov and Viktoria Lichko. She studied music in Moscow with Alexander Pirumov, Yuri Kholopov, Edison Denisov and Philip Herschkowitz. In 1979 she was blacklisted as one of the "Khrennikov's Seven" at the Sixth Congress of the Union of Soviet Composers for unapproved participation in some festivals of Soviet music in the West. She was married to the composer Dmitri Smirnov and lives in the United Kingdom. Their children are Philip Firsov (an artist and sculptor), and Alissa Firsova (a composer, pianist and conductor).

She has composed more than a hundred compositions in many different genres including chamber opera The Nightingale and the Rose after Oscar Wilde and Christina Rossetti (premiered at the 1994 Almeida Opera Festival, London), an orchestra work Augury, (premiered at the 1992 BBC Proms) that includes a choral setting of William Blake's famous lines "To see the world in a grain of sand..." and Requiem to Anna Akhmatova's poem for soprano, chorus and orchestra (premiered at the Konzerthaus Berlin in September 2003).

Her favourite genre is a chamber cantata for solo voice and ensemble (or orchestra). Some of them are written to the poems by Alexander Pushkin, Marina Tsvetaeva, Boris Pasternak and Oleg Prokofiev. However, most of them are setting the poems by her favourite poet Osip Mandelstam that include Earthly Life, Tristia, The Stone, Forest Walks, Before the Thunderstorm, Stygian Song, Secret Way, Seashell, Whirlpool, Silentium, Winter Songs, and Petrarch's Sonnets (in Russian translation by Osip Mandelstam).

She received commissions from many music festivals, orchestras and ensembles including the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Brodsky Quartet, Manchester Wind Orchestra, Schubert Ensemble, Freden Festival, BBC Proms, Asiago Festival, and Expo 2000 (Hanover). Her music is available through publishers Boosey & Hawkes, London; Hans Sikorski, Hamburg; G. Schirmer, New York.

Biography taken from Wikipedia.

FEB | 2006 | 9 mins

Clarinet And String Quartet

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Sonata | 1976 | 7 mins

Solo Clarinet

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