Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Elena Kats-Chernin studied music in Moscow, Russia (Gnessin Academy 1972-1975), Sydney, Australia (Sydney Conservatorium of Music 1975-1980) and Hanover, Germany (Musikhochschule 1980-1982).
She has created works in nearly every genre, from orchestral compositions to chamber, choral, among them pieces for Michael Collins, Evelyn Glennie, Ensemble Modern, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Tasmanian, Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, as well as soundtracks to 3 silent films and 4 chamber operas.
Her music featured at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the 2003 Rugby World Cup and she received several awards, among them the Sounds Australian Award in 1996 for “Cadences, Deviations and Scarlatti” as well as Green Room and Helpmann Awards in 2004 for score to Meryl Tankard’s ballet “Wild Swans” (Australian Ballet).
“Russian Rag” (composed in 1995-96) was used as Max’s theme in the 2009 claymation “Mary and Max” by Oscar winning director Adam Elliot. In April 2010 her fourth chamber opera “The Rage of Life”, co-commissioned by Flanders Opera Antwerp and State Opera Stuttgart to a libretto by a renowned Swiss playwright Igor Bauersima, was premiered in Antwerp, followed up by a season in Stuttgart in November 2010.
Her “Eliza Aria” (originally from “Wild Swans Concert Suite”) has become the theme for Late Night Live on Radio National since January 2011, it replaced “Russian Rag” that served as the theme music for 10 years.
Since 2011 EKC is a Composer-in-Residence with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
Her next premiere is the music for the ballet interpretation (choreography Rosetta Cook) of an old children’s book “Little Green Road to the Fairyland” for the Queensland Music Festival, in Brisbane in July 2011.
Elena Kats-Chernin’s music is published exclusively by Boosey & Hawkes.
See Elena’s catalogue of recordings.