Soviet-born Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin is perhaps best known for her ballet Wild Swans, which contains the popular vocal number for wordless soprano and orchestra, ‘Eliza Aria’. She is widely acknowledged and awarded around the world as one of Australia’s foremost contemporary composers, attracting commissions from the world’s leading opera, ballet, and theatre companies including Komische Oper Berlin, Nederlands Dans Theater and the San Francisco Ballet.
Elena has created works in nearly every genre, from orchestral compositions to chamber music and opera, from ballet to string trio and intimate compositions for piano and from rags to music for robots. She has written for the Vienna Boys Choir, Michael Collins, Sydney Theatre Company and all leading Australian Symphony orchestras and chamber orchestras. Elena has written five chamber operas – including Opera Australia’s very first opera for television, The Divorce and soundtracks to three silent films.
Kats-Chernin has written a number of ragtime pieces for piano; one of these, ‘Russian Rag’, was used as the theme of ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live until 2010, when her Wild Swans became the LNL theme music .
Butterflying is the title piece of Elena most recent CD , which she recorded with Tamara-Anna Cislowska. The music conjures a night flight while dreaming and a journey of fantasy. Arranged for four hands and one piano, Elena and Tamara-Anna will be performing selections from Butterflying at the 2017 Bellingen Music Festival.
Elena is currently writing for the Australian World Orchestra, The Flinders Quartet and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
Listen to the magic music of Elena Kats-Chernin on her Myspace page