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Elena Firsova

 b. 1950Elena Firsova Photo: © Dmitri Smirnov

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Elena Firsova, the Leningrad-born, Moscow-trained composer, emerged in the 1970s as one of the most distinctive and imaginative Russian voices of her generation * Her music reflects the influence of her mentor Denisov but transforms his expansive lyricism into something more personal, private and romantic * Often sets the intimate and confessional poetry of Mandelstam, one of the greatest modern Russian poets, who died in the Stalinist camps in 1938 * Her orchestral works and concertos incline to delicate chamber-music textures and singing melodic lines * Since the early 1990s, Firsova and her composer husband Dmitri Smirnov have lived in the UK

Works by Elena Firsova include:
Earthly Life (1984) Cantata for soprano and chamber ensemble
Secret Way (1992) for voice and orchestra
Cassandra (1992) for symphony orchestra

Works by Firsova are represented by Boosey & Hawkes in the UK, British Commonwealth (excluding Canada) and the Republic of Ireland


"The genre of the solo cantata is probably the most important for me. I have written cantatas on poems by Osip Mandelstam at regular intervals all my life, and every time it gives me a very strong creative impulse which even acts upon the next few compositions." — Elena Firsova

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