Thursday 23 July 2015

Elena Langer on composition

In April/May 2016 we premiere a new work by Elena Langer, commissioned by Britten Sinfonia with support from the William Alwyn Foundation, and the Musically Gifted campaign. Find out more about Elena in this blog post as she answers questions about herself and her music...

How would you summarise yourself in one sentence?


What’s your earliest musical memory?
My granny’s drunken singing at parties

What do you like most about composing?
As a child I preferred composing to playing piano because it was less repetitive and took less time

What inspires you?
Bad weather

When was the last time you experienced writers’ block, and how did you move on from it?
Last block was last week. Moved on from it like all proper composers – with alcohol!

How do you feel about new music and what we’re trying to do with Musically Gifted?
I personally prefer old music, but Musically Gifted sounds like a good idea

What would you like to be recognised for?
For my delicious beetroot salad

What advice would you give to other young composers?
I should quote Sofia Gubaidullina here who said to an overly prolific colleague of mine – ‘don’t pollute the atmosphere!’

What’s your musical guilty pleasure?
Lutoslawki’s Chain 2

If you turned your iPod on now, what would be playing?
I haven’t got an iPod!

The last concert you saw?
Handel’s Saul at Glyndebourne

If you hadn’t been a musician, what might have happened?
I would have become a better and more roundly educated person

Which musical instrument do you wish you could play, and why?
Percussion – because there are so many of them and maybe it would develop my sense of rhythm…

Any plans for the summer?
To swim

Is there anything else you want to share with the world?
I wrote an opera ‘Figaro Gets a Divorce’. It will open at the Welsh National Opera in February of 2016 – I would like the world to come and see it!

Elena's new work, Story of an Impossible Love, will be performed during the Benjamin Grosvenor programme performed on Wednesday 27 April 2016 at Cambridge's West Road Concert Hall, Friday 29 April at Norwich's St Andrew's Hall and on Sunday 1 May 2016 at London's Milton Court. Click here for more info and to book tickets.

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