ANU School of Music Streaming Sounds

Questions for Elena Kats-Chernin

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  1. Hello Elena,
    I am currently practising for an exam and I am playing one of your pieces, Russian Rag. However, I need some info about this piece and a couple of additional questions. Here they are:

    1. Why did you write Russian Rag?
    2. Why is it called a Russian Rag?
    3. Who are your main stylistic influences in general?
    4. How would you describe your style in general?
    5. Which do you consider to be your most important works?

    Let me know as soon as possible.

  2. Hi Elena,

    I have the same question for you which I posed to Mr. Bukovsky – will the score to this piece be available in the near future for purchase?



    • never mind I have found it at the AMC! 2nd question – when you base a piece on another, is there any musical elements you favour over others? What do you think is most important in ‘keeping’ so that the new piece retains qualities from the original?

  3. Have you ever collaberated with other composers? Is this something you would be interested in doing?

    • Hi Leigh, yes I have once collaborated with David Page on a dance score, a few years ago, it was great fun.
      I like collaborations in general, it depends, of course, on all sorts of factors and if our composing styles communicate well together and enrich one another. Although I am really quite happy working on my own, I must admit. It is the nature of composing to be working in a kind of a lonely atmosphere, which I love.

      Elena Kats-Chernin

  4. In writing a new work, how important is knowing the musicians who will be performing it? Does it affect the way you write?

    • Hi Belinda, it is terribly important to me to know who is going to premiere my work when I am writing it. Usually the musician or a performing group commissioning a piece is also doing its premiere. I like to have a visual image of how the piece will work in a concert situation, it helps me get into a kind of a “zone” so to speak and imagine the performance itself. It does affect the way I write as I usually get to know the performer’s preferences and strengths and I also get to know their repertoire and try to get a feeling of what sort of piece is perhaps missing in that repertoire. When the piece starts having a life of its own and gets played by other performers, then, of course, these thoughts might not matter, but while I am writing a piece, it helps me to focus on that particular project.

      Elena Kats-Chernin

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