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Elena Kats-Chernin Elena Kats-Chernin i(A89738 works by)
Born: Established: 1959 Tashkent,
Central Asia, Asia,
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: ca. 1974
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Elena Kats-Chernin studied music and composition in Moscow, continuing the studies at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music after arriving in Australia with her family when she was seventeen. 1980 Kats-Chernin moved to Germany to study. She composed works for ballet and theatre in Western Europe before returning to Australia in 1994. As well as works for orchestra, individual instruments, chamber opera and silent film, Kats-Chernin composed Deep Sea Dreaming for the 2000 Olympics opening ceremony, Our Bridge Overture for the 75th anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the award winning Wild Swans Concert Suite.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2019 recipient Order of Australia Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)

For distinguished service to the performing arts, particularly to music, as an orchestral, operatic and chamber music composer.

Awards for Works

Whiteley 2019 single work musical theatre opera

'Artist. Rebel. Icon.

'He burst onto the international art scene, all golden curls and bravado. He was dynamic, damaged, a big idea and a bold brush. With the vivacious Wendy on his arm, Brett Whiteley was magnetic.

'He abhorred straight lines, adored drugs, alcohol, women. He worked in vivid colour and ravishing curves. Heroin was both muse and merciless master. Out of this tumultuous life spilled a messy array of brilliant artworks and astonishing self-reflection.

'In 2019, this Australian icon meets two of Australia’s greatest artists in a brand new work for the Australian stage: Whiteley, by Elena Kats-Chernin and Justin Fleming.

'Kats-Chernin is peerless among contemporary composers, celebrated for her enormous output and music that bursts with colour, life and tenderness. Fleming is a respected playwright and librettist whose work is renowned for its warmth, wit and poignancy.

'Together they’ve created an opera to honour the life and work of a man who could not extricate his talent from his demons.

'Production designer Dan Potra’s technology-driven set is an immersive world created from Whiteley’s most famous paintings. Experience the works of a modern master on moving, larger-than-life screens.' (Production summary)

2020 nominated AWGIE Awards Music Theatre
The Gallipoli Symphony 2015 single work musical theatre

'The story of the Gallipoli campaign is everlasting. It is a story of endeavour, courage, tragedy, great achievements and great sacrifices. It is a story of young nations and old coming together in conflict. It is, most of all a human story, of the spectrum of human emotions. This story is woven into the fabric of Australia, New Zealand and Turkey. Millions of words have been written about the campaign, but the story has never been ‘narrated’ musically, until now.

'The Gallipoli Symphony is a major composition produced by internationally respected composers from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey. It represents the first time ever that eleven acclaimed composers from three nations that fought in the campaign have collaborated on a single commemorative work of this scale.

'The Gallipoli story was structured into parts, like chapters in a book, each themed around an element of the campaign and assigned to a composer to create a work based on that theme.

  • Gelibolu : Omar Faruk Tekbilek (Turkey)
  • He Poroporaoki (Farewell): Gareth Farr and Richard Nunns (New Zealand)
  • The Voyage : Graeme Koehne AO (Australia)
  • Thoughts of Home : Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE (Australia)
  • The Landing : Elena Kats-Chernin (Australia)
  • The Invasion : Kamran Ince (Turkey)
  • God Pity Us Poor Soldiers : Ross Harris (New Zealand)
  • The August Offensive : Andrew Schultz (Australia)
  • The Trenches Are Empty Now : Ross Edwards (Australia)
  • Hope of the Higher Heart : Demir Demirkan (Turkey)
  • Future : Graeme Koehne AO (Australia)

'Every year since 2006 a movement of the Symphony has been presented at Gallipoli. Leading classical and traditional musicians engaged from Turkey, Australia and New Zealand, augmented by musicians drawn from the Australian and New Zealand military bands performed a piece of The Gallipoli Symphony in the early hours of 25 April for the thousands of attendees awaiting the Dawn Service.

'After ten years in the making, The Gallipoli Symphony will be performed for the world in 2015.

'The Gallipoli Symphony creates an important legacy. It tells the story of the Gallipoli campaign through music; reminding us of the horror and the heartache and carrying a message of hope, peace, friendship and collaboration between nations.' (Publication summary)

2016 nominated Helpmann Awards for Performing Arts in Australia Best New Australian Work
form y separately published work icon The Divorce ( dir. Dean Murphy ) Australia : Australian Broadcasting Corporation , 2015 8828846 2015 series - publisher film/TV opera

'In this musical soap era, [sic] wealthy couple Iris (Marina Prior) and Jed (John O’May) are getting a "modern" divorce after a long and satisfying marriage, and are throwing an elaborate party at their elegant home to celebrate. But by the end of the evening, Iris and Jed’s divorce has triggered a renegotiation of all that had seemed certain, and the characters are each set on an unanticipated course.'


'Creating a Four-Part Divorce', The Screen Blog, 12 August 2015. (Sighted: 24/8/2015)

2016 shortlisted Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Premier's Prize for an Emerging Writer
Last amended 27 Jan 2019 08:02:20
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