Firsova, Elena [Yelena] (Olegovna)
- Susan Bradshaw
(b Leningrad [now St Petersburg], March 21, 1950). Russian composer. She began to compose at the age of 12 and, four years later, began attending music college in Moscow, where she quickly blossomed as the schoolgirl composer of ten pieces (including opp.1–3) that still figure in her list of works. Entering the Moscow Conservatory in 1970, she became a composition pupil of Aleksandr Pirumov for the next five years; she also studied analysis with Yury Kholopov. A further ten works (opp.4–13) date from these student years, including her first three orchestral works and her first chamber opera.
The 15 years after leaving the conservatory took her from op.14 to op.47, not counting a number of smaller pieces without opus numbers. Her music was first performed abroad in 1979, and her first foreign commission (from the BBC) came in 1984. Within a few years, changes occurred internationally and personally, and not long after the travel barriers were removed, Firsova and her husband, the composer Dmitry Smirnov, left Moscow. Arriving in London in ...