The Russian composer (1950) studied at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1975 she came into contact with Edison Denisov, one of the leading figures of contemporary music in the Soviet Union. Her music was first heard outside the Soviet Union in 1979, in Cologne, Paris and Venice. The following year, Petrarch’s Sonnets was performed in London by Jane Manning and the London Sinfonietta conducted by Peter Eötvös. Earthly Life, with texts by Osip Mandelstam, was subsequently created on behalf of the BBC. This work established Firsova’s reputation in the UK: her music was subsequently performed at the Bath Festival, the Almeida Festival, the South Bank Centre’s Russian Spring Festival and the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Music of Today series. Recent orchestral works include Augurycommissioned for the BBC Proms for the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Andrew Davis, and Cassandrawritten for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and recorded on BIS Records. Recent chamber music works include the latest in her series of ten string quartets written for the Britten, Danish, Smith and Brodsky Quartets. May 2022 saw the world premiere of thePiano Concerto, op. 175, her second commissioned work for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. She was inspired by a quote from Boris Pasternak, author ofDoctor Zhivago. This piano concerto premiered with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2023. Elena Firsova was married to the composer Dmitri Smirnov (1948-2020). In 1991 the couple settled in the United Kingdom. Elena Firsova now combines composing with teaching.