Introducing Alissa Firsova

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Introducing Alissa Firsova

We are delighted to announce our upcoming collaboration with the wonderful pianist & composer Alissa Firsova.

The quartet has commissioned Alissa to write a 20-minute string quartet inspired by the works of Tennyson. The project will culminate in a series of performances featuring Alissa’s new work, but also Alissa as a pianist as she will be joining the quartet to perform the Dvorak Piano Quintet.

The idea is to create a four-part string quartet, and rather than the more common way of setting the words vocally, the challenge would be to paint Tennyson’s poetry into music to resemble Mendelssohn’s concept of “Songs Without Words”, represented by the four voices of the string quartet.

The world premiere will take place at King’s Place (Hall 1) on 27 November 2017 (tickets are available here). Further performances in 2016/2017 will be announced soon.

The project is generously supported by the Ambache Charitable Trust, the RVW Trust and the Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust.


Alissa Firsova by Aiga Photography 09

(Aiga Photography)

Alissa Firsova is a British-Russian composer, pianist and conductor. Since winning the BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer competition in 2001, she has received two world premieres at the Proms, both conducted by Andrew Litton: her Bach Allegro was performed by the RPO in 2010 and her Bergen’s Bonfire Op. 31 featured in the Bergen Philharmonic’s 250th Anniversary Prom in 2015.  Her music was also performed by Imogen Cooper, Henning Kraggerud, Tim Hugh, Julius Berger, Dante Quartet, Netherlands Blazer Ensemble, Seattle Chamber Players, Xenia Ensemble, Philharmonia Soloists, Northwest Sinfonietta, Interface Quartet, Tana Quartet, 4 Girls 4 Harps and Britten Sinfonia. She was recently invited to Verbier, Asiago and Conques Festivals as composer-in-residence and her music is recorded on CD by Henning Kraggerud and The Sixteen. Her piano duet, Bride of the Wind Op. 34 for the Francoise-Green duo was premiered on 7th April in St. John’s Smith Square as part of their Viennese residency.

As a pianist, Alissa gave her Wigmore Hall and Proms debuts in 2009 and has appeared in Dartington, Cheltenham, Presteigne, Messiaen at Southbank, Fuerstensaal Classix and Seattle festivals as well as numerous concert venues throughout UK, Germany, Holland, France, Turkey, Portugal, Switzerland and the US. She has enjoyed collaborations with distinguished artists such as Stephen Kovacevich, Tim Hugh, Roman Simovic, Andrew Marriner, Julius Berger and the Dante Quartet. Her debut solo piano CD, Russian Emigres, was released in Aug 2015 on Vivat with music by Rachmaninov, her parents and herself.

After completing the postgraduate conducting course at Royal Academy of Music under Colin Metters, Alissa had her triple-debut with the English Chamber Orchestra as director, composer and conductor at the Cadogan Hall in 2013. In 2015 she conducted the Camerata RCO (Members of the Royal Concertgebouw) in the world premiere of her Le Soleil de Conques Op. 33.



John Mills – violin
Jeremy Isaac – violin
Lydia Lowndes-Northcott – Viola
Bozidar Vukotic – Cello


johnMillsThumbs John Mills READ
johnMillsThumbs Jeremy Isaac READ
johnMillsThumbs Lydia Lowndes-Northcott READ
johnMillsThumbs Bozidar Vukotic – violin READ