New voice: Anna Korsun


I do not like to describe my music.  For me it is really such a big problem, because every institution, such as festivals, concert events, workshops, presentations, etc. request a comment on work.  I’m not writer; I make music (actually most of my pieces do not include words).  I do not like semantic meanings, which give verbal sign.  I prefer to work with abstract sounds and I don’t like to write about it.  I’m sure, that musical composition and commenting on the same piece are two different things.  I know some composers who like to write and to speak about their music, but I prefer not to.

The most recent recording in my Soundcloud account is piece is based on different beating of sound.


Born in Donetsk, Ukraine in 1986,  Anna Korsun graduated from P. I. Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music in Kiev and Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater Muenchen on the Master program under Prof. Moritz Eggert.  Anna took part in workshops of Ensemble Richerche, Jon Appleton, Gaudeamus music week, Pascal Dusapin, Sandeep Bhagwati, Aventa Ensemble, Helmut Lachenmann, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart.  She is artist-in-resident of Schloss Solitude Academy in Stuttgart 2014-2015 and Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris 2014.

Her work Surfaces won the composition competition Neue Tone Anthology for Percussion Music 2013. In 2011 she was granted a commission for new chamber piece from Kulturkreis Gasteig, in 2012 she won the Leonhard und Ida Wolf-Gedaechtnispreise in Munich.

Korsun also took part as composer and performer in various concert series and festivals such as Summer courses of new music in Darmstadt, Musikfest der MGNM, Lange Nacht der Musik, Junge Solisten, Sound Walk/Sound Garden 2012, Warsaw Autumn, Days of Ukrainian Music in Poland, Premiers of Seasons, Kievmusikfest, Youth Forum, Gogolfest, Tax Free, Exposition XXI. She has also participated in competitions such as the National Grand Prize in LVIV in which she was a prize winner, Step to the Left competition in St. Petersburg in which she was a finalist, her work Landscapes for 5 voices was selected for finale of Gaudeamus Music Week 2011.

Among performers of Korsun’s music are Camerata Silesia, eNsemble ProArte, Feodor Lednyov, VocalLab, Ensemble Oktopus, Moritz Eggert, Natalia Pschenitschnikova, Ensemble Nostri Temporis. Her music is regularly broadcast on Dutch Radio Monalisa, Polish Radio Two, Dutch National Radio, France Musique, Antena 2.

Anna is co-organizer and participant of the concert cycle of vocal music 6+1, she is also an organizer and participant of the concert cycle Evening of Low Music.


What is your earliest musical memory that, in looking back, has proved to be significant regarding your career as a composer?

I started composing when I was 8 years old, then there gap of time and after 9 years I tried again. When I was 17 I understood, that I will not be a brilliant pianist (I studied piano that time). So I had a choice: to be average pianist or do something new. I couldn’t imagine my life without music, so I decided to study composition. It was risky, but it gave me new fresh impressions and forces.

If relevant, which composer(s) have been the most influential regarding your own work?  Has this changed over time?

The first composer whose influence was very strong was Igor Stravinsky. Once I became aware of it, I tried to avoid any further influences on my own composing. However, Stravinsky is still the one of my favorite composers.

Can you describe your working process, i.e., do you have a regular schedule for writing; do you use a computer for composing (either for creating pre-composition materials or notation), if so, do you find that it inhibits your process?  What other technology, if any, do you use?

I use computer to make a score, but I have a couple composition processes:

  1. notating a score from the outset
  2. improvising (voice, with sound objects, sometimes with some other instruments),  recording this and then creating a score

The first case happens more often.  In both cases I use some little, crumpled piece of paper, where I have a sketch of the entire composition.  Nobody is able to read it (including, sometimes myself).  Computer software does not inhibit my process, it just a useful source.  

I don’t have set schedule for writing, because it is not mechanical work.  If I don’t have the correct mood, I will “stupidly” sit next to computer and nothing more.  Of course, I try to organize myself and make daily goals: for example, to write one minute of music, but it doesn’t mean I accomplish everything I plan.


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