My Estonian mass-atorio Dance of Life: Tallinn Mass – not only did I have to set 19 poems in Estonian (I thought it would be close to my native Polish – I was SO wrong!) but then had to incorporate stunning Estonian folk music and all the church peals of Tallinn into the poems and a traditional Latin Mass. After that I had make an English version for the recording on Warner Classics. It all gave me tendonitis in my shoulder but was so worth it – I’ve got lots of wonderful new friends in Tallinn and New York where it was staged, theatrically, last year.
What’s the most unusual performance/collaboration you’ve been a part of?
An opera trail around Bury St Edmunds with what used to be Royal Opera House’s Garden Venture. A lot of of surprised faces but huge fun.
If you could have dinner with three composers from any point in history who would they be and why?
Bach, Fauré and Messiaen, please – they are all my harmonic heroes.
What do you fear?
Not being able to look after my children in a natural or man-made disaster.
What’s currently on your coffee table at home?
If I had a coffee table it would be a big glossy book about chocolate.
If you could have any other profession, what would it be?
Midwife – nothing is more exciting than bringing a child into the world and (in most cases) the happiness and love it brings.
Describe your compositional style in three words.
Emotional, spiritual and harmony-based (can I have one word made of two parts?)
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My parents – they taught me indispensable values, including generosity of spirit and heart, as well as integrity. It’s supported me throughout my adulthood and I hope I’m successfully passing these qualities on to my own children.