Sydney based Ella Macens is a fast-emerging composer with a passion for choral, orchestral and chamber music writing. Capturing qualities from both popular and classical music styles as well as that of her Latvian heritage, Ella's music is becoming well-known in Australia and beyond.
Ensembles and organisations that have commissioned, premiered or performed her work include the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Youth Orchestra, the Flinders Quartet, The Goldner String Quartet, the Strelitzia String Quartet, The Song Company, Gondwana National Choirs, Sydney Children's Choir, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Chamber Choir, State Choir Latvija, Latvian choirs Pernigele and Anima, the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music Chamber Choir, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, West Australian Young Voices, Young Adelaide Voices, the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, Claire Edwardes, Genevieve Lacey, Neal Peres Da Costa, Danny Yeadon, the Judgment of Paris Recorder Quartet, Cranbrook School, Trinity Grammar School, the Canberra International Music Festival, the National Carillon Association of Australia, the Sydney Latvian Society, Sydney Festival 2018, the XV Latvian Canadian Song and Dance Festival and the Bowral Autumn Music Festival.
Photo by Darwin Gomez
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Ella has completed a Bachelor of Music (Composition) with first-class honours at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney, and is currently studying a Master of Music (Composition) under the guidance of Professor Matthew Hindson AM. As one of four composers selected to participate in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music's inaugural National Women Composers' Development Program (2016-17), Ella has been fostering connections with some of Australia's most esteemed ensembles and soloists through the creation of a series of solo, chamber, choral and orchestral works. Her compositions have won awards, including inclusion in ENCORE (2009), the Frank Hutchens Scholarship for Composition in 2012 and the Fine Music FM Young Composer Award (2017) for her first orchestral piece titled FLIGHT.
In 2015 Ella held the position of composer in residence with Trinity Grammar School and Sydney Youth Orchestra. She is currently the 2018-19 composer in residence with Sydney Children's Choir as well as one of four composers selected to participate in the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Australian Composers' School (2018-19).
The composer's musical voice is heavily influenced by her Latvian heritage. Growing up in a rich and colourful Latvian community has led her to be continuously surrounded by instrumental folk music, baltic choral music and traditional dance. These elements have unsurprisingly woven their way into Ella's compositional style. In 2017 she received a prestigious award from the World Federation of Free Latvians (PBLA) to honour her dedication to her cultural heritage, specifically through the incorporation of Latvian elements in her professional line of work. Ella further celebrates her cultural background by arranging traditional Latvian folk songs into contemporary music styles with her good friend Ivars Stubis, which they perform together at Latvian festivals and events in Australia.
Ella is also a proud music educator, teaching Music for Creative Industries (Composition), the Fundamentals of Music Theory, and Intermediate Level Aural Skills at the University of Sydney and Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She also teaches composition privately, inspiring her students to bring their musical ideas to life.