Alumna Kristina Arakelyan commissioned for the BBC Proms

Faculty of Music alumna Kristina Arakelyan (Worcester College 2016) has made her BBC Proms debut, with commissions for the Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia with Voices of the River's Edge and alumna organist Anna Lapwood (Magdalen College 2013)The three-movement work 'Whin Lands' sets the scene for the concert which journeys from dusk to dawn, exploring the experiences of night-time thoughts, feelings, and dreams, and setting the words of North Eastern poet and writer Katrina Porteous, inspired by the wild, windswept landscape of Hadrian’s Wall. Also in the same week, back in London’s Royal Albert Hall, Anna Lapwood played Kristina’s Star Fantasy in her late-night Prom on Tuesday 25 July.

The Classical Source wrote '"Whin Lands" exquisitely captures the essence of twilight at Hadrian’s Wall […] a captivating and emotional piece.’

Acclaimed for her powerful, emotive and intensely lyrical output, Kristina Arakelyan was described as a 'rising star' by BBC Music Magazine in 2021 - and has more than lived up to that promise with works including operatic, choral, symphonic and chamber music alongside solo pieces. 

Kristina trained at the Royal Academy of Music and University of Oxford, followed by a PhD in composition at King's College London. She has won numerous awards and accolades, from first prize in the BBC Proms young Composers Competition in 2010, to representing the UK in the 2022 International Rostrum of Composers in Palermo, Italy. She has collaborated with the BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra, the Choir of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and her work is published by the ABRSM, Stainer and Bell and Oxford University Press.

Notable works include the opera Penelope: Seven Ways to Wait to a libretto by Helen Eastman, a thematically rich and wide-ranging work premiered at Grimeborn Opera in 2022; Seascapes (2021), a choral companion piece to Britten's 'Four Sea Interludes' from Peter Grimes; and the Fantasia on a Theme by Beethoven (2020), a Sage Gateshead commission first performed by the Royal Northern Sinfonia conducted by the late Lars Vogt.

For more information about Kristina's work, please visit her website.

Biography partially adapted from Joanna Wyld.