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’s interest in music started as a young child in Armenia, when she would often be found singing at home or listening to classical music, particularly opera arias. At seven, Kristina started piano lessons after being spotted playing in the school piano club. It was quickly recognised that Kristina had a rare talent for her age. When she was 11, she auditioned, and was accepted as a scholarship student, generously supported by the Music and Dance Scheme, at the highly reputable Purcell School.
Kristina went on to train 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. Four of her compositions were featured in two BBC Proms performances in 2023, including Whin Lands commissioned by the Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus and Star Fantasy in a recital of organ music by Anna Lapwood.
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.
Biography partially adapted from Joanna Wyld (BBC Proms 2023)