Soundings 2014: Meet the composers. Introducing Julia Purgina

SOUNDINGS picWith less than a week to go until Soundings 2014, it’s time to introduce our composers! For our first interview we got in touch with Julia Purgina. We’ve already had the pleasure of meeting Julia in person when she performed at the ACF with the Ensemble Reconsil last year, and we’re very much looking forward to seeing her again.

Hi Julia! Please introduce yourself. 

Which side of myself should I introduce? Are you interested in seeing the person with doubts about what she is doing, or the person who keeps going anyway, because of a certain inexplicable optimism? Do you want to hear about the person who has a lot of fun in composing, or do you want to hear about the person who just can’t make herself sit down and get to work? … I think you can see anything in a person or a work if you focus on it. Let’s focus on humour: as a person I don’t like laughing, but I love making other people laugh. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn’t. The people who are laughing are usually the ones who are closest to me.

With my music it is a bit different: usually people who do not know me as a person think that my music has very witty traits. It seems that my work is less grave and serious than my life. 

What do you expect from Soundings?

Julia Purgina

I expect intense and interesting days, a lot of new music, meeting and coming together with old friends, making new friends, a great time in a wonderful city, the wonderful spirit from the Austrian Cultural Forum, working together with great musicians and a bit of spare time that allows me to visit Tate Modern.

Who or what inspires you?

Anything can inspire me, if it touches me in the right moment: a smell, a poem, a picture, a feeling, a philosophic idea. With my last piece it was the immense power of the speed of Shinkansen-Trains in Japan… I am still waiting and having my eyes open for my next inspiration!

In what context would you like a piece of yours to be performed?

I think it would be a nice gesture from my familiy and closest friends to choose a short piece of mine to be performed at my funeral.



Julia Purgina is based in Vienna, where she studied the viola and composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts. As a violist, she focuses on New Music with the Ensemble Reconsil, and she’s also a member of a number of orchestras such as the Wiener Kammerorchester, the Vienna Volksoper and the Tonkünstler Orchestra. As a composer, Julia has had commissions from the Hugo Wolf Quartet, Ensemble Kontrapunkte, Ensemble Reconsil Vienna, Platypus Ensemble and the Ensemble Wiener Collage amongst others. Two of her works were premiered at the prestige-laden Wiener Musikverein last year. Find out more about her on her website.



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