Described as “suggestive, elegant and hauntingly beautiful,” Anna’s music has been performed in Canada, Mexico, England, China, Italy and Russia. Her compositions seek out tactile encounters with the world while also extending into history, memory, and landscape. Originally from the west coast of Canada, Anna now resides in Toronto, where she is part of the Blue Moss Ensemble with Mitch Renaud and Emilie Lebel. She has also been collaborating with Dylan Robinson as part of the Intermission Interarts Collective for over a decade, creating experimental pieces with unusual forms. Alongside works for chamber ensemble, voice, orchestra, solo performers and opera, Anna has composed for dance, installation, theatre, experimental film and video, and created music for the National Film Board documentary, From Harling Point. Her work is also informed by her interest in writing and photography.
Anna’s recent DMA from the University of Toronto was supported by a SSHRC Joseph Bombardier scholarship. Her research focused on the chamber works of experimental Toronto composer, Martin Arnold. Gary Kulesha supervised her composition thesis, a work for string orchestra based on Norwegian Hardanger fiddle songs entitled, Drømde mik en drøm i nat. Anna studied composition with John Celona, Christopher Butterfield and Gordon Mumma while a master’s student at the University of Victoria.
From 2005-2008, Anna was composer-in-residence of the Victoria Symphony. Her opera What Time is it Now? based on an original libretto by P.K. Page was premiered by the Symphony and recorded and broadcast by CBC radio. The Victoria Symphony also premiered Light Unfolding, with video by Anisa Skuce, and Emily’s Piece, based on a quartet of Emily Carr paintings from the 1930s.
Anna has received the 2013 Toronto Emerging Composer’s Award, 2014 K.M. Hunter award, a 2016 Chalmers Professional Grant, and numerous grants from the Canada Council, BC Arts Council, Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils, K.M. Hunter Foundation, Koerner Foundation, and private donors. In 2014, Anna walked 200 kilometres of the Camino de Santiago and created murmuring for Baroque quartet that sought to translate aspects of this experience into composition. Anne Carson’s essay on walking the Camino was also a salient part of this process.
Her works have been performed by the Vancouver and Victoria Symphonies, Mira Benjamin, Ensemble Lunatik, Pendulum Ensemble, Esprit Orchestra, Quatuor Bozzini, Cathy Fern Lewis, Wallace Halladay, Aventa Ensemble, Bicycle Opera Project, Contact Contemporary Ensemble, Cari Burdett, Essential Opera, Kimberly Pritchard, Continuum Ensemble, Tapestry Opera, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Paramirabo, Soundstreams, Music Corner, Jane Wood, Ina Henning, Roger Admiral, Larissa Koniuk, Amy Horvey, Maureen Batt and Cheryl Duvall, Heather Roche, Onyx Trio, Ernst Moritz, among others.
In July 2016, Anna had a residency at the Matralab at Concordia University, Montréal, during which time she created La Fôret.
In August, she joined with the Blue Moss Ensemble for a residency at Artspring on Saltspring Island with violinist Mira Benjamin and composer Scott McLaughlin, followed by concerts in Vancouver and Victoria. Travelling next to Huddersfield and London, the group participated in the nu:nord community building workshop with other composers and ensembles from Canada, the U.K. and Norway.
Selected upcoming projects include a new opera with the FAWN chamber collective and poet Oana Avasilichioaei, Island Dreaming for Continuum Ensemble with poet Phoebe Tsang, baritone Alex Dobson, and artist Sonja Rainey, Float for the Blythwood Winds, and a new trio for Suzanne Snizek, Krista Martynes and Joanna Hood. In the summer of 2018, Anna will be in residence at ArtsIceland / Outvert Art Space, Ísafjörður, Iceland.