Roxanna Panufnik

ROXANNA PANUFNIK b.1968 ARAM, GRSM(hons), LRAM studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music and, since then, has written a wide range of pieces – opera, ballet, music theatre, choral works, orchestral and chamber compositions, and music for film and television – which are performed all over the world.

Roxanna has a great love of world music – this has culminated in her “Four World Seasons” for violinist Tasmin Little, the world premiere of which was picked by BBC Radio 3 to launch their Music Nations weekend, celebrating the London Olympics; her multi-faith Warner Classics CD “Love Abide” ( and “Dance of Life: Tallinn Mass” for Tallinn Philharmonic (, commissioned to celebrate Tallinn’s reign as European Capital of Culture.

She is especially interested in building musical bridges between faiths and her first project in this field was the violin concerto “Abraham”, commissioned for Daniel Hope, incorporating Christian, Islamic and Jewish chant to create a musical analogy for the fact that these three faiths believe in the same one God. This work was subsequently converted into an overture for the World Orchestra for Peace and premiered in Jerusalem and London under the baton of Valery Gergiev, in 2008 and at the 2014 BBC Proms.

2016/7 holds some exciting projects, including a commission for Garsington Opera’s 2017 Season and recording her Four World Seasons with Tasmin and the BBC Symphony Orchestra for release on the Chandos label. Roxanna is Associate Composer with the London Mozart Players. Her compositions are published by Peter’s Edition Ltd and recorded on many labels including Warner Classics, Chandos, Signum and EMI Classics.

Read an interview with Roxanna Panufnik here


Kyrie after Byrd (a reflection on the Kyrie of Byrd’s 5-part Mass)

When new super-choir ORA came to me, asking for a Kyrie that related to Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices, I immediately went to Youtube to listen to Byrd’s original. I loved the way that the melody of the first Kyrie eleison almost immediately transposes and capitalized on this harmonically by taking my version through several quite chromatic changes and adding an extra bass voice, thereby extra harmonic potential. I’ve kept the Christe eleison as a calmer and more ethereal section, floating gently back into the chromatic Kyrie, which almost forgets itself in harmonic and dramatic propriety but suddenly takes stock of itself and ends with quiet reverence.

This commission appears on ORA’s debut album, Upheld by Stillness.