Ahead of the premiere of her double bass concerto with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Editor at Large Clive Paget interviewed American composer Missy Mazzoli about her career so far. Born in 1980 in Pennsylvania, Mazzoli has composed chamber, orchestral and operatic works, with her opera  Breaking the Waves, an adaption of Lars von Trier’s film of the same name, a highlight in her varied output.

You grew up in rural Pennsylvania. How were you introduced to music and composition in particular?

I had a great piano teacher when I was very, and I just loved it. Looking back, it was very weird and obsessive but I thought whatever these people are doing who made this music, that’s what I need to do. And I became obsessed at a really young age and I found it really worked for me because I had so many other interests. Even when I was very young I was interested in poetry and visual art and theatre and I wanted to do everything. All creative fields – I wanted to do all of them – and composing allows you to do all of them.

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