Lisa Moore and Elena Kats-Chernin

Elena just listened. She, like me, has a strong survival instinct. She understood that letting go of Emma was all I needed to do to move on. When I told her about our reunion, she just said, “Oh, you two are so nice!” She met Emma shortly afterwards and hugged her too. When you release such secrets, all of you are released.

Elena once came to visit me in New York, and I will never forget seeing the city through her eyes. She doesn’t know how to use the revolving doors in all the apartment buildings and keeps calling them revolving doors. That childlike quality is what makes her so good at what she does and keeps our friendship fresh.


Elena: I bumped into Lisa a lot when we were music students. We all have many, many friends. I love her stunning blonde hair, her big beautiful eyes, and her energy and enthusiasm. I found it difficult to understand the Australian accent, but I enjoyed talking to Lisa because her voice was beautiful, clear, articulate and engaging. We lost touch completely after studying; our real friendship didn’t really start until the 90’s when we all went back to Australia again and worked together.

Like many people, I am in awe of her awesome talent [Moore plays with Philip Glass, the London Sinfonietta and the New York City Ballet]. She has a lot of energy and works like a steam train, but on stage, she has this vulnerability and vulnerability. Both require being a performer: you have to give something of yourself to the audience, inject something into the music.

She is also complicated.We were friends for a long time, and then one day in 1994, when I was about to pick her up from her hotel for a show, she said, “Oh wait, I have to call my daughter, Emma.” I said, “ExExcuse I? ’ She said: ‘It’s a long story. “

Lisa Moore and Elena Kats-Chernin toured together in 2004.

Lisa Moore and Elena Kats-Chernin toured together in 2004.

I was really touched that she trusted me enough to share this secret she had been keeping. My heart is completely over her. The desire to meet my daughter is so strong. They’ve been looking for each other and are both thrilled to have each other in their lives. Next thing I knew, I had also met Emma. It was touching to see how engaged they were. It’s as if they’ve never been apart.

Lisa was literally there for me when one of my sons was sick. I’m in such a bad shape that I can’t work. It felt like a betrayal to focus on anything other than him, but she gently encouraged me to keep composing.She knew it was my lifeblood and suggested I write an article about him [Get Well Rag]. She helped me put one foot in front of the other. I don’t know if I ever told her.

Our relationship these days is almost an instinct. We seem to have a shorthand: we can understand all the emotions involved with just a few words.I wrote a piano concerto for her force majeure, It premiered at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music last November. [Moore and Kats-Chernin received a standing ovation.] The longer I live, the more I realize that it’s not possessions that matter, it’s what you create for others when you’re gone – and whether or not you’ve been a good friend.


I wish Lisa lived in Sydney: her energy always cheers me up. She was in Rome recently and sent me a photo of her drinking coffee in a beautiful courtyard. That’s Lisa. She has a wonderful knack for keeping us connected no matter how far apart we are.

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