One of Australia’s most popular artists, Elena Kats-Chernin is renowned for her smart, witty music and prolific output. Now on the eve of her 60th birthday celebrations, a visit to her Sydney home finds a composer who seems to be accelerating rather than slowing down.

Boxes of filed sketches, publicity material, scrapbooks of newspaper clippings and reviews line her hallway, waiting to be sent to the National Library in Canberra. But Kats-Chernin’s escalating success, she confesses, means she hasn’t been...

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