Ella Spira MBE – Sisters Grimm Composer and Producer
Ella Spira MBE is a London & Dubai based Grammy nominated composer and pianist working predominantly with classical music, whilst having an intimate knowledge of and regular engagement with, projects across the spectrum of contemporary popular culture.
With a few notable exceptions writing for film, adverts, animations and narrative shorts across a range of genres from horror to romantic drama, she has concentrated on writing specifically for Sisters Grimm productions.
Ella Spira’s compositions score all Sisters Grimm’s content and portfolio of Culturally themed shows that have played in 7 countries including Singapore, China and Russia.
She has worked with companies as diverse as The Royal Ballet, BAFTA, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Ministry of Sound and on pop chart remixes with Steve Smart & Westfunk and her music has been used for Prince Harry’s Sentebale 2019 Annual film, UNICEF NYE Campaign, Hi5 new series Theme Song ‘Hi5 Dance Off’.
In 2008 Ella was one of the UK delegates to a European arts project sponsored by the British Council, where she co-wrote the score for an international music theatre production called Roots & Routes, and staged in Cologne. Also in 2008 she was nominated for the Channel 4 Talented Newcomers Award for Production Music.
That same year, she began writing music for dance and working with Pietra Mello-Pittman and members of The Royal Ballet, and Reves Au Chemin was performed as part of ‘Draft Works’ in the Clore Studio Upstairs at the Royal Opera House in December 2008.
Subsequently her association with Pietra Mello-Pittman has continued with the forming of the company Sisters Grimm in 2009, and its completion of the ballet film Rapunzel – The Final Chapter – a project part funded by the Royal Opera House. This short film, based on the well-known folk story, was created for screening, with live ensemble accompaniment.
During 2009, Ella worked as composer on a film project, Uncut, the first British feature to be shot as a single, continuous take. As BAFTA/Rocliffe New Writers Forum regional composer Ella has composed for the International Screenwriters’ Festival (2009) and the ScreenLit Festival (2010).
Also in 2010 she began her continuing association with Steve Smart & West Funk, working on remixes of track including Bruno Mars’ ‘Just The Way You Are’, McFly’s ‘Shine A Light’, Jay Sean’s (ft Nicki Minag) ‘2012’, Alicia Dixon’s (ft Jay Sean) ‘Every Little Part Of Me’ and Nelly’s ‘Just A Dream’, on labels including Universal. All five of these reached the top 20 in the UK charts.
Ella has received support and encouragement from Nik Powell, co-founder of Virgin Records, Palace Pictures and Producer of films such as Calendar Girls; Barry Wordsworth, Music Director of The Royal Ballet; Adrian Rhodes (Sound Designer on Wallace & Gromit, The Full Monty).
Ellas passion for cross cultural collaboration and musical composition prowess has seen her receive a Grammy nomination in 2016 for Best World Music Album for the Songs from INALA a Zulu ballet Sisters Grimm’s first major world show.
In 2017 Sisters Grimm premiered Voices of the Amazon in Russia, London and Singapore. The production for which Ella wrote the score in collaboration with Brazilian song writers, won Brazilian international Press Award Best Show.
Since 2018 Ella also worked in Japan, Bali, China, and the Middle East on Sisters Grimm’s ever expanding portfolio of cultural shows.
In 2020 during the global pandemic, Ella co-wrote and released 5 new music videos from Sisters Grimm’s new Arab World Show. These have now had over 5 million YouTube views, including over 1 million views for “Together Let Go” for
World Music Day, a pan-global anthem combining talents from the UAE – singer-songwriter DB Gad wrote the Arabic lyrics, sung by Madyan Hamza and Emirati singer Arqam Al Abri – alongside international artists who Sisters Grimm had previously worked wit across
five continents including South Africa’s Joseph Shabalala, Brazil’s Dito Martins and Siori Tanabe from Japan
and over 3 million views for their UAE National Day release “UNITED” featuring Shamma Hamdan and garnering major local and international press.
This year Ella was honoured with an MBE in the 2021 New Years Honours List for services to International Trade and the Creative Industry.
“It’s at once a high-end ballet production, a live concert and a tenderly affecting performance of stunning, contemporary South African vocal music.”
– David Pollock, The Independent on INALA