Alanna Crouch

teenage pianist and composer of classical, contemporary and film music

United Kingdom



Alanna Crouch is a British teenage pianist and composer of classical, contemporary and film music. Born in London in 2006, Alanna began playing the piano at the age of 3 under the guidance of Tom Donald of London Contemporary School of Music and from 2014 has also studied under Christine Croshaw of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Alanna passed the ABRSM Grade 5 Jazz and ABRSM Grade 8 exams with high distinctions at the age of 7, and then became the youngest person to pass the DipABRSM at age 8, marking the beginning of her promising musical career and establishing her as a highly skilled pianist with a deep understanding of performance.

Alanna began composing at the age of 7 and has since written a number of original pieces, including solo piano works, chamber music, orchestral pieces and film scores. Her compositions have been praised for their variety, haunting melodies and emotional depth, as she draws inspiration from a wide range of musical genres. She began to release on Spotify in 2022 with plaudits from commentators, growing streams and her music gaining placement on playlists. Her most recent release “Don’t Forget Me” has been similarly well-received. She continues her formal musical training in composition and music analysis under the tutelage of Prof. Dr. Bohdan Syroyid from the University of Salamanca (Spain). She has collaborated with her older sister on music projects, together achieving impressive accolades. Their short film 'Princess Emma' won several awards, including Best Original Score and the Grand Jury Prize Winner for Best Student Short at the Imagine Rain Independent Film Awards in 2021. Alanna has had many collaborations with Valerie Graniou-Cook, an intuitive artist and painter whose works have inspired the music they are now set to. Alanna also co-composed the music with Archie Jennings for the original score and movement piece 'Black & Blue' in 2021, directed by Colette Brown and performed by Francisco Serrano.

Alanna has also performed in a number of notable concerts and recitals. She performed her first concerto with the Barbados National Youth Symphony Orchestra in Frank Collymore Hall at age 5 and has since played in prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lansdowne Club, Savile Club, and Steinway Hall UK. Her performances have received critical acclaim, with reviewers praising her technical skill and ability to bring out the emotion and beauty of each piece she plays.  



What does music mean to you personally?

Music is like magic to me. Whenever I sit down to play, I can just put on my headphones, record, and ignore everything else around me! Leaving the real world behind and transported far away. When I feel upset or annoyed I can just escape into my music and create something; when I’m finished, I don’t feel that way anymore. I also find that listening to music is just as magical. There are so many different genres and emotions that go along with them. I can find inspiration by listening to a wide range of music because there’s always something wonderful to take out of each track.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

I think it’s mostly about using your imagination and being creative. When writing music, if I don’t have an idea or picture in my mind before I play, I think of emotions I want the piece to convey and I find paintings to be inspired by. This helps me to create what I would think the background music of the painting would be if it was alive. So yes, I do agree that music is all about fantasy.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

I think I would’ve always done something which involves being creative, maybe an artist or an author. I love being able to create things that have an impact on others. I want them to be moved by what I’ve put out into the world, and I love the fact that my creations will be out there forever, and there will be at least one person who wants to be moved by my work!

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

I’m not worried at all. Music has no age, no barriers, no boundaries. Audiences will find it in their own time, no matter their age. Whenever I go to concerts, I often see many young people in the audience. Always watching and listening with that same connection. Classical music has been here for hundreds of years and as long as at least a few people are listening and sharing it with others, it will never fade!

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

Music is always changing and new styles are always being created. Most people listen to or play music to make them feel a certain way, maybe to calm themselves down or make themselves happy. I think if there is a transformation it would be one that’s positive. As time goes on, there are continuing advances in how we create,write and listen to music. Imagine a composer accidentally writing some wrong notes a century ago… they’d have to start writing the whole piece all over again so it looked neat! Nowadays we’re very lucky to have software like Cubase and Sibelius: we’re able to just press a button, those wrong notes magically disappear and we keep on writing where we left off. Amazing! Some may consider this as a lazy way to write, but it definitely helps the creative flow - you don’t lose your ideas and can write them quickly and easily. When it comes to accessing and listening to music today, we’re so fortunate with the technology around us. Music is everywhere now: not just in a radio at home or in cars, but everywhere! It’s shopping malls, it’s phones, it’s laptops, it’s apps like Spotify and Apple Music which mean we can listen to exactly what we want to, wherever and whenever we want to!

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

I think musicians do have to be more creative because of the amount of music out there that audiences have access to. They have to be more original so that it’s not the repeating something that’s already been done. For me, I like to watch parts of films with the sound turned off so that I could imagine what the sound would be like if there was some there. Then I simply write in whatever mood it gave me.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

If there are parents that enjoy concerts, but the tickets are expensive, they have to find people to look after their children in order for them to go. If we offered free tickets or at least cheaper for minors, and family-friendly times on weekends, that would definitely attract a younger audience!

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

I don’t think I have a favourite piece. I come up with too much music to just have one favourite (but ones I do like have usually been created while I was looking at paintings and collaborating with artists.) If it’s not abstract, I imagine what music would be playing in the background if the painting was actually a movie, with scenes playing out in front of me. Now that I think of it, I’ve realised I do have a favourite: it’s a piece called ‘Figura com reposteiro’ (which is Portuguese for ‘figure with curtain’.) I take the names of the paintings when I can't think of another title. This adds a connection to my piece and the art. I came across this painting on Google Arts and Culture. The face in the painting looked so sad, like there was nothing left for her, and after I read the description I realised why! I then came up with the music based on the mood of the painting and the dull colours; I tried to imagine how she would feel in the situation she was in, and bring it to life! I kept the painting in front of me while I was recording and found new details every time I looked up at it.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

I would say to first ‘think big!’ I would advise them to listen to a large variety of different genres before going onto classical music. I would say to Google the most popular music of two composers from each style to get a feel for what their favourite style might be.(baroque, classical, romantic, 20th century…) They might like to keep a music diary so they can write what music they like, and if they would listen to more of those composers' music! While listening, they may realise that they recognise some pieces and this will help them to feel more comfortable with expanding their music taste!

Do you think about the audience when composing?

I don’t normally, although I probably should! I usually just write what I want to write, not what I'd think other people would want to hear. I’d like to think I have quite good music taste, so the music I write should also be pretty good! If I like what I'm writing I'd hope at least some people would like it too!

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I have some extremely exciting projects that I'm currently working on! My favourite is an album that’s coming out soon which I’m writing accompanying stories for. I don’t usually do this for my music so it’s a really fun challenge to try something new! (Writing stories is one of my other favourite things to do, so it’s so fun to be able to merge them together!!) When working on a project, I do experiment sometimes (like the one I'm working on right now.) But I quite like to stay in my comfort zone by adding at least some element of piano into most of my pieces, as it seems to help bring everything together. If I'm working with Cubase software, I'll experiment a lot more as it’s something I love using. It’s really fun to go through the instruments I have and find really interesting sounds I could use in different settings. If I watch a movie and hear sounds that are really creative, I might try to recreate something similar to it with the instruments I have. Trying out different styles of music is definitely something I enjoy. Although I can now say action music is not my strongest style right now, I'm loving writing music in styles that are new and exciting for me and that I can develop in!