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One of the foremost Russian composers working today, Gubaidulina has become known for intense music of unusual instrumental combinations and profound spiritual connotations. Her father was a Tatar from a Muslim background and her mother was Slavic; Gubaidulina believes her musical language owes much to this background, bridging Europe and Asia. She is interested in new sounds and textures from traditional Western classical instruments as well as folk instruments, and musical puzzles, symbolism, and architectural forms. Much of her music specifically addresses religious and spiritual themes.