Agata Zubel, fot. Tomasz Kulak

Composer and singer, born on January 25, 1978 in Wrocław.

As a singer, she has participated in many prestigious musical events. Contemporary music occupies a special place in her repertoire. Together with Cezary Duchnowski, she forms the ElettroVoce Duo. In the summer of 2004, she took part in an experimental project of improvisation during a concert commissioned by the International Courses of Composition in Darmstadt. Over the past few years, she has gained fame as a performer of Witold Lutosławski's Chantefleurs et Chantefables ("Musica Polonica Nova", 2006), Bernhard Lang's DW9("Warsaw Autumn", 2004), Zygmunt Krauze's The Star(electroacoustic adaptation by Cezary Duchnowski at the Polish Theatre in Wrocław, 2005), as well as the role of Phaedra inDobromiła Jaskot's opera under the same title (Grand Theatre - National Opera, 2006). She has also given concerts abroad: in Italy, Russia, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Denmark, Ukraine, Lithuania, Korea and the United States.

She graduated with honours ("Primus Inter Pares") from the Composition Department in the class of Jan Wichrowski and from the Vocal Department under the guidance of Danuta Paziuk-Zipser at the Academy of Music in Wrocław. She continued her studies at the Conservatoruim Hogeschool Enschede in the Netherlands and received scholarships from many prestigious institutions, including the Polish Ministry of Culture, Executive Board of the City of Wrocław, the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, the "Young Poland" Programme of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and the Foundation of International Education.

Her music has been performed at numerous festivals, among them, the "Warsaw Autumn", "Musica Polonica Nova" Festival in Wrocław, Audio-Art Festival, the Andrzej Panufnik's Music Days in Cracow, the Poznań Musical Spring, the Adam Didur Festival, Kraków 2000 Festival, Chanterelle Festival, Festival of Polish Music in Kraków, Festival of First Performances Polish Contemporary Music in Katowice, as well as: Alternativa in Moscow, Corso Polonia in Rome, Velvet Curtain in Lvov, Musikhøst Odense in Denmark. Her Symphony No. 2 for 77 musicians (2005), commissioned by Deutsche Welle, had its first performance in 2005 during the Beethoven Festival in Bonn. Her work has also been commissioned by the Wratislavia Cantans Festival, "Ultraschall" in Berlin and the Festival in Seattle.

Agata Zubel has won several composition and vocal competitions, among them: First Prize and Award of the Polish Musical Publishing PWM Edition in 1999 during the Andrzej Panufnik National Composers Competition for her Lumière pour percussion solo (1997), Third Prize during the Polish Classical Guitar Composition Competition in 2000 for the work Ludia and Fu - guitar solo (1999), as well as First Prize and Special Award of the Polish Radio at the Adam Didur National Composers' Competition for the Song about the End of the World / Piosenka o końcu świata - for voice, reciter and instrumental ensemble to the words of Czesław Miłosz (1998), in 2002 - she received the Special Award at Concours Moderne in Chain and First Prize at the Krzysztof Penderecki International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition, in 2003 - the Chief Prize awarded by the Leopold Kronenberg Bank Foundation at the Competition of 20th and 21st Century Music for Young Performers organized by the Polish Society of Contemporary Music, Third Prize during the International Competition for Professional Soloists: Interpretation of Contemporary Music - Nicati 2003 in Switzerland and Second Prize for Re-Cycle for five percussionists (2001) at the Peter Ivanovich Jurgenson International Composer Competition in Moscow, in 2005 - jointly with Cezary Duchnowski (as the ElettroVoce Duo) she received the Special Award at the "Gaudeamus" International Contemporary Music Interpreters Competition in Amsterdam, the "Polityka" Magazine "Passport" Award and the Wrocław Musical Award.

She holds a Ph.D. from the Academy of Music in Wrocław. Since 2003 she has been a member of the Polish Composers' Union.

Major compositions:

  • Lumière pour percussion solo (1997)
  • Nocturne for violin solo (1997)
  • Birthday for mixed choir a cappella to the words of Wisława Szymborska (1998)
  • Three miniatures for piano (1998)
  • Song about the End of the World for singing voice, reciting voice and instrumental ensemble to the words of Czesław Miłosz (1998)
  • Meditations for mixed choir a cappella to the poems of Jan Twardowski (1999)
  • Ragnatela for bassoon and string orchestra (1999)
  • Ballad for voice, percussion and tape (1999)
  • Ludia and Fu for guitar solo (1999)
  • Photographs from an Album for marimba and string quartet (2000)
  • Parlando for voice and computer (2000)
  • Trivellazione a percussione for percussion (2000)
  • Lentille for string orchestra, voice and accordion (2001)
  • Re-Cycle for five percussionists percussion (2001)
  • Symphony No. 1 for orchestra (2002)
  • Nelumbo for four marimbas (2003)
  • Unisono I for voice, percussion and computer (2003)
  • Unisono II for voice, accordion and computer (2003)
  • Short Stories for voice and prepared piano (2004)
  • Concerto grosso for baroque violin, stagg flute, harpsichord and a choir of soloists (2004)
  • Symphony No. 2 for 77 musicians (2005)
  • String quarter No. 1 for four cellos and computer (2006)
  • Obciążenie dopuszczalne for percussion and computer (2006)
  • Cascando for voice, flute, clarnet, violin and cello (2007)
  • above Songs for voice, cello, choir and orchestra (2007)

The composer's website: Agata Zubel

Author: Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Centre, Polish Composers' Union, May, 2003; Updated: November, 2008.