Joanna Woźny is a composer, born in Zabrze in 1973. She has studied philosophy in Katowice and composition and music theory in Graz, and is based in Austria.
From 1992 to 98, Joanna Woźny studied philosophy at the University of Silesia in Katowice. She wrote her Master's thesis on aesthetics in the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein.
I liked his texts on aesthetics, written in a somewhat religious style. In my logic classes, I learnt how to think rigorously and formulate my statements
– the composer says.
Meanwhile, she was applying to music theory programmes at universities in Katowice and Kraków, however without success. Instead, she managed to get into a music course in Graz, Austria, where between 1996-2003 she studied composition and music theory at Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, and was taught by Gerd Kühr and Beat Furrer. She graduated with distinction.
Monika Pasiecznik wrote about Joanna Woźny’s music in the Ruch Muzyczny magazine:
The musical language that Woźny employs has been shaped by the encounters with her masters: Nono, Lachenmann, Sciarrin, Furrer, and Czernowin. It is characterized by the meticulously designed sounds, combined with a certain restraint and asceticism of the most essential elements. Her music is not as raw as that composed by Lachenmann, neither as lyrical as Furrer’s, nor as filigree as that of Sciarrin. It does, however, unite all of the above types into a new, ambiguous whole.
She composes various forms of instrumental music (from solo and chamber compositions, through pieces for ensembles and orchestras, to choir music) or experimental music.
Joanna Woźny has received numerous awards, such as the Advancement Award for Music from the City of Graz (2001), the award for artistic output from the University of Graz (2004), SKE Publicity Preis and Erste Bank Kompositionspreis (both 2010). In 1997, she received a scholarship from the Stefan Batory Foundation; in 2005 and 2008 she was the recipient of the Austrian State Scholarship for Composers. In 2001, she was the resident artist at the Art Station St. Peter in Cologne, and in 2003 and 2004, the Composer-in-Residence at the Artists Encounters of St. Lambrecht’s Abbey. In 2010-11, she participated in the Young-Composer-in-Residence programme of the PHACE | CONTEMPORARY MUSIC group.
Woźny’s compositions have been presented at numerous festivals, such as: Wien Modern, Musikprotokoll Graz, Ultraschall Festival Berlin, Warsaw Autumn, and New Music Forum in Cologne. They have been performed by Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Munich Radio Orchestra, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Wiener Collage, PercussioNova, ensemble courage, PHACE, EWCM, and Cappella Nova Graz.
Woźny’s scores are published by the Edition Juliane Klein publishing house from Berlin. 2007 was also the year of the release of her 5-track album as in a mirror, darkly, by the prestigious KAIROS label. The record includes performances by such groups as Klangforum Wien, conducted by Enno Pope and European Workshop for Contemporary Music, conducted by Rüdiger Böhn.
Author: Filip Lech, sources: KAIROS, Pasiecznik.wordpress.com, polmic.pl, transl. AM, January 2015
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