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Lidia Zielińska

Composer and lecturer, born 9 October 1953 in Poznań.

Lidia Zielińska is one of the most interesting contemporary Polish composers. Her creative path has been marked by continuous exploration through a wide range of artistic interests. As a composer, she has been involved in electro-acoustic music and multimedia compositions. After completing studies in classical composition, she pursued a wide range of training, investigating new terrain, and discovering new methods of working. She attended courses in Breukelen (Musicultura), in Amsterdam (Gaudeamus Foundation), and in Rydzyń and Wzdów (The Polish Society for Contemporary Music). She has also collaborated with artists in the theatre, experimental film and the fine arts. She took part in EuroMusikTheater – a multimedia project held in Stuttgart and as a guest-composer, she has worked at the Electronic Music Studio in Stockholm, the studio of electronic media IPEM/BRT in Gandava and the Institute de la Musique Electro-acoustique in Bourges. She has also taught many courses devoted to electro-acoustic music and multimedia and she gave lectures at the invitation of several European Universities. She describes her main interest or artistic inquiry as Sound ecology.

Lidia Zielińska has had an important impact in the sphere of electro-acoustic and multi-media arts through her numerous compositions that use electronics, computers and visual elements. Her important electronic works include: Polish Dances for audiotape according for Father Baka (1986), Short Piece for flute, computer and audiotape (1992), Like These White Mice for audiotape (1996), Expandata for percussion and audiotape (1997), Ballad about Ballet for audiotape (1997) and Just Too Many Words for audiotape (2001). Among her audiovisual compositions are: Artificial Cult for audiotape, videotape, neon and visual objects (in collaboration with Wojciech Oleksiak - 1985), Heldenleben - Overheard and Spied on for audiotape, videotape and shadowgraph (1986) and Kaleidoscope-Passacaglia for percussion, slides and clapping children’s hands (1987).

This last piece is an important example of the work she creates for children. Other notable projects for children include: Museum of Sound, a live installation for children (1988) or Soaked Music with the participation of an audience of children, narrator, director and audiotape (1993), The Same (1988), Voices (together with Izabella Gustowska - 1992). Her performance in the Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw in 2002 during the Audio Art Festival, left a lasting impression with her unusual and restless creative work and cemented her place in the landscape of modern Polish music. While she is known mostly for her electronic experiments, Lidia Zielińska has also composed numerous traditional pieces for standard instruments, such as the Violin Concerto (1979 – First Prize and Critics’ Award in the "Jeunesses Musicales" International Competition in Belgrade), and String Quartet (1988) or Zoom for violin and orchestra (2000).

Lidia Zielińska graduated with a degree in composition studies in 1978 with Andrzej Koszewski at the State Higher School of Music in Poznań. She worked as a violinist in the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra and in Agnieszka Duczmal’s Chamber Orchestra. She attended composition workshops and seminars in Poland, Holland, France and Switzerland, and lectured in Poland, Belarus, Chile, France, Holland, Japan, Canada, Moldavia, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. She collaborated with artists working in the fields of visual art, theatre and experimental film, including - Jan Berdyszak, Ted Brandsen, Izabella Gustowska, Aleksandra Korejwo, Wojciech Müller, Lech Raczak, Roland Topor, Ewa Wycichowska.

She has received numerous awards in composition competitions, both in Poland and abroad, including: Second Prize in the Artur Malawski Competition in 1978 for her Litany for string quartet (1978), Third Prize in the National Composers’ Competition in Białystok in 1979 for Stabile, mobile a passacaglia for 7 performers (1979), a Special Distinction during the Competition of the Young of the Polish Composers’ Union for her Polyethylene Diptych for orchestra (1979) and Second Prize in the Jeunesses Musicales International Composers’ Competition in Belgrade for her Violin Concert (1979), in 1980 – Second Prize in the National Composers’ Competition in Łańcut for Six pieces for string quartet (1979), in 1981 – Second Prize in the International Composers’ Competition for Women Composers in Mannheim for Assacaglia for 5 instrumentalists (1980), in 1982 – a Distinction during the Karol Szymanowski Competition for the tragicomedy Mrs Koch (1981), and in 1983 – First Prize in the Max Deutsch International Composers’ Competition in Paris for her Farewell to Toorope for orchestra (1981). During the 1993/94 Season, she participated in the "EuroMusikTheater" project which ended with a premiere performance of Zeitschlingen (1994) in Stuttgart, and during the subsequent season - in the Donau Ballet - that ended with the premiere performance of Venture Unknown (1995) at the Holland Dance Festival. During the 1995/96 Season, as a composer-in-residence, she took part in the Electronic Music Studio in Stockholm, and for the Like These White Mice (1996) that received an Award in the International Competition of Electroacoustic Music in Bourges in 1997. She also received the emsPrize in Stockholm (2001) for Just Too Many Words for audiotape (2001). In 2008, her composition Conrad’s Seven Isles for electronic sounds and 10 amplified instruments (2007) was nominated to the OPUS Public Media Award.

Lidia Zielińska’s work has been performed at festivals in many European, Asian and American countries by such artists and ensembles as: Krzysztof Bąkowski, Daniel Gazon, Marta Klimasara, Jan Krenz, Claire Larcher, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Alexandre Myrat, Jan Pilch, Daniel Stabrawa, Terje Thiwang, Pomone Tortelier, Francoise Vanhecke, Antoni Wit, Anna Zielińska, Joos Zwaanenburg, Ensemble InterContemporain, De Ereprijs, Notabu ensemble neue musik, Ensemble Ars Nova, Muzyka Centrum, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of the Polish Radio, Modern Music Orchestra, Schola Cantorum Gedanensis choir, Polish Dance Theatre.

She has also won numerous commissions including those from: Polish Radio, "Solidarity", Theatre of the Eighth Day, Holland Dance Festival, Euro-Musik-Theater in Stuttgart, the Dutch De Ereprijs Ensemble, Swedish Radio, Ministry of Culture of Baden-Württemberg, Warsaw Autumn.

She has worked in the studios of electronic music at the State Higher School of Music in Cracow, the Experimental Studio of the Polish Radio in Warsaw, IPEM/BRT in Gandava, EMS in Stockholm, ZKM in Karlsruhe and several others. She is also an author of several publications and lectures (on Polish contemporary music, electroacoustic music, history of experimental music, sound ecology and traditional Japanese music), which she presented numerous times at the invitation of universities throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, in the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology in Cracow, Centre for Contemporary Art in the Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, and also during annual ISEA and WFAE conferences as well as scientific sessions in Poland and abroad. She has taught summer courses, workshops and seminars in Poland, Belarus, Chile, France, Holland, Japan, Canada, Moldavia, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. She is a juror, curator, expert and consultant in numerous musical, inter-media and educational events in many European countries and in European Union bodies. Lidia Zielińska also lectures in composition and is the director of an electroacoustic music studio at the Academy of Music in Poznań. Between 1992-93, she also lectured at the Academy of Music in Wrocław. During the years 1989-92 and since 2001, she has taught sonology classes in the Fine Arts Academy in Poznań. She was a member of the Repertoire Committee of the Warsaw Autumn Festival (1989-92 and 1996-2005), she was also the artistic director of the Poznań Music Spring (1989-92), the International Festival Child and Sound in Poznań (1993-95). She was a member of the Board of the Polish Society for Contemporary Music (1981-92), the Board of the Poznań Branch of the Polish Composers’ Union (1983-93, 1999-2001), Main Board of the Polish Composers’ Union (1989-91 and since 2001). She is also the co-founder of the music quarterly Monochord, de musica acta, studia et commentarii, the Brevis Music Publishing Edition, the Foundation Child and Sound, the Friends of the Warsaw Autumn Foundation, the Zachęta Wielkopolska Society for Fine Arts, the PSeME – Polish Society for Electroacoustic Music.

In 2007, Lidia Zielińska received the Award of the Polish Composers’ Union for her "distinguished and multi-dimensional composing achievements".

Selected compositions:

Listen, Joe, monodrama for mime, tape and orchestra (1978)
Litany for string quartet (1979)
Violin Concerto (1979)
Two Dances for strings (1981)
Epitaph in Memoriam of the Poznań June 1956 for orchestra (1981)
Mrs Koch, tragicomedy in one Act for solo voices, tape recorders, vocal and instrumental ensembles (1981)
Farewell to Toorope for orchestra (1981)
Treaty for oboe quartet (1982)
Cascando for actor and double mixed choir (1983-91)
Gagaku Lullaby for double bass (1984)
Sonnet about the Tatra Mountains for 4 musicians (1985)
Artificial Cult for tape, video tape, neons and visual objects [in collaboration with Wojciech Oleksiak] (1985)
Fiction for orchestra (1986)
Glossa for viola or violin (1986)
Heldenleben. Overheard and Spied On for audio tape, video tape and shadowgraph (1986)
Pleonasmus for oboe, violin and string orchestra (1986)
Polish Dances for tape according to Father Baka (1986)
First AKO trip, cartoon film [in collaboration with Aleksandra Korejwo] (1986)
Concrete Music for choir and orchestra (1987)
Feature Piece for saxophone and tape (1987)
Kaleidoscope-Passacaglia for children for percussion, slides and clapping hands (1987)
String Quartet (1988)
Piece about Everything for percussion and children audience (1988)
Descendent for harpsichord or piano (1988)
Huit heures de la vie des femmes, musical theatre for 9 performers (1988)
Little Atrophic Symphony for orchestra (1988)
Music for the Holy Week for mixed choir and percussion (1988)
The Same, performance (1988)
Sound Museum, a live installation for children (1988)
Musica humana or How Symphonies Are Born [version 1], radio piece (1989)
Toccata for percussion orchestra (1989)
Two Measures, spatial piece for 5 performers (1989)
In the Field, mini spectacle (1990)
Graphics II for 10 instruments and live electronics (1991)
Cascando [chamber version] for actor and double mixed choir (1991)
Jacquard for 14 musicians (1991)
Fago for bassoon, double bass and accordion or electronic keyboard (1992)
Short Piece for flute and computer or tape (1992)
Voices, performance [in collaboration with Izabella Gustowska] (1992)
Soundiness, musical theatre for children (1993)
Soaked Music with children audience, narrator, director and tapes (1993)
Zeitschlingen, sound spectacle (1994)
The Unit TOGO for male choir and piano (1995)
Venture Unknown, ballet (1995)
Like These White Mice, radio piece (1996)
La Vetrata for young string orchestra (1996)
Ballad sopra Ballata for tape (1997)
Expandata for percussion and tape (1997)
Motetus universalis, installation (1997)
Percussionata for 40-60 percussionists (1998)
You Know It, Then Listen..., hörspiel according to The Locomotive by Julian Tuwim (1998)
Atlas of Polish sound symbols, radio piece (2000)
Zoom for violin and orchestra (2000)
Just Too Many Words for tape (2001)
Grain to Grain for 13 instruments (2002)
Sketch from Nature, multi-media spectacle (2002)
From Sketchbook 2, multi-media spectacle (2003)
Nobody is Perfect for electronic sounds and 17 instruments (2004)
Rhapsody for violin and electronic sounds (2004)
dumchrzquii for tape (2004)
The Cases of Mr von K. ("Die Fälle des Herrn von K."), a full-spectacle ballet (2005)
Lunches in Rejowiec 1965-1565 for tape (2006)
It’s Happened Before, audio-visual installation (2006)
From the Garden of Sciences for choir and electronic sounds to the text from the Book of Kohelet (2006)
Open Your Ears! Open Your Eyes! audiovisual miniature for children (2006)
Conrad’s Seven Isles for electronic sounds and 10 amplified instruments (2007)
Eighth Island for tape (2008)'s picture
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Lidia Zielińska
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