Marzena Komsta is a composer born on 7th February, 1970, in Gdynia.
She studied composition under Eugeniusz Głowski at the Academy of Music in Gdańsk (1989-90) and under Zbigniew Bagiński and Włodzimierz Kotoński at the Academy of Music in Warsaw (1990-94). She also studied under Phillippe Manoury and Dannis Lorrain at the faculties of Composition, Acoustic Music and Electroacoustic Music, and Music Informatics of Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon (1993-96). In 1996, she was admitted to Formation Doctorale en Musique et Musicologie du XXe siècle (in the field of computer-assisted composition) at Paris’ l'Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique.
Marzena Komsta "DESIRE" dir.Monsieur Zupika from Monsieur Zupika on Vimeo.
She furthered her musical education at compositional courses, such as the International Summer Courses for Young Composers in Kazimierz Dolny (1991, 1993), as well as the Course of Contemporary French Music (1991) and the Course of Computer Music (1992), both of which were organized by the Academy of Music in Warsaw. She also participated in composition courses in Avignon (1992, 1993, 1994). Komsta has taken part in numerous seminars on contemporary music and new technologies, which were led by such artists as György Ligeti, Pierre Boulez, Henri Dutilleux, Iannis Xenakis, Magnus Lindberg, Gerard Grisey, Tristan Murail, Philippe Hurel and Pascal Dusapin. Komsta has been living in France since 1993, and since 1995 she has been a member of Sociéte des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique.
I chose to stay abroad for artistic reasons. My departure was however caused by chance, as I received a proposition to immediately come to Paris to study with Philippe Manoury, then professor of composition at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon, after he listened to a piece for orchestra that I'd written. I was encouraged to go by Witold Lutosławski, who had received a letter from the director of Radio France mentioning me. Lutosławski insisted that I leave as soon as possible. Less than a year after receiving the aforementioned proposition from Manoury I came to France, with a private scholarship from Witold Lutosławski. After three years I felt that Paris was the place for me. Its aesthetic variety was very close to my heart. -- said Komsta in an interview with Grzegorz Filip.
Marzena Komsta’s works, both instumental and electronic, have been awarded at compositional competitions such as the Manuel Valcárcel International Composition Competition in Santander, the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain and Grame competitions in Lyon, and at the Tola Korian Competition in London. She also won the prestigious Villa Kujoyama award in Kyoto (Japan), where in 2003 she was appointed resident composer. She has received commissions from the French government, the Lyon Studio GRAME, Rennes’ Museum of Fine Arts/ Ensemble Rhizo'Instrumental, Siemens Musikstifung/Warsaw Autumn, Strasbourg’s Musica festival, Forbach’s Rendez-vous Musique Nouvelle festival (for Elżbieta Chojnacka), the Gdańsk Meetings of Young Composers festival, Wrocław’s Musica Polonica Nova festival and from many performers and ensembles including Orkestr De Ereprijs and Ensemble Suo Tempore. The French government entrusted Komsta with representing the French music scene in Japan. She lectured about her works at Japanese universities.
Her music has also been performed at the following festivals: Warsaw Autumn, the Gdańsk Meetings of Young Composers, the Yach Film Festival in Gdańsk, the International Review of Contemporary Music in Belgrade, Pianissimo in Sofia, Musica in Strasbourg, Rendez-vous Musique Nouvelle in Forbach, Aujourd'hui Musique in Perpignan, the Youth Music Forum in Kiev, Contrasts in Lviv, DAAD/Sender Freies Berlin, RoboticArte – Computer Art Festival in Italy, Musicora in Paris, AcousMania in Bucharest, Ritmy in France, Biennale de Paris/SUXUS, and Musica Polonica Nova in Wrocław. Her music has also been played on radio stations in Poland, Germany (Sender Freies Berlin, Westdeutsche Rundfunk, SR2, Kultur Radio), France (France Musique, France Culture), Japan (NHK – Best of Classics), the USA, Canada and New Zealand. Her music has served as inspiration for numerous artists, who have created films, choreographies, and installations to her music which were presented at such festivals as Italy’s RoboticArte, Lyon’s Maison de la Danse, the Netherland’s Harpsichorpheus Project, Japan’s Artist's Work in Black, and the "Yach Film" Festival of Polish Music Videos (receiving a nomination for best Polish music video in the Different Energy category).
- Oberek for piano (1988)
- Nobody Knows the Day for mixed choir (1989)
- Kirp for string quartet (1990)
- Cinq Miniatures for piano (1990)
- To Unwanted Prometheuses (Niechcianym Prometeuszom) for large symphony orchestra (1991)
- HO-YI-A for amplified violin and harpsichord (1991)
- Hard Day for three percussionists (1992)
- Agmen for chamber orchestra (1993)
- Oqivian for tape (1993)
- Brun for violin solo (1994)
- ...tu sais? for amplified flute, amplified percussion, amplified harpsichord, small orchestra, tape and real-time computer system (1995)
- lFdlC (le F de la C) for one piano and three pianists (1996)
- A toi, mon amour - une pièce cruelle for piano (1997-98)
- Ô! – dans l'ombre pour clarinette, soprano, percussion, violin et violoncelle (2000)
- Primaire... humain for harpsichord (2000)
- Night/Portrait / Noc/Portret for small orchestra (2001)
- Journal en rafales for sextet (2001)
- Pensées, seven short pieces for vibraphone (2002)
- Les espaces de mes rêves for piano, whispered voice, unusual sound objects and Max/MSP real-time electroacoustic system (2003)
- Desire for tape (2005)
- Songe XXV for piano, voice, sound objects and Max/MSP real-time electroacoustic system (2003)
- Tamashii no soko kara (from the Bottom of the Soul) / Tamashii no soko kara (Z głębi duszy) for shakuhachi (2007)
Author: Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Centre, Association of Polish Composers, July 2002; updated: October 2008.