Agata Zubel

A charismatic percussionist, singer and composer. She graduated in percussion (class of Jan Antoni Wichrowski) and solo voice (class of Danuta Paziuk-Zipser) from Wrocław’s Academy of Music. In 2000 she continued her studies at the Conservatorium Hogeschool Enschede.

Zubel’s works earned her successes in competitions (incl. the 1st prize and PWM Edition’s Award for Lumière for percussion in the National Andrzej Panufnik Competition for Composers in Cracow, 1999; and the 1st prize for Not I for voice, instrumental ensemble and electronics at the International Rostrum of Composers in Prague, 2013), and have been presented at many prestigious festivals, such as Ultraschall Berlin, the Wratislavia Cantans, and Krakow’s Sacrum Profanum.

Zubel emphasises the form-building function of colour and rhythm in her works. She draws on a wide palette of musical concepts developed in the 1950s and 60s (such as sonorism, serialism, and topophonic models), combining them with more recent ideas (the achievements of electro-acoustic music). To her, each composition ought to constitute a sort of ‘a new beginning’. Her major works include, apart from those mentioned above, also Cascando for voice, flute, clarinet, violin and cello, Chapter 13 for voice and instrumental ensemble, Double Battery for in- strumental ensemble with augmented sound space, and Fireworks for great symphony orchestra.

Agata Zubel is also a highly successful singer. Contemporary music takes pride of place in her repertoire (for instance, B. Lang’s DW9, S. Sciarrino’s Luci mie traditrici, P. Mykietyn’s The Magic Mountain). With Cezary Duchnowski she performs in ElettroVoce duo.

Her accolades include: special award (with Duchnowski) in the international competition for contemporary music performers Gaudeamus in Amsterdam (2005); the ‘Passport’ Award of the ‘Polityka’ weekly (2005); Coryphaeus of Polish Music Award (2016), and the European Composer Award for Fireworks (2018).

Phot. Bartek Barczyk
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