Zubel, Agata

Composer and singer living in Wrocław, where she teaches at the local Music Academy. Known for her unique vocal range and use of techniques that challenge stereotypes, Agata Zubel gives concerts throughout the world and has premiered numerous new works. Her compositions have been commissioned by prestigious music institutions such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, State Opera in Hannover, West German Radio (for Neue Vocalsolisten), Ensemble intercontemporain, Ultraschall Festival in Berlin, Deutsche Welle in Bonn, Wratislavia Cantans Festival and Grand Theatre –National Opera in Warsaw. 

She won several competitions, both as a singer and composer, and also boasts important accolades such as the Passport Award of the Polityka weekly for classical music (2005), Fryderyk Award for Cascando (2010), Grand Prix at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers for the piece Not I (2013), Polonica Nova Prize (2014), Coryphaeus of Polish Music (2016), and Badge of Merit, awarded for services to Polish Culture. 

Together with composer and pianist Cezary Duchnowski she founded the ElettroVoce Duo. As a singer and composer, Agata Zubel has cooperated with numerous festivals, philharmonics, and opera companies as well as with leading ensembles like Klangforum Wien, Musikfabrik, Ensemble intercontemporain, Ictus, London Sinfonietta, Eighth Blackbird, Seattle Chamber Players, and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. 

Her discography comprises more than a dozen albums, including with her own music: Not I (KAIROS) and Cascando(CD Accord), as well as her vocal interpretations of songs by Copland, Berg and Szymański (Poems), El-Derwid. Blots on the Sun and the latest Dream Lake, featuring song cycles by Witold Lutosławski and André Tchaikovsky (CD Accord). 

Selected works: Lumière for percussion (1997), Nocturne for Violin (1997), Birthday for mixed a cappella choir to words by Wisława Szymborska (1998), Three Miniatures for piano (1998), A Song about the End of the World for voice, speaker and instrumental ensemble to words by Czesław Miłosz (1998), Reflections for mixed choir to words by Jan Twardowski (1999), Ragnatela for bassoon and string orchestra (1999), Balladfor voice, percussion and tape (1999), Ludia and Fu for guitar (1999), Photographs from an Album for marimba and string quartet (2000),Parlando for amplified voice (2000), Trivellazione a percussione for percussion (2000), Re-Cycle for five percussionists (2001), Lentille for voice, accordion and string orchestra (2001), Symphony no. 1 (2002), Nelumbofor four marimbas (2003), Unisono I for voice, percussion and computer (2003), Unisono II for voice, accordion and computer (2003), Concerto grosso for recorders, Baroque violin, harpsichord and two choirs (2004), Talesfor voice and prepared piano (2004), Symphony no. 2 for 77 musicians (2005), String Quartet no. 1 for four cellos and computer (2006), Permissible Load for percussion and computer (2006), Cascando for voice, flute, clarinet, violin and cello (2007), of Songs for voice, cello, choir and orchestra (2007), Between, opera / ballet for voice, electronics and dancers (2008), Symphony no. 3 for trumpet and symphony orchestra (2008–9), Not I for voice, chamber ensemble and electronics to words by Samuel Beckett (2010), Oresteia, drama / opera for soloists, actors, choir, percussion and electronics (2011), Suite for Percussion Trio (2011), Aphorisms on Miłosz for soprano and ensemble to words by Czesław Miłosz (2011), The Streets of a Human City for ensemble (2011), Shades of Ice for clarinet, cello and electronics (2011), Labyrinth for voice and chamber ensemble to words by Wisława Szymborska (2011), What is the Word for voice and chamber ensemble to words by Samuel Beckett (2012), Wounded Angel for double-bell trumpet (2009–12), Percussion Store for percussion ensemble and orchestra (2012), Lullaby for mixed choir to words by Shakespeare (2013), In Between the Ebb of Thoughts and the Flow of Sleep for voice, piano and string orchestra to words by Tadeusz Dąbrowski (2013), IN for large symphony orchestra (2013), Cadenza for violin (2013), Where To for ensemble (2014), Violin Concerto for violin and chamber orchestra (2014), Chapter 13 for soprano and instrumental ensemble to words by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (2015), Madrigals for five voices (2015), In the Shade of an Unshed Tear for orchestra (2016), Double Battery for instrumental ensemble with optional augmented sound space (2016), The Alphabet of the Ars Brevisfor two male voices (2016), Bildbeschreibung, opera–form for two voices, instrumental ensemble and electronics to words by Heiner Müller (2016), Cleopatra’s Songs for voice and instrumental ensemble to words by William Shakespeare (2017), Mother Lode I–III, cycle of chamber works (2017), Fireworks for large symphony orchestra (2018).