Sikora, Elżbieta

Born in 1943 in Lviv, she studied sound engineering with Zbigniew Rudziński at the State High School of Music in Warsaw. In 1968–80 she studied electroacoustic music with Pierre Schaeffer and François Bayle at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales in Paris. Upon her return from Paris, she read composition with Tadeusz Baird and Zbigniew Rudziński at the State High School of Music in Warsaw. Together with Krzysztof Knittel and Wojciech Michniewski, she founded the KEW composers’ group, with which she performed in Poland, Sweden, Austria, and Germany. In 1981 she settled in France, where she attended a course in computer music at IRCAM and studied composition with Betsy Jolas. For many years, she lectured electroacoustic music at the Conservatoire Gabriel Fauré and School of Fine Arts of Angoulême. She has received scholarships from the city of Mannheim as well as the Kościuszko Foundation to study computer music with John Chowning at the Center for Computer Research for Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University. 

Her accolades include a recommendation at the Young Composers Competition of the Polish Composers’ Union (1978, for After Pascal), 2nd Prize at the Carl Maria von Weber Competition in Dresden (1978, for the opera Ariadne), Electroacoustic Music Competition in Bourges (1980, honourable mentions for TheWaste Land and Letters to M., 1999, Prix Magistère for Aquamarina), 1st Prize at the competition for women composers in Mannheim (1982, for Guernica), SACEM (1995, Prix Pédagogique for Chant’Europe and Prix du Printemps for lifetime achievement), French Association of Authors and Composers (1996, for the opera L’Arrache-coeur), Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1997), Künstlerinnenpreis of the City of Heidelberg (2000), special mention of the Jury de l’Académie du Disque Lyrique (2003, for Le Chant de Salomon andEine Rose als Stütze, recorded by Chant du Monde), Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2004), Storm of the Year (2011, for the opera Madame Curie), and Splendor Gedanensis Award from the Mayor of Gdańsk (2012, for Madame Curie). Between 2011 and 2017, she was Artistic Director of the Musica Electronica Nova Festival in Wrocław. 

Selected works: Heart-Merrying Songs for soprano and five instruments (1973), String Quartet no. 1 (1975), Guernica – Hommage à Pablo Picasso for choir (1975–79), Second Voyage for tape (1976), After Pascal for trumpet, harp, harpsichord, cello and reciter (1977), Ariadna, chamber opera (1977), The Waste Land, radio feature after T. S. Eliot (1979), String Quartet no. 2 (1980), Sands for flute and percussion (1980), Orpheo’s Head for tape (1981), ird Voyage for flute (1981), Orpheo’s Head II for flute and tape (1981), Janek Wiśniewski, December, Poland for tape (1981–82), Derrière son double, radio opera for voice, ensemble and electronics (1983), Solo for violin (1983), Shadows for orchestra (1984–90), L’Arrache–coeur, opera (1984, 1992), Rappel II for orchestra and transformations (1988), Suite for Cello and Tape (1990), Suite no. 2 for harpsichord, tape and transformations (1990), Chant de Salomon for soprano and chamber ensemble (1991), Géometries variables for tape (1991), Hommage à Witold Lutosławski, string sextet (1993), Chant’ Europe for 3 childrens choirs and chamber orchestra (1993), Canzona for viola da gamba and ensemble (1994–95), Suite no. 3 Baroque for orchestra (1997), Omnia tempus habent, Gdańsk oratorio for alto, boys’ choir, mixed choir, organ and orchestra (1997), Ecce homo for orchestra (1998), Aquamarinafor tape (1998), String Quartet no. 3 In Memoriam Ursula (1998), Lisboa, Tramway 28 for saxophone and tape (1999), Hommage à Frédéric Chopin, piano concerto (1999–2000), Eine Rose als Stütze, three songs for soprano and piano to words by Hilde Domin (2000; radio feature, 2002), After Pascal II for trumpet, harp, cello and harpsichord (2000), Innocentines for mixed a cappella choir to words by Réné de Obaldia (2001), Short Stories for organ (2001), Grain de sable, electroacoustic music (2002), Rouge d’été, electroacoustic music (2002), Axe rouge for saxophone, double bass and tape (2004), Michelangelo, saxophone concerto (2005), Reflets irisés for piano and electronics (2006), Oliwa Concerto for organ and orchestra (2007), South Shore for harp and orchestra (2008), Madame Curie, opera to a libretto by Agata Miklaszewska (2009–11), Sonosphère I: Twilling for oboe, transformations and string quintet (2014), Sonosphère II: My’Kaddish for clarinet and string quintet (2016), Sonosphères III&IV: Wrocław Symphony for orchestra and electronics (2017).