Agata Zubel was born in Wroclaw. She graduated with a distinction (the medal Music Primus Inter Pares) from the Karol Lipinski Academy of Music in Wrocław after composition studies with Jan Wichrowski and voice studies with Danuta Paziuk-Zipser. In 2004 she obtained a doctorate and in 2014 post-doctorate in musical arts. She also studied in the Netherlands and took numerous courses. She is currently a lecturer on the faculty of the Academy of Music in Wroclaw. She has received scholarships from the Ministry of Culture, the Rockefeller Foundation, Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, the Executive Board of the City of Wroclaw, and the International Foundation for Education. The Ministry of Culture honour her with medal “Deserved for Polish Culture”. She is also a member of the Polish Composers’ Union.
As a vocalist she has participated in many prestigious musical events. Modern music takes pride of place a special place in her repertoire. Together with the composer and pianist Cezary Duchnowski she established the ElettroVoce Duo in 2001. She has premiered and recorded numerous works by contemporary composers. In the past few years she has performed Chantefleurs et Chantefables by Witold Lutoslawski (Musica Polonica Nova), DW9 by Bernhard Lang (The Warsaw Autumn), Luci mie traditrici by Salvatore Sciarrino (Nostalgia Festival), The Star by Zygmunt Krauze (electroacoustic adaptation by C.Duchnowski at the Polish Theater
in Wroclaw), the title role in Phaedra, an opera by Dobromila Jaskot and Madeline in The Fall of the House of Usher by Ph.Glass (The Grand Theatre - Polish National Opera). She received the annual “Orpheus” Award of Polish music critics for the title role in C.Duchnowski’s opera Martha’s Garden. She also participated in an experimental improvisation project during the International Courses of Composition in Darmstadt. She has given many concerts abroad: in Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Korea, Canada and the United States. She worked together with famous modern music ensembles - Klangforum Wien, musikFabrik, London Sinfonietta, Eighth Blackbird Ensemble, Seattle Chamber Players. Her discography consists of more than a dozen albums. Her monographic CDs encompass inter alia Not I published by KAIROS and “Fryderyk” Award-winning Cascando released by CD Accord. The most impressive examples of her vocal performance can be found at the album Poems containing songs by Copland, Berg and Szymański, as well as “Fryderyk” Award-nominated El-Derwid. Blots on the Sun.
She has won several competitions (also international) – in the fields of both voice and composition. At the beginning of 2005, she received the prestigious “Passport” Award of the “Polityka” weekly for classical music. In the same year her 2nd Symphony – commissioned by Deutsche Welle - was premiered during the Beethoven Festival in Bonn. Subsequent commissions have included String Quartet No.1 (Ultraschall Festival in Berlin 2007), of Songs (Wratislavia Cantans Festival2007), Cascando (Central European Music Festival in Seattle 2007), 3rd Symphony (with the assistance of the Rockefeller Foundation 2008), Aphorisms on Milosz (Sacrum Profanum Festival in Krakow 2011), Shades of Ice (London Sinfonietta 2011), Street of a Human City (Deutschlandfunk for the Warsaw Autumn Festival 2011), Labyrinth (Polish Institute in Tel Aviv 2012), What is the Word (Klangforum Wien 2012), Percussion Store (Krakow Philharmonic 2012).
In 2010 her opera-ballet Between was premiered in the Grand Theatre -National Opera in Warsaw and in 2011 she was commissioned to write another opera for this theatre - Oresteia. In 2011 she was invited as a “composer-in-residence” to the of Other Minds Festival in San Francisco. During last two seasons (2010-2012) she was also “composer-in-residence” in Krakow Philharmonic. One of the highlights of the 2012 Sacrum Profanum Festival was a concert of the Klangforum Wien ensemble, dedicated entirely to her composition. In 2013 her piece “Not I” recorded with Klangforum Wien representing Polish Radio was given the highest grade during 60th UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers and in 2014 the same piece received “Polonica Nova” Prize.
Biography courtesy www.zubel.pl