composer, pianist, harpsichordist; b. 3rd April 1970 in Wielowieś near Gliwice. In 1996 she graduated with honours from the Department of Composition, Conducting and Theory of Music at the Academy of Music in Katowice. In 1998 she completed post-graduate studies in composition under Józef Świder and in the harpsichord class of Marek Toporowski (both diplomas with honours). In 2000 she completed Postgraduate Studies in Music Theory at the Academy of Music in Warsaw. In the years 2002–2005 she studied at the Music Academy in Katowice at the Vocal and Instrumental Department in the piano classes of Maria Kubień-Uszok and Monika Sikorska-Wojtachy (diploma with honours). In the years 2009-2012 she complited postgraduate studies in composition under the direction of Marian Borkowski at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.
In 1987 she was awarded a summer scholarship by Janaćkova Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno. In 1994, 1995 and 1997 she was a scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and Arts. In 1996 she received a summer composition scholarship from the Music Academy in Rheinsberg, Germany, and in 1998 – a scholarship from the Gaudeamus Foundation in Amsterdam.
She took part in international composition courses, workshops and scientific symposia led by such composers as Paul-Heinz Dittrich, Helmut Zapf, Osvaldas Balacauskas, Jonathan David Kramer, Tom Johnson, Martin Bresnick, Daryl Runswick, Claude Lefebvre, Louis Andriessen and Sylvano Bussotti. She also participated in international harpsichord master classes led by Aline Zylberajch and Jacques Ogg.
She is a laureate of many piano competitions (1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989), as well as composition competitions: in 1993 she was awarded the 2nd prize at the Tadeusz Baird Young Composers Competition for Adagio con espressione for soprano and orchestra, in 1997 – 1st prize at the Ryszard Bukowski Composers Competition in Wrocław for Ażdacha Overture for symphony orchestra. In 1998, as the only composer from Poland, she received the Gaudeamus Foundation scholarship and was the honorary guest of the international "Gaudeamus Music Week" Festival in Amsterdam.
She was active as a harpsichordist, performing, among others, at the Sixth Decade of Organ, Choral and Chamber Music in Cieszyn, the concerts of the Silesian Rostrum of Composers in Katowice, the early music concerts at the Club of Independent Creative Associations in Katowice as well as abroad, in Germany, Wales and the United States.
Aleksandra Garbal’s compositions were performed in Poland and abroad, among others, at the Young Composers 'Festival in Krakow (1994), the 18th Sacrosong Festival '94 at the Church of St. Jadwiga Queen of Poland in Kraków, as part of the Silesian Rostrum of Composers in Katowice (1994, 1995, 1996), at the 'Alkagran' Youth Musical Meetings in Bielsko-Biała (1994, 1995), 6th and 7th Days of Contemporary Music, "Ars Cameralis Silesiae Superioris" Upper Silesian Chamber Arts Festival (1995, 1996), 6th Ryszard Bukowski Days of Music in Wrocław (1995), at the Opole Philharmonic (1995), at her own concerts in Katowice (1997, 2001, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), the concerts of the "Silesian Composers" series at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2010), percussion music concert on the 65th birthday of Prof. Jan Zegalski at the Academy of Music in Katowice (1997), Final Concert of the 20th International Summer Courses for Composers in Radziejowice (2000), composition concerts at the Szuster Palace organised by the Moniuszko Music Society in Warsaw (2010, 2011, 2012), at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), 41st and 43rd "Poznań Musical Spring" International Festival of Contemporary Music (2012, 2014), percussion music concert at the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań in the "Poznań composers and their guests" series (2012), in Germany (Musikakademie Rheinsberg 1997, Hochschule fur Musik Berlin 1998), the Netherlands (Amsterdam 1998), France (3rd Concours International de Piano, Orleans 1998, Hericourt 2005), Wales (The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, The Royal International Pavilion in Llangollen, The Prestatyn Youth Arts Festival Program in the Parish Church, The International Festival in Ruthin, The Collegiate Church of Saint Peter in Ruthin 2005), the United States (Panna Maria Historical Society, The Church in Panna Maria, The University of Texas – Institute of Texan Cultures at San Antonio, Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, The International Festival of Culture in Corpus Christi 2001 and 2015, Floresville, San Antonio 2015), in the Mieczysław Karłowicz Hall in Katowice – the composer’s concert "In Memory of Professor Józef Świder on the second anniversary of death" (2016), at the Hunting Palace of the Radziwiłł Princes during the 23rd Chopin Confrontations "Word and Sound" in Antonin (2016), at the Polish Composers' Union concert at the Witold Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio in Warsaw (2016), at the International Festival of Polish Culture in Olewsk, Ukraine (2016), at the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw (2017), at the Artus Court in Toruń (2017), during the 70th Session MUSICA MODERNA at the Grażyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź (2017) and at the Academy of Arts in Szczecin (2017, 2018), at the Szczecin Philharmonic (2018), at the PWM Edition headquarters in Warsaw (2018), at the 10th Janina Garścia Polish Contemporary Music Festival (2019), at the Composers’ Concert at the State Music School in Strzelce Opolskie (2019).
Since 1996 she teaches at the State Music School in Strzelce Opolskie. She has also cooperated with the Grzegorz Fitelberg Music School in Chorzów, the Frederic Chopin Music School in Opole, the Organ School in Gliwice, the College of Church Music in Gliwice and the University in Opole. Since 1995 she also works with the Tryl Choir in Toszek.
She is a member of the Polish Composers’ Union, ZAiKS Authors’ Association and ISCM Polish Section.
updated: 2020 (ac)
Composer's website: www.aleksandra-garbal.pl