Sowa, Anna International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

go to content

Born in 1987 in Tymbark, she studied at the Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź (2006–16) notably with Szábolcs Esztényi and Elżbieta Aleksandrowicz (Hons. degree in eurhythmics, 2011) as well as composition with Zygmunt Krauze (degree in 2016). In 2014 she studied composition and visualisation with Dietrich Hahne at the Folkwang University for the Arts in Essen (as an Erasmus+ student and later a KAAD scholarship holder). In 2017–18 she obtained a Chinese government scholarship to continue her studies at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2021 she completed with distinction a Master Special programme at the Basel Academy of Music in the class of Johannes Kreidler and Caspar Johannes Walter. 

In 2019 she won a Witold Lutosławski Scholarship, and in 2020 and 2021 the prestigious scholarship of the Swiss Nicati-de Luze Foundation.

Her works have been presented at festivals such as Éclat, Warsaw Autumn, Sacrum Profanum, Ad Libitum, Musica Polonica Nova, Sinfonia Varsovia to Its City (Experimental Tuesdays), Polyphonies, Pergine Festival, Musica Privata, Touch the Theatre, Fru Improvisation Contact Festival, C.A.R. contemporary art ruhr (Essen), BÉTON Brut & Bruits (Cologne), Bauhaus/Kurt Weill Festival (Dessau), São Paulo Contemporary Composers’ Festival, 25th International Accordion Music Festival in Przemyśl, 5th Piotrków Art Biennial, and Periferien concert series (Oslo). In 2020 her multimedia instrumental theatre piece It’s Only the End of the World for seven performers, audio playback, and video was premiered at the Basel Theatre as part of the Im Flow der Apokalypse project, followed in 2022 by Leiber. Eine Nichtkammer Oper, premiered at the Bruchwerk Theatre in Siegen. In 2021, jointly with contemporary arts space Anomalia, Sowa was one of the winners of the 3rd OPER.A 20.21 FRINGE Competition of Orchester Haydn Stiftung von Bozen und Trient; the award included her opera Silenzio/Silence being premiered at the Opera Festival in Bolzano in March 2022. In 2022 her works are scheduled to be performed at the Biennale für Musik Bremen, Transit Festival in Antwerp, and NeoArte, while January 2023 will see the premiere of a new orchestral piece commissioned by Basel Sinfonietta. 

As a promoter of contemporary music, Sowa was the initiator and co-organiser of Controlled Festival in Radom (2013–14, held as part of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage programmes Lutosławski – Promesa 2013 and Kolberg – Promesa 2014). In 2011–17 she taught at the Oskar Kolberg Music School Complex in Radom, and in 2016–17, piano improvisation classes at the Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź. She has also been invited to conduct workshops for children and teenagers at the Nationwide Eurythmics Conference in Lusławice and the Nationwide Workshops in Eurythmics for secondary music school students in Piła. She is a member of the Polish Composers’ Union’s Youth Circle, IAWM (International Alliance for Women in Music), and the Polish Institute of World Art Studies. 

Selected works: Variations on the Polish Folk Melody “Tymbark Mazurka” for cello (2011), One Time... for accordion (2013), Second Time... for two accordions (2014), Krawall for orchestra and electronics (2015–16), ...nA for five dancers, electronics and video (2016), Dwelling, installation (2017), Erwartung, installation (2017), Receiver Not Found, installation (2018), Seh, do, yek...! for violin, accordion and electronics (2018), Lass mich heraus! for trombone quartet (2018), Concerto for accordion duo and chamber orchestra (2018), Rote Kugel for clarinet, violin and electronics (2019), String Quartet (2019), smar for soprano saxophone, double bass and electronics (2019), Étouffe for violin, accordion and electronics (2019), Setz Dich bitte hin for ensemble (2019), Rima Glottdis for flute, electronics and video (2019), (un-) und... and_able for ensemble and electronics (2020), fourth wall for five performance artists and electronics (2020), Message for the Year of the Metal Rat II for two violins, accordion, piano, percussion and electronics (2020), Piece for Violin and Saxophone Player (2020), smar II for double bass, electric guitar, and electronics (2021), Stillness is the Move for archiorgano, electric guitar, percussion, two performers and electronics (2021), Reed Interlude for oboe, electronics and video (2021), Le registre symbolique for seven performers, electronics, video and lights (2021), Silenzio/Silence, pocket opera for seven performers and electronics (2021–22), Dance ex machina for pianist, dancer and electronics (2022), Leiber. Eine Nichtkammeroper, instrumental theatre for three performers and electronics (2022), The Polish Chair for electric string quartet, audio playback and video (2022).