Born in Prague in 1975, he studied musicology at the Charles University and composition at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts. His international breakthrough came in 2016 when his opera South Pole was premiered at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich under Kirill Petrenko, in a production by Hans Neuenfels that featured Rolando Villazón and Thomas Hampson in the main roles. But even before that, Srnka had received several major commissions and awards, including the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation Prize in 2009. His works have been performed by renowned interpreters including Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Ensemble intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Czech Philharmonic, and Münchener Kammerorchester, at festivals such as Ultraschall Berlin, Wien Modern, Présences Paris, Prague Spring, Musica Strasbourg, Milano Musica, Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, Ostrava New Music Days, and Contempuls.
His short opera Wall, based on a work by Jonathan Safran Foer, was premiered at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin in 2005. In 2006/7 he was the Composer for Heidelberg at Heidelberg Theatre. In 2011, his chamber opera Make No Noise was premiered at the Bavarian State Opera and Jakub Flügelbunt, a “comic book for three singers and orchestra,” was staged at the Semperoper in Dresden. In 2017, the Dialogues Festival in Salzburg presented a comprehensive portrait of the composer with numerous events and premieres. For its 100th season in 2018/19, the Los Angeles Philharmonic commissioned Srnka to write the piece Overheating. In 2015, the concert series musica viva in Munich presented move 01 & 02. As part of the same series in 2019, Speed of Truth was given its first performance with Jörg Widmann, clarinet, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Bavarian Radio Chorus conducted by Susanna Mälkki. For many years, Srnka collaborated with Quatuor Diotima, which performed his works throughout Europe and recorded a CD dedicated to his music under the Naïve label.
2019/20 saw the launch of the composer’s cooperation with the Czech Philharmonic, which planned the Czech premieres of move 01 and move 03 under Peter Eötvös. Concert plans also included the premiere of a piece for harpsichord and orchestra with soloist Mahan Esfahani and Cologne’s Gürzenich Orchester under François-Xavier Roth. The commissioned work Milky Way, written for the ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation) Rising Stars Tour and the trumpeter Simon Höfele, had been premiered at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, with further performances in the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Cologne Philharmonic, Luxembourg Philharmonic, MüPa Budapest, The Sage Gateshead, St Lukes in London, Gulbenkian in Lisbon, Baden-Baden, and Birmingham. In 2021 the Bavarian State Opera, together with the Klangforum Wien under Patrick Hahn, premiered his new chamber opera Singularity, a space opera for young voices.
In 2019 Miroslav Srnka took up the post of a composition teacher at the High School of Music and Dance in Cologne.
Selected works (from 2005): Moldau Remixed for oboe, viola and harp (2005), Wills wohl einmal hinübersehn? for ensemble (2005), Magnitudo 9.0. for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and percussion (2005), Wall, chamber opera (2005), ta větši, one variation on the final scene of Jenůfa for piano (2006), Když mne stará matka, Struna naladěna, Dvořák song arrangements for soprano, piano and orchestra (2006), Maria’s Choice for flute, clarinet, two saxophones and percussion (2006), Prostý prostor/ Simple Space for cello and harmonic instrument (2006), Kráter Brahms for cello and string orchestra (2007), Reading Lesson for orchestra (2007), Fictitious Hum for oboe, clarinet, piano and string quartet (2007), Reservoirs for ensemble (2007), Dreizehn Lieder for voice and piano to texts from Jurek Becker’s postcards (2007), Pouhou vlnou/Qu’une vague for piano quartet (2008), Fan Faire for brass and percussion (2009), Coronae for horn (2010), Tree of Heaven for violin, viola and cello (2010), Escape Routines for clarinet, violin, viola, cello and harp (2010), A Variation for cello (2010), Assembly for ensemble (2011), Engrams for string quartet (2011), Make No Noise, chamber opera (2011), Jakub Flügelbunt... und Magdalena Rotenband, oder: Wie tief ein Vogel singen kann, comic book for three singers and orchestra (2011), Here with You for violin and cello (2011, rev. 2016), Listening Eyes, soundtrack for an installation by Kateřina Vincourová (2012), Eighteen Agents for 19 string instruments (2012), Piano Concerto (2012), My Life without Me for soprano and ensemble (2008–13), track 02 for piano (2014), track 01 for violin and piano (2014), No Night No Land No Sky for chamber orchestra (2014), docudrama01 – Orph & Eury for wind trio (2014), Origami for accordion (2015), move 01/move 02 for orchestra (2015), South Pole, opera (2015), move 03 for orchestra (2016), Future Family for string quartet (2017), Emojis, Likes and Ringtones for piano trio (2018), Triggering for harpsichord (2018), Overheating for ensemble (2018), Speed of Truth for clarinet, choir and chamber orchestra (2019), Milky Way for trumpet (2019), move 04 ‘Memory Full’ for orchestra (2020), Singularity, space opera for young voices (2019–21).