Anna Pidgorna (b. 1985) is a Ukrainian born, Canadian raised composer, artist and vocalist, who combines everything from traditional music making, to visual arts, to writing, to carpentry in her multimedia practice. Characterized by “a balance of bold colour palettes, strong melodic profiles, and unexpected performative elements” (Nick Storring for MusicWorks Magazine), her work traverses both acoustic and electronic realms.
Anna was born in Ukraine and is heavily influenced by her heritage. Thanks to a generous grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, Anna spent three months recording folk songs in Ukraine in the fall of 2012 and again in 2013. Her folk-inspired works include her multi-award winning chamber opera On the Eve of Ivan Kupalo, Like doves with grey wings embracing, Weeping and Bridal train. Anna is also developing her own singing style which expands the folk singing style past its traditional boundaries. She is working on a cycle of songs for her own voice and varied instrumental ensembles, and currently includes Weeping for a dead love, What else can I give him?, Teach your daughters and Drown in the depth.
With her strong background in visual arts, Anna is bringing visual elements into her music. Her violin duo Through closed doors is inscribed onto a restored antique door designed to act both as a performance score and the setting for the intimate drama played out by the performers. Her mini-opera Mirror, mirror exists as a limited-edition set of five hand-printed panels created with linocut, watercolour and yarn.
A recipient of several awards (SOCAN Foundation Young Composers’ Awards, Boston Metro Opera Contempo Fest 2014), Anna is quickly rising on the contemporary music scene. Her music has been performed throughout Canada, as wells as USA, Italy, Austria, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, South Korea and Uruguay. Her piece The child, bringer of light received its premier at Carnegie Hall in New York, and Light-play through curtain holes represented Canada at the ISCM World New Music Days 2013 in Vienna. She participated in composition workshops with R. Murray Schafer and Soundstreams in Toronto, Kaija Saariaho and Anssi Karttunen at Carnegie Hall in New York, and Gary Kulesha and Chen Yi at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. She has worked with So Percussion, the Gryphon Trio, aTonalHits, Thin Edge New Music Collective, and soloists Katelyn Clark, Paul Dwyer, Gamin, Janice Jackson, Rachel Mercer, Andrew Morrow, Olivia Steimel, Nick Tolle and Dobrochna Zubek. Her music has been commissioned by Toronto’s New Music Concerts, Soundstreams and 21C Festival.
Anna completed her undergraduate studies at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick in 2007 and a master’s degree at the University of Calgary in 2013. She has participated in two creative residencies at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta. Anna is currently pursuing a PhD in music composition at Princeton University.
Photos by Amanda Bullick from Brutally Beautiful.