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Alexsandra Vrebalov

Aleksandra Vrebalov’s ninety works—ranging from concert music and opera to music for modern dance and film — have been performed by the Kronos Quartet, Serbian National Theater, English National Ballet, Rambert Dance, Sybarite5, Jorge Caballero, the Sausalito Quartet, ETHEL, Dusan Tynek Dance Company, Ijsbreker, Moravian Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, and Providence Festival Ballet, among others. Her works have been recorded for Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, Innova, Centaur Records, Vienna Modern Masters, and Ikarus Films. Vrebalov’s string quartet …hold me, neighbor, in this storm… was commissioned by Carnegie Hall and released on Kronos’ album Floodplain. Pannonia Boundless, also for Kronos, was published by Boosey & Hawkes as part of “The Kronos Collection, Vol. I” and was recorded for the album Caravan.

In 2021, Vrebalov wrote Ilektrikés Rímes for string quartet and tuned glasses to be premiered in April 2022 by Kronos Quartet in Carnegie Hall. The work was co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and David Harrington Sound Research and Development Fund. Vrebalov’s opera The Knock, commissioned by Glimmerglass opera with librettist Deborah Brevoort, inspired by lives of military wives, was made into an opera-film with Lidiya Yankovskaya conducting and Alison Moritz directing. Vrebalov’s work Antennae, commissioned by Cleveland Museum of Art, got its Serbian performance in Cathedrals of Novi Sad and Belgrade with participation of Academy of Arts from Novi Sad University and Byzantine chanters led by monk Hierotheos (now Bishop Hierotheos of Toplice). Vrebalov’s work for solo organ Portal RE, was commissioned and performed at the Royal Academy of Music in London in February, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the academy.

In 2020 Vrebalov’s fiftieth birthday was celebrated in an all-Vrebalov concert outdoors, sponsored by the City of Novi Sad, opening the Novi Sad Chamber Music Festival. Vrebalov’s most recent work for James Nyoraku Schlefer and Kyo-Shin-An Arts Praying for Love, celebrating Japanese poetry, had its world premiere in New York City in November of 2020. A full evening string quartet The Sea Ranch Songs (2015) was given its Serbian premiere by TAJJ Quartet at 2020 NOMUS Festival with live audience at the Serbian National Theater.

In 2019, Vrebalov had seven world premieres ranging from chamber works, to two orchestral pieces performed by Raleigh Civic Symphonic Orchestra (Peter Askim conducting) and Royal Academy of Music Junior Department Orchestra for English National Ballet (Orlando Jopling conducting), to Abraham in Flames, a chamber opera on the libretto by Niloufar Talebi premiered in San Francisco in May 2019. Vrebalov was in residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Creative Fusion: Composers Series (2018 to 2020), and Flying Carpet Music Festival/Muzikhane, Mardin, Turkey (February 2019).

In 2018, Vrebalov wrote Missa Supratext for Kronos Quartet and SF Girls Chorus and a soundtrack for Salome by Alla Nazimova restored by Kino Lorber and the Library of Congress that was released on a DVD set Female Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers.

Vrebalov’s world premieres in 2017 include The Exiles, a piece to accompany the historic choreography by Jose Limon from 1950 in its new staging by Limon Dance Theater and Cosmic Love III for an ensemble of ancient Chinese instruments performed by the Forbidden City Orchestra in Beijing. Vrebalov’s work with choreographer Patricia Okenwa, Hydrargyrum, was performed at Sadler’s Wells at the ninetieth anniversary of Rambert Dance in London, U.K. The Sea Ranch Songs written for Kronos Quartet were released on Cantaloupe in 2016. Her piece for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire – My Desert, My Rose – was premiered in Carnegie Hall in April 2016.

Vrebalov’s cross-disciplinary interests led to participation at residencies and fellowships that include the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, The Hermitage, New York’s New Dramatists, Rockefeller Bellagio Center, American Opera Projects, Other Minds Festival, and Tanglewood. Between 2007 and 2011, Vrebalov created and led Summer in Sombor (Serbia), a week-long composition workshop with the South Oxford Six composers’ collective that she co-founded in 2002 in New York City. The workshop facilitated  the creation of over fifty new works by young composers from Europe and the United States.

Most recently, Vrebalov joined Muzikhane (House of Music) founded by composer Sahba Aminikia in Mardin and Nusaybin, towns on Turkish/Syrian border, and for six weeks made music with young refugees from Syria and Iraq.

Vrebalov received The Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Hoefer Notable Alum Prize from the San Francisco Conservatory, The Harvard Fromm Commission, the Barlow Endowment Commission, as well as awards from ASCAP, American Music Center, Meet the Composer, MAP Fund, Vienna Modern Masters, and Friends and Enemies of New Music. As the Douglas Moore Fellow (2004), supported by the Columbia University’s Alice Ditson Fund, she spent a season in the Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Memphis and Florida Grand Opera, where she immersed herself in all aspects of opera production.  Her opera Mileva (2011) had its world premiere at the 150th anniversary season of the Serbian National Theater in Novi Sad.

As a Serbian expat Vrebalov is the recipient of the Golden Emblem from the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for lifelong dedication and contribution to her native country’s culture.

She combines her time between New York City and Novi Sad, Serbia.