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Svjetlana Bukvich

New York, NY         

Short Bio:

Svjetlana Bukvich specializes in composing and producing genre-busting electroacoustic music for dance, film, and the concert stage. Classically trained in Yugoslavia and in music synthesis and video art in the U.S., she often presents her award-winning works locally and internationally, including New York, Los Angeles, Beijing, London, Berlin, Johannesburg, Helsinki, Sarajevo, Odessa, and Copenhagen. She sometimes uses microtonality of her own design, and is widely regarded as on the most successful female multimedia composers in America.

Full-length Bio:

Svjetlana Bukvich was a featured soloist with the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 16, and the following year with Edinburgh George Heriot’s Symphony Orchestra. Driven by a need to express beyond interpretation, Ms. Bukvich studied at the Music Academy, University of Sarajevo, where she earned degrees in Composition and Musicology. By twenty-one, Ms. Bukvich had composed her first symphony, when the war in Yugoslavia intervened.

The American Soros Foundation took unprecedented action to provide her with a stipend and one-way ticket to America where she could pursue a full scholarship at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. There, her interests broadened to include music synthesis programming, microtonality, and video art. In 1994, she was awarded with one of the first M.F.A. degrees in multimedia offered in the U.S.

Ms. Bukvich has composed for concert stage, dance, theater and film, and has worked with diverse musical forces such as ETHEL String Quartet, The Sarajevo Philharmonic, The Lafayette Chorale, Shattered Glass Orchestra, Martha Mooke, Tony Levin, Mari Kimura, Rob Schwimmer, Cornelius Dufallo, Johnny Reinhard, Kamala Sankaram, Ha-Yang Kim, Susan Aquila, Eddie Venegas, Jessica Meyer, and Jacqui Kerrod, among others. Her genre-busting performances have been described as “ecstatic musical experiences” (New Music Connoisseur) while “sonority, color, texture, and a feeling for the metaphysical” (The Brooklyn Rail) describe her music’s trademarks. She is featured in the Jennifer Kelly book In Her Own Words: Conversations with Composers in the United States where she is identified as one of the 25 outstanding women composers in America.

Ms. Bukvich has been the recipient of numerous grants and commissions, including USArtists International, New Music USA, the American Composers Forum, ASCAP’s Buddy Baker Film Scoring Scholarship, New England Foundation for the Arts, Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard, American Festival of Microtonal Music, O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, The Frances Richard Fund for Innovative Artists of Promise, and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Music/Sound. 

Her works have been featured at The Kennedy Center, the Tribeca Film Festival, American Festival of Microtonal Music, Brooklyn Bargemusic, Serial Underground at the Cornelia Street Café, The Kitchen, The Anthology Film Archives, Rose Studio at Lincoln Center, (le) Poisson Rouge, ASCAP’s Thru The Walls Series, the NY Times Center, New Jersey Performing Arts Center Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, The Cutting Room, Spectrum, the Bohemian Hall, and internationally including Beijing, London, Berlin, Johannesburg, Helsinki, Odessa, and Copenhagen. She is a contributing author in the bookGender in Music Productionpublished by Focal Press, Francis and Taylor, U.K. Her genre-busting album EVOLUTION (PARMA Recordings) was hailed as “nothing short of spectacular“ (Equal Ground) and was heard on more than 20 remarkably diverse radio stations. EXTENSION, her second collection of works, was released in March of 2020 on Navona Records. Sonograma Magazine calls it “a beginning of a new aesthetic paradigm”.

Svjetlana Bukvich – 7 Excerpts from New Album EXTENSION in 5 Minutes

Navona Records presents European/American composer Svjetlana Bukvich’s latest fictocritical masterpiece: EXTENSION, a sweepingly cinematic collection of works that are entirely unique but at once familiar. A hybrid of classical, electronic, and avant-garde, the album deconstructs and re-imagines concepts through music and dance that both challenge and welcome notions of time, genre, and musical history.

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Svjetlana Bukvich – Voice of America (VOA) Live TV Interview

In this interview I talk about my work as composer and educator.
Interviewed by Inda Swanke, December 2013. In Serbo-Croatian/Bosnian with subtitles.

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Svjetlana Bukvich – ‘Once You Are Not A Stranger’ ft. ETHEL – single from new album EXTENSION

Speaking the languages of classical, electronic, and the avant-garde, ‘Once You Are Not A Stranger’ deconstructs and re-imagines notions of time, genre, and cultural division. As a composer who escaped the Civil War in Yugoslavia, Ms. Bukvich knows the world’s need for connection all too well: hybridizing musical languages, she looks at the idea of empathy and “otherness” in a multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious world. The piece was originally commissioned by Janis Brenner & Dancers for a 40-minute collaborative multimedia work.

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