Ana Sokolović

An important figure in contemporary music, Quebec-based composer Ana Sokolović has distinguished herself internationally through her imaginative, rhythm-driven music, with repertoire that ranges from critically acclaimed operas and orchestra works to powerful solo and chamber pieces.

Originally from Serbia, Sokolović immersed herself in art from an early age, beginning with classical ballet, followed by music and theatre. After studying with Dušan Radić in Novi Sad and Zoran Erić in Belgrade, she moved to Montreal to complete a master’s degree at the University of Montreal, where she studied with José Evangelista. Her fascination with different artforms is evident across her broad range of concert and stage works, and has led to prominent collaborations with choreographer Louise Lecavalier, conductor Teodor Currentzis, director Denis Marlot, and playwright Stéphanie Jasmin. Most notably, she collaborated with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Theodore Ushev for the film Troisième page après le soleil.  

Sokolović’s colorful sound world is often inspired by Balkan folklore and its festive, asymmetrical rhythms. Her four operas have been performed internationally, from Montreal to San Francisco and Luxembourg to Hannover. Her 2010 opera Svadba for six female voices has been presented by Opera Philadelphia, San Francisco Opera, and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and has won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for “Outstanding New Opera.”Le Monde described it as a “Rite of Spring ‘miniature’” that invents “a universal phonetics of the human heart.” Sokolović’s first opera The Midnight Court, which has been presented at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, was lauded by Opera News for its “refreshing sound world of wildly inventive playfulness, filled with the joy of life.” She is currently working on The Old Fools, a new opera for the Canadian Opera Company, scheduled for premiere in 2022.  

Sokolović recently won two back-to-back JUNO Awards for “Classical Composition of the Year” for her concert works: in 2019 for Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes for countertenor, chorus, and orchestra; and in 2020 for Evta, a concerto for violin and large ensemble. Her music has been championed by renowned orchestras including the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (Kent Nagano, Charles Dutoit), National Arts Centre Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2011–2012, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) devoted its “Série Hommage” to her music, with over 200 performances and community engagement events around Canada. She has also won the Quebec Music Council’s Prix Opus, SOCAN’s Jan V. Matejcek Prize, the Émile-Nelligan Foundation’s Prix Serge-Garant Prize, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra Award for Composers, which has included a series of commissions and teaching residencies.

Sokolović’s music has been recorded on more than 20 albums, including recordings by several prominent ensembles and champions of her music: Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, SMCQ, Quatuor Bozzini, Ensemble Transmission, Turning Point Ensemble, and Aventa Ensemble. Festivals around the world have also presented her works, including Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Festival Présences in Paris, Nordic Music Days in Reykjavik, Venice Music Biennale, Music Biennale Zagreb, Holland Festival in Amsterdam, aDevantgarde festival in Munich, El Cervantino in Mexico, Diaghilev Festival in Perm, Beijing Music Festival, and ISCM Music Days in Vancouver.

Recently, the prestigious, international music publishing house, Boosey & Hawkes, has added the works of Ana Sokolović to its catalogue. For the next three seasons, she serves as composer-in-residence with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. In addition to her activities as a composer, she teaches composition at the University of Montreal.