Miroslav Srnka’s international breakthrough came in 2016 when his opera “South Pole” was premiered at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich under Kirill Petrenko, in a production by Hans Neuenfels that featured Rolando Villazón and Thomas Hampson in the title roles.
But even before that, Srnka had received several major commissions and awards, including the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation Composer’s Prize in 2009. His works have been performed by renowned interpreters including the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien and the Munich Chamber Orchestra, by conductors such as Peter Eötvös, Jakub Hrůša, Susanna Mälkki and Cornelius Meister at Festivals like Lucerne Festival, Ultraschall Berlin, Wien Modern, Présences Paris, Prague Spring, Musica Strasbourg, Milano Musica, Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, Ostrava New Music Days and Contempuls.
Several of Srnka’s works will be premiered in the season 2022/23: The Berliner Philharmoniker will perform the orchestral work “Superorganisms” for the first time conducted by Kirill Petrenko in February 2023, before it has its Asian premiere in Tokyo with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under Ryan Wigglesworth in June 2023. Srnka’s work “Standstill” for harpsichord and orchestra had its world premiere at the Cologne Philharmonie in September 2022 with Mahan Esfahani and the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne conducted by François-Xavier Roth, and in May 2023 Srnka’s “Orion Arms” will be heard for the first time at the Philharmonie de Paris with trumpeter Simon Höfele.
His short opera “Wall”, based on a work by Jonathan Safran Foer, was premiered at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin in 2005, and in 2006/2007 he was the “Composer for Heidelberg” at Theater Heidelberg. In 2011, his chamber opera “Make No Noise” premiered at the Bayerische Staatsoper and Jakub Flügelbunt, a “comic book for three singers and orchestra”, received its first performance 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 2018/2019, the Los Angeles Philharmonic commissioned Srnka to write the piece “Overheating”. In 2015, the concert series musica viva in Munich presented move 01 & 02.
During the same series in 2019, “Speed of Truth” was given its first performance with Jörg Widmann, clarinet, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Bavarian Radio Chorus conducted by Susanna Mälkki. 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 Philharmonie, the Philharmonie Luxembourg, the MüPa Budapest, The Sage Gateshead, St Lukes in London, the Gulbenkian in Lisbon, Baden-Baden and Birmingham. In 2021 the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, together with the Klangforum Wien under Patrick Hahn, premiered his new chamber opera “Singularity – A Space Opera for Young Voices”. Srnka has collaborated for many years with the ensemble Quatuor Diotima, which has performed his quartets across Europe and issued a portrait CD with chamber music on the Naïve label.
Srnka, born in Prague in 1975, studied musicology at the Charles University and composition at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts. In 2019, he was appointed professor for composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne.