Elvira Garifzyanova

(b. 1976, Nizhnekamsk, Tatarstan).

Russian composer, now resident in Switzerland, of mostly chamber, choral and vocal works that have been performed throughout Europe.

Ms. Garifzyanova was born into a musical family. She studied composition with Aleksandr Rudenko and piano with Irina Dubinina at the N. G. Zhiganov State Conservatory in Kazan from 1995–2001, where she graduated with honours in both subjects and where she had postgraduate studies in composition with Aleksandr Rudenko and piano with Irina Dubinina in 2001–02. She then studied composition with Gerhard Müller-Hornbach at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main from 2002–06, where she earned her degree with distinction. She has studied composition with Isabel Mundry, conducting with Marc Kissóczy and electronic music with Gerald Bennett at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste in Zürich since 2005, as well as musicology with Peter Ackermann at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main since 2005, where she is working on her doctorate. In addition, she attended the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt in 2004, 2006 and 2008, on a scholarship for the third visit.

Among her honours are a prize in a competition for young composers in Kazan (1990), the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst-Stipendium (2002–03, a grant to study in Frankfurt am Main), Dritter Preis in the competition of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (2004, for In Infinitum), a scholarship from the Peter Fuld Stiftung in Frankfurt am Main (2004–05), a scholarship from the Mozart-Stiftung in Frankfurt am Main (2006), Primer Premio in the competition for music for organ of the Catedral del Buen Pastor in San Sebastián (2007, for Verily...), a performance prize in the competition of the ensemble für neue musik zürich (2007, for In Infinitum), a scholarship from the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel (2008), and a scholarship from the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris (2008).

She is also active in other positions. She has served as organist of the church St. Katharina in Zürich since 2007.

She has taught composition, improvisation and music theory at the Zakhar Bron School of Music in Zürich since 2012.

She lived in Germany from 2002–09 and has lived in Switzerland since 2009.


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Symphony, piano, string orchestra, 2000–01

Zeremoniell aus Succession (miniature), orchestra (11 winds, 4 French horns, 3 trombones, piano, timpani [+ percussion], 2 percussion, strings), 2006–07

Lichtflecken-III, 4 amplified contrabass recorders (by Joachim Paetzold), large orchestra, 2007–11

Lumenéclat hivernal, percussion, large orchestra, 2010–13


Quartet, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 1999

In Infinitum, clarinet, cello, piano, 2003

Sechs Freskos, flute (+ piccolo), oboe (+ English horn)/clarinet (+ E-flat clarinet), bass clarinet/bassoon, 2004–05

Zahlenspiel, 5 percussion, 2005–06

Phoenix, flute, clarinet, bassoon, 2006

Lichtflecken-I, piccolo trumpet (+ trumpet), accordion/organ, 2007

Lichtflecken-II, violin, viola, cello, piano, 2007–08

Le Chant de la lumière, percussion, 2008

Aurora borealis, flute, live electronics, 2012

Indigo, ensemble, live electronics, 2013

Arcane-I, contrabass recorder (by Joachim Paetzold), live electronics, 2013

Arcane-II, ensemble of contrabass recorders (by Joachim Paetzold), 2013


Suchet mein Angesicht (eine kleine Kantate, text from the Book of Psalms), countertenor, 2 tenors, baritone, 3 mixed choruses (4 voices each) (any voice + tam-tam), 3 trombones, 2006–07 (tam-tam may be performed by a percussionist)

Im Zeichen des... (cantata), 4 soloists, mixed chorus, Baroque orchestra, 2012


Hört ihr mich, ich bin Johanna (5 scenes from the life of Johanna, text by Friedrich von Schiller), soprano, piano, 2006 (its sections may be performed separately: Erscheinung; Abschied; Johanna zu Johanna; Interludium; Gebet)


three pieces, 1995

Sonatina, 1996

Polyphonic Dialogues (cycle), 1998 (its six sections may be performed separately: Dialogen; Fuga; Choral; Humoreske; Meditation; Tokkata)


Verily..., 2002–06


Screen, fixed media, 2010


Winde Blasen... (cycle of folksongs from Tatarstan), 6 mixed voices, 1999