Olga Neuwirth

From Wind Repertory Project
Olga Neuwirth


Olga Neuwirth (b. 4 August 1968, Graz, Austria) is an Austrian composer.

Neuwirth studied at the Vienna Academy of Music and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as well as painting and film at San Francisco Art College. Her composition teachers included Adriana Hölszky, Tristan Murail, and Luigi Nono.

She gained international prominence in 1991 at the age of 22 when two of her mini operas with texts by Nobel prize-winner Elfriede Jelinek were performed at the Vienna Festwochen. Since then, her works have been presented worldwide. Ms. Neuwirth’s works explore a wide range of forms and genres: operas, radio-plays, sound-installations, artworks, photography, and film-music. In many works, she fuses live musicians, electronics, and video into audio-visual experiences.

Her most recent opera, Orlando, after Virginia Woolf was premiered at the Vienna State Opera in 2019. The first commission to a woman in the 150-year history of the house was named ’World Premiere of the Year’ by the magazine Opernwelt. In 2022, she received the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for her opera “Orlando”.

Her most recent work for orchestra, countertenor, and children’s chorus Keyframes for a Hippogriff – in memoriam Hester Diamond was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and world premiered at Musikfest Berlin by the Berlin Philharmonic.

Among numerous other prizes, she was the first-ever woman to receive the Grand Austrian State Prize in the category of music (2010). Further awards include the Deutscher Musikautorenpreis (2017, “Komposition Orchester”), Robert Schumann Prize for Poetry and Music (2020), Wolf Prize in Arts Laureate in Music 2021, Opus Klassik: composer of the year 2021.

Olga Neuwirth is professor for composition at the University of Music and performing arts Vienna. She a member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, the Academy of Arts (Berlin) and the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

Works for Winds