ALEKSANDRA VREBALOV, was born in Novi Sad, then-Yugoslavia, where she completed her bachelor's degree in composition. In 1995, Vrebalov moved to the United States to pursue a master's degree at the San Francisco Conservatory, where she studied with Elinor Armer, and earned a doctorate in composition at the University of Michigan, where her teachers were Evan Chambers and Michael Daugherty. Besides her native country, Vrebalov lived in Prague (1998) and Milan (2002), and is a United States citizen since 2015.
Vrebalov's more than 70 works – ranging from concert music and opera to music for modern dance and film – have been performed by the Kronos Quartet, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Serbian National Theater, Rambert Dance, Jorge Caballero, the Sausalito Quartet, ETHEL, Dusan Tynek Dance Company, Ijsbreker, Moravian Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, and Providence Festival Ballet, among others. Her works have been recorded for Nonesuch, Innova, Centaur Records, Vienna Modern Masters, and Ikarus Films.
Vrebalov's string quartet ...hold me, neighbor, in this storm... was written for and recorded by the Kronos Quartet for the album Floodplain. Her Pannonia Boundless, also for Kronos, was published by Boosey & Hawkes as part of "The Kronos Collection, Vol. I" and was recorded for the album Kronos Caravan. Her Kronos commission Babylon, Our Own, a quintet with clarinetist David Krakauer, premiered in 2011. Vrebalov's collaborative work with director Bill Morrison, Beyond Zero: 1914 – 1918, was commissioned and premiered by Kronos at Berkeley's Cal Performances in April 2014, and received its European premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival. Her most recent commissioned work for Kronos includes The Sea Ranch Songs for string quartet with film by Andrew Lyndon, which premiered in May 2015, and Cosmic Love I, one of six one-minute works premiered in June 2015 to celebrate Terry Riley’s 80th birthday. She is currently writing a piece for Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire – one of fifty works designed to guide young amateur and early-career professional string quartets in developing and honing the skills required for the performance of 21st-century repertoire, which will be premiered by Kronos in Carnegie Hall in April 2016.
In 1997 Vrebalov created the Composers' Forum, a weekly gathering of composition students at Novi Sad University in Serbia. In 2007, when Belgrade Philharmonic performed her orchestral work Orbits, Vrebalov introduced pre-concert talks as a way to familiarize the audience with a new work, which then became regular practice. Vrebalov's cross-disciplinary interests led to participation at seminars, residencies and fellowships that include the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, The Hermitage, New York's New Dramatists, Rockefeller Bellagio Center, American Opera Projects, Other Minds Festival, Tanglewood, Moral and Mythology in Contemporary Art (Novi Sad), and MultiMedeja (Novi Sad). Between 2007 and 2011, Vrebalov created and led Summer in Sombor(Serbia), a composition workshop in partnership with the South Oxford Six composers' collective that she co-founded in 2002 in NYC. The workshop resulted in multiple performances and eventually facilitated the creation of over fifty new works.
Vrebalov received The Harvard Fromm Commission, the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Barlow Endowment Commission, as well as awards from ASCAP, American Music Center, Meet the Composer, MAP Fund, Vienna Modern Masters, and Friends and Enemies of New Music. As the Douglas Moore Fellow, supported by the Columbia University's Alice Ditson Fund, she spent a season in the Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Memphis and Florida Grand Opera, where she immersed herself in all aspects of opera production. In 2015 Vrebalov received the Golden Emblem from the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for contribution to Serbian culture.
Vrebalov recently completed a song cycle on Charles Simic's poetry commissioned by ASCAP/Kingsford Fund and a sound installation WaterLines with architect Ronit Eisenbach, converting an old bank building into a music box in Chestertown, Maryland. Her new collaboration with choreographer Patricia Okenwa, Hydrargyrum, will be performed at Sadler’s Wells at the 90th anniversary season of Rambert Dance in London, UK. Vrebalov’s collaboration with composer John King, a symphonic piece 10, 000 Things, was commissioned by Belgrade Philharmonic and premiered in September 2016. The Sea Ranch Songs, a collection of 13 pieces written for Kronos Quartet were released on Cantaloupe on September 30, 2016.