Phoebe Bognár is an Australian-born flutist, composer and improviser, presently based in Basel, Switzerland. Her approach to creativity is sewn with vibrancy and fluidity, and explores a diverse range of artistic entities, mediums and styles.
Phoebe has performed across the globe, notably in the Warszawska Jesień/Warsaw Autumn (Warsaw, Poland), Ultima Contemporary Music Festival (Oslo, Norway), Ultraschall Berlin (Berlin, Germany), Bang on a Can Summer Festival (MASS MoCA, Massachusetts), Darmstadt Ferienkurse (Darmstadt, Germany), International Contemporary Ensemble– Ensemble Evolution (New York, USA), Musiikin Aika Time of Music Festival (Viitasaari, Finland), Zeiträume Festival (Basel, Switzerland), Nief-Norf Summer Music Festival (Knoxville, Tennessee), Im flow der Apokalypse at Theater Basel (Basel, Switzerland), the Tyalgum Music Festival (Tyalgum, Australia), Sydney Festival, the Queensland Music Festival and Dots and Loops Nonstop Festival (Brisbane, Australia).
She has also performed with notable ensembles and orchestras around the world including Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Recherche, Opera Queensland, zone_expérimentale Basel, Ensemble DIAGONAL, Speak Percussion, Clocked Out Duo, Splinter Orchestra, The London Improvisers Orchestra, The Fischermann’s Orchestra, Ecosono and Cadenza Chamber Players.
Phoebe delights in collaborating with other musicians and engaging in interdisciplinary projects. Her current chamber projects include the performance and conceptual duo iipm project with which she collaborates with Mikołaj Rytowski on new works, installations and existing pieces, and kinnect kollektiv a collaborative project formed out of composers and performers to create new works.
Phoebe holds a passion for expanding musical horizons through performing new works and collaborating with composers from diverse musical and cultural backgrounds. She has performed numerous world-premiers to date including Hannes Seidl, Charles Kwong, Ragnhild Berstad, Lars Petter Hagen, Øyvind Torvund, Anna Sowa, Elizabeth Shearon, Darian Donovan Thomas, Sophia Jani, Soo Yeon Lyuh, Matīss Čudars, Gerard Brophy, Catherine Likhuta, Julian Day and Jasmin Leung.She has also worked alongside composers on existing works including Kaija Saariaho, Beat Furrer and Michael Gordon to name a few.
In 2018, Phoebe completed her Bachelor of Music in flute performance at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University under the tutelage of Virginia Taylor. She then proceeded to study with the flutist, author and pedagogue Trevor Wye at his ‘Flute Studio’ in England. In Autumn 2020, she commenced her Master of Arts majoring in Contemporary Music at Hochschüle für Musik Basel where she is part of the ensemble zone expérimentale, Sonic Space and Ensemble DIAGONAL. Other professional development opportunities include the Australian Arts Orchestra Mentorship program (mentored by Aviva Endean) and the Ensemble Offspring Mentorship (mentored by Claire Edwardes).
Phoebe is passionate about collaboration across genres, art forms and disciplines and delving into new and exciting ways of creative expression. The use of the voice, improvisation, electronics, visuals and activism are central to her creative practice and projects. Phoebe has received generous support from Foundation Nicati-de Luze, Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Hirschmann Stipendium, Australia Council for the Arts , Arts Queensland, Create NSW and The David Cubbin Memorial Fund for her studies and projects abroad.
As a composer, Phoebe experiments with traditional notation, graphic scores, site-specific composition and installations. Her works have been played by various artists in events and venues including the Center for New Music (San Francisco, USA), Theater Basel (Switzerland), Darmstadt Ferienkurse (Germany), Hochschule für Musik Basel (Switzerland), Queensland Conservatorium New Music Ensemble, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Nief-Norf Summer Music Festival ‘Norf-Space’ (Knoxville, Tennessee), and in the Mirroring Minjerribah exhibition (Brisbane, Australia).
In addition to her activities as an artist, Phoebe is an activist, using her art as a vehicle for change. She is also the founder and artistic director of Women of Noise (WoN), formerly known as ‘Noisy Women’, a concert celebrating international Women’s Day. Phoebe also is a passionate climate activist and has been part of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) since 2013. In 2017, she coordinated an immersive art installation outside Queensland Parliament with the AYCC. She is also the founder of Musicians Against Climate Modulation, a collective of musicians who endeavour to use the positive influence of music as activism against climate change.
Through art, Phoebe endeavours to weave new connections and understandings– to each other and the world we live in.
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Photos also provided on request.
Website photos taken by Katherina Beale, Alicja Rytowska and Cristina Arcos.
Phoebe acknowledges the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation as the first inhabitants and the Traditional Custodians of the lands where she was born, paying respect to Elders past, present and emerging, and their ongoing connection to country. Sovereignty was never ceded.