Irma Bilbao pseudonym of Françoise Vanhecke

(resident in Belgium), composer, soprano, pianist, actress, voice teacher, improvisator and soundpainter. She started composing when she was 13 years old. Luc Goosen and Jan Decadt soon discovered her composing talent and she immediately got favourable reviews. In 2003 Irma Bilbao got a grant from the New York Women Composers to perform her solo program 'More than a voice' (New York, 2004). Composers like Mauricio Kagel, Boudewijn Buckinx and Maria de Alvear praise her creativity as a composer. Her music is performed in Belgium, Ukraine, Bulgaria, USA, Italy, Netherlands, Indonesia, Vietnam, Germany, Austria, England, Brazil, France, Lithuania, and Russia. Member of Sabam, ISCM,Matrix and Comav. Irma Bilbao is an artist with many aspects. She is a contemporary, daring, power performing and creative artist using bel canto as well, extended techniques and improvisation. Françoise Vanhecke is an affiliated PhD researcher at the Ghent University and University College Ghent. Currently redefining the boundaries of vocal music, she recently developed a new extended technique, ISFV Inhaling Singing, which is part of her doctoral research.
Selected work: Flexavoice, 2013 for Voice and Flexatone, with the newest extended technique ISFV, Inhaling Singing by Françoise Vanhecke,; Roll Up, 2011; 2V2P, 2010; Souterliedekens Psalm 16, Psalm 17, Psalm, Psalm 22, Psalm 23, 2011; East Crete, Mother Goddess, 2008-2009; Smek, 2008; Spirto, Spirto 2, Spirto 3, 2005-2010; Shadows, 2007.
Recordings: East Crete, Mother Goddess, op CRETE SOUNDIES, (Irma Bilbao & Moniek Darge), Kye06, New York, 2010; DONA NOBIS, (Françoise Vanhecke & Peter Clasen), Exit Records, PMP, 2008.
Bibliography: “Lexicon van de muziek” in West-Vlaanderen, deel 3, p. 129 – 130; « Lexicon Vlaamse componisten geboren na 1800, Flavie Roque »t, Roularta Books, p 787 –788.

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Iva Bittová

(born in 1958 in Bruntál, in northern Moravia, Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic), composer. Both of her parents were musicians. Her mother Ludmila was a pre-school teacher who spent most of her life with her family; her father Koloman Bitto–Bittová is the surname's female form–was a musician strongly influenced by the land of his birth – southern Slovakia. His main instruments were string bass, cimbalom, guitar, and trumpet. This exceptional ability to play almost any instrument he laid his hands on, whether performing in classical or folk music styles, proved a major influence on his three daughters as they grew up. Both of Iva's sisters – her older sister Ida and her younger sister Regina – are professional drama and music performers. Iva attended drama pre-school, specializing in violin and ballet. She graduated in drama and music. After her father's early death, she decided to follow in his professional footsteps as an instrumentalist and by composing her own music. Iva firmly believes that, as playing the violin places extreme demands on musicians, the composer's work depends utterly on commitment and diligence. After living in the countryside near Brno for 17 years, Iva decided to relocate her personal and professional life to the United States. She has acted in different movies: 1978–principal acting role playing the part of Jolanka in director Dušan Hanák's motion picture Růžové sny (English title: Rose-tinted Dreams) (Czechoslovakia), 2004 principal acting role as Žeňa in Ondřej Trojan's motion picture Želary (Czech Republic), nominated for 76th Annual Academy Award (Oscar) in the category Best Foreign Language Film, in 2006 she lead female role as Julia in Alice Nellis' motion picture Tajnosti ('Secrets') (English title: Little Blue Girl) (Czech Republic).
Selected recordings: Solo Iva Bittová (1986, EP, Panton); Balada pro banditu (A Ballad for a Bandit) (1986, EP, Panton); Iva Bittová (1991, LP, Pavian); River of Milk (1991, CD, EVA); Ne, nehledej (No, Do Not Seek) (1994, CD, BMG) Kolednice (Carol singer) (1995, CD, BMG); Divná slečinka (A Strange Young Lady) (1996, CD, BMG); Solo (1997, CD, Nonesuch); Iva Bittová (2013, CD, ECM)
Awards: Record of the Year 1988–Bittová & Fajt (1987) by Panton Publishing Co, (Czechoslovakia); Four awards from the Czech Musical Academy for Record of the Year; Several awards from the Czech Musical Academy for Singer of the Year; Winner of the 2006 Brno-Top 100 Chart as Personality of the Year; Live performances at National State Ceremonies, such as the 1999 Hrad performance with the Škampa Quartet for president by Václav Havel and such guests as George Bush Jnr, Mikhail Gorbachev, Helmut Kohl and Margaret Thatcher; music documentary Holocaust: a Music Memorial film from Auschwitz awarded the prize for Best Music Documentary in 2006 in New York; the little blue girl awards: Český Lev 2008 Praha CZ /nomination for best actress, movie of the year; Finale 2008 Plzeň CZ /movie of the year.


Jana Bardonova

(born in 1965, Czech Republic), composer.
Selected works: Piano compositions: Dream and Phoenix, for piano; chamber music: Quartet for oboe, violin, viola, and cello; orchestral works: Flowing for chamber orchestra.