Elisabeth Harnik, an Austria based pianist and composer with Slovene roots has created a multi-faceted body of work by blurring genre boundaries through various collaborations in the field of improvised music, interdisciplinary projects, and contemporary compositional works. She studied classical piano and later – with Beat Furrer – composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz. As an improviser she works within an electro-acoustic inspired sound-world, using specific preparations and extended techniques while pushing the limitations of the piano. Her performances draw from physicality and introspection, intuitive playing and high precision. Harnik´s unique approach to her instrument as well as to improvisation and composition has led to many concert invitations. She is a member of numerous ensembles for improvised music and has performed and recorded with a number of internationally recognized representatives of the contemporary jazz scene in Europe and abroad. She writes commissioned works in addition to her concert activities, and her compositions are performed regularly at concerts and festivals for new music.
"Sensual reflection challenges us to transcend the usual patterns of experience and penetrate into new sound realms. With subtle humor, the borders of genre are evoked associatively and expanded. -Susanne Kogler "
irrt, irrt das ohr
"Harnik's 2005 solo debut on Extraplatte, featuring microtonal improvisations for piano."
Superstructure / Holding Up A Bridge
"Superstructure was written in 2006 and is the first composition in which Elisabeth Harnik, found a place for improvisatory activity in her work as a composer. It was recorded and produced live in concert by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF-Ö1. // Holding up a bridge was commissioned and performed by the up-and-coming Viennese ensemble STUDIO DAN in 2018."
Elisabeth Harnik & Andrea Centazzo
""The improvisations on this recording radiate with life and provide an expansive look into the deeper reaches of our minds. Each one completely engaged me, spurring my imagination in so many ways, taking me to new places that created landscapes with some vivid and unusual scenery. It was a fun listen by two master improvisers and the perfect antidote to another day in the confines of the Corona-Virus Blues. The power of improvisation. Its where it’s at my friends"- Steve Swell"
Elisabeth Harnik & Christoff Kurzmann
"All donations received from the sale of this album will go to the Flüchtlingsprojekt Ute Bock ("Refugee Project Ute Bock") "
Elisabeth Harnik & Michael Zerang
""Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik seems to thrive in duo settings. Michael Zerang, a Chicago-based drummer, is with her on Dream Disobedience, a live recording made at Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2019. The conversation, unabated for 35 minutes, is rather subdued, Harnik usually initiating each new topic, alternating traditional approaches with more unusual in-the-box techniques while Zerang eschews straight timekeeping for a more reactive role, adding the musical equivalents of ‘Hmm!’ or ‘Uh huh!’ and other encouragements to keep things flowing. The episodic narrative progresses through short lulls followed by bursts of energy, as if small squalls were blowing through, a grand tempest arriving near the end, one final cloudburst before irenic frog croaks and bird songs return, the pond at peace." - Tom Greenland and The New York City Jazz Record (March 2021)"
Elisabeth Harnik & Paal Nilssen-Love
"All sales of Tangram will go to Stand by Me Lesvos (standbymelesvos.gr), an organization recommended by Elisabeth and Paal that was "founded in 2017 by local Greek citizens of Lesvos Island, Stand By Me Lesvos is a different type of Non Profit. With little funds they have created a safe, positive space, where local Greeks, refugees and international team members are all working side by side, just in walking distance from the overcrowded Moria. While international NGOs come and go, they live in Lesvos. Their commitment is for the long term, focusing on three main targets: Education, Empowerment and Integration. We collaborate with Greek locals, Moria camp residents and international team members, because we can only face this situation standing together.""
Elisabeth Harnik & Steve Swell
""Two great improvisers, pianist Elisabeth Harnik from Austria and trombone master Steve Swell play together! It's their first CD release! Check out how deep and colourful can be improvised music world!"-Fundacja Sluchaj"
Elisabeth Harnik / Darren Moore / Tim O'Dwyer
"What are the elemental qualities of sound? How can we distinguish one instrument from another when an artist’s aim is to transcend the traditional domains? Elements offers answers to these questions posing sonic answers that unfold in the moment. A first time meeting, Elements features pianist Elisabeth Harnik, saxophonist Tim O’Dwyer and drummer Darren Moore. Recorded live in Singapore in January 2020 just prior to worldwide lockdowns, the pristinely documented album captures unadulterated exploration of sound where each artist lays down the territorial markers of their individual style towards shared modes of discovery."
Soigne Ta Droite
"This is complex composed music delivered with the passion of free playing, never losing control, but delivering a satisfying punch. The recording was made for the lucky audience of the Artacts Festival for Jazz and Improvised Music in Austria in, 2018. -Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz Blog"