Gwendolyn Thalia Przyjazna (b. 2004) is a cellist and composer in the Bay Area. She has been fascinated with the sound of the orchestra since joining her first ensemble in her freshman year of high school, and has no less love for the intimacy of chamber music, which makes up most of her work. Her sound lays delicate tunes over complex, pensive harmonies. She draws her inspiration from the scenery and attractions of her California home, as well as cinema, literature, and early 20th-Century Classical, popular, and film music.
Gwendolyn is an alumna of the Santa Rosa Symphony Young People's Chamber Orchestra and received her first commission as a composer in 2020 from this ensemble for the Concertina for Violin and Strings, an arrangement of an earlier work. It was debuted in May of 2021 under the direction of Aaron Westman with Aedan Seaver performing the violin solo. The following September, their recording was featured as the transition music for the Daily Acts Organization's Green Heart Community Design Challenge Showcase.
In addition to concert music, she also recently received her first commission to write media music. In late 2020 and early 2021, she contributed the identifying theme and background music to the Redwood Violin Project documentary series by world-renowned violin maker Andrew Carruthers.
In December of 2021, she finished a commission by the Young People's Chamber Orchestra for a strings arrangement of Amy Beach's 1921 piano piece, "A Hermit Thrush at Eve" for their concert lineup celebrating women.
Gwendolyn also plays the piano, guitar, and is a passionate visual artist. She loves to hike and take photographs for inspiration.
She is currently at work on her second string quartet and hopes to write a piece for concert band.
Name note: Przyjazna is pronounced "Pshi-YAH-znah" (spelled with the feminine suffix) and means "friendly" in Gwendolyn's father's native language, Polish.