An award-winning composer and songwriter, Monika Gurak, née Przystalska, graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree with honours from the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, as well as with a Master of Arts degree from the Department of Music, York University. York University additionally gave her a merit-based entrance scholarship. She also took courses in writing songs and music production at Berklee Online, where she received a certificate. In addition, Monika is an alumna of the Institute of Iberian and Ibero-American Studies, University of Warsaw.
Monika loves composing for piano, since this is her main instrument. These are compositions for solo piano, for piano duo and for the piano in collaboration with other instruments, as well as voice. In 2021, she was named a finalist of Classic Pure Vienna Composition Competition and Cum Laude Music Awards for her piece for piano four hands “Romance Sonámbulo”, which is available on her sophomore album Scenes From A Life. The winner of the latter competition will be announced in December of 2021.
Monika delights in writing music with words, be they pop songs, art songs or opera. She writes in three languages: Polish, English and Spanish. In 2016, she was named a semi-finalist of the International Songwriting Competition for her lyrics "Day and Night People". In 2021, she was named the winner of the Canadian category of the Arcady-RBC Emerging Composer Competition for her song “Hope is…”, which can be found on her debut album I love you like Spain.
Apart from lyric writing, Monika enjoys writing prose. She published a few articles about music in Hispano-American literature and Heitor Villa-Lobos.