THE LIVING COMPOSERS PROJECT  

Chaya Czernowin

(b. 7 December 1957, Haifa).

Israeli composer, now resident in the USA, of mostly orchestral, chamber and vocal works that have been performed throughout the world.

Prof. Czernowin studied composition with Abel Ehrlich and Yizhak Sadai at Tel Aviv University from 1976–82 and with Dieter Schnebel at the Universität der Künste Berlin from 1983–85, on a grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. She then studied composition with Brian Ferneyhough and Roger Reynolds at the University of California, San Diego from 1987–93, where she earned her PhD.

Among her honours are the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt (1992), a scholarship from the Japan Foundation in Tōkyō (1993), the Asahi Shimbun Fellowship (1993–94, a residency in Tōkyō), a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (1995), a residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart (1996), three grants to work at the Experimentalstudio des SWR in Freiburg im Breisgau (1997, 1999, 2001–02), selection as the best première of the year by the magazine opernwelt and the Bayerischer Theaterpreis (both 2000, both for Pnima...ins Innere), the Förderpreis der Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung in Munich (2003), a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation (2004, for two portrait concerts with Ensemble Sospeso in New York, New York in 2005), and the Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis (2016). Moreover, she has served as composer-in-residence at various festivals, including the Salzburger Festspiele (2005) and the Lucerne Summer Festival (2013).

She taught composition at the Yoshirō Irino Institute of Music in Tōkyō in 1994–95, as a professor of composition at the University of California, San Diego from 1997–2006 and as a professor of composition at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna from 2006–09. She has taught as the Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor of Music at Harvard University since 2009. In addition, she lectured at the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt from 1990–98 and in 2004 and founded a biannual masterclass at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2003, where she has taught since 2003.

She lived in Germany from 1983–85, the USA from 1986–93 and Japan from 1993–95. She has again lived in the USA since 1997.

She is married to the composer Steven Kazuo Takasugi.

Her publisher is Schott Music.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Website: http://chayaczernowin.com/

SELECT LIST OF WORKS

STAGE:

Pnima...ins Innere (chamber opera in 3 acts, vocalise, after David Grossman), high female voice, low female voice, high male voice, low male voice, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, trombone, viola, cello, musical saw, string orchestra, 1998–99

Adama (music for an unfinished Singspiel, K 344 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), amplified low alto, amplified baritone, amplified bass, 5 amplified male voices, flute (+ piccolo, bass flute), 2 clarinets (both + E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet), trombone (+ bass trombone), violin, viola, 2 cellos, 2 double basses, 2 percussion, 2006

ORCHESTRAL:

Birds, 15 strings, 1984

Amber, large orchestra, 1993 (also version as Liquid Amber [concerto], 3 amplified piccolos, large orchestra, 2000)

Dam Sheon Hachol – The Hourglass Bleeds Still, string orchestra, 2002 (version of chamber work)

Maim – Water, piccolo oboe (+ oboe, English horn), E-flat contrabass tubax (modified saxophone) (+ sopranino saxophone), electric guitar (+ steel guitar), viola, harpsichord (with two manuals tuned a quarter-tone apart) (+ piano), large orchestra (18 winds, 14 brass, 3 percussion, 50/60 strings), live electronics, 2002–06

The Quiet, large orchestra in 3 groups (16 winds, 15 brass, timpani, 3 percussion, 50 strings), 2010

Zohar Iver – blind radiance, saxophone, electric guitar, piano, percussion, large orchestra in 3 groups (3 flutes, 2 oboes, 3 trumpets, 20 violins; English horn, 2 clarinets, 2 French horns, 2 trombones, 8 violas, 8 cellos; bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 2 French horns, bass trombone, tuba, 3 percussion, 6 double basses), 2011

Esh – Fire, countertenor, English horn, clarinet, alto saxophone, large orchestra (4 flutes [all + piccolo], 2 oboes, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, French horn, 4 Wagner tubas, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, bass trombone, contrabass tuba, harp, piano, organ, harmonium, harpsichord, 4 percussion, strings), 2012

At the fringe of our gaze, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion, large orchestra (16 winds, 11 brass, timpani, 2 percussion, 56 strings), 2012–13

CHAMBER MUSIC:

Ina, bass flute, ensemble (6 bass flutes [any 3 + piccolo, flute]), 1989 (also version for bass flute, fixed media, 1989)

LeArye – For Arye, violin, fixed media, 1990 (also version for violin, ensemble [15 violins, 15 violas], 1990)

Dam Sheon Hachol, 2 violins, 2 violas, cello, double bass, 1992 (also version for string orchestra)

Tris, percussion, ensemble (2 percussion), 1993 (also version for percussion, fixed media, 1993)

A map of a recurrent dream, shō (mouth organ from Japan) (+ yu [mouth organ from Asia]), yu, 1994 (also version for shō [+ yu], fixed media, 1994)

Die Kreuzung, yu, alto saxophone, double bass, 1994

String Quartet, 1995

Afatsim – Gallnuts, bass flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, percussion, 1996

Winter Songs I: Pending Light, bass flute, bass clarinet, alto trombone, tuba, viola, cello, double bass, live electronics, 2002–03 (also versions as Winter Songs II: Stones, 3 percussion, ensemble [bass flute, bass clarinet, alto trombone, tuba, viola, cello, double bass], 2003; Winter Songs III: Roots, 3 percussion, ensemble [bass flute, bass clarinet, alto trombone, tuba, viola, cello, double bass], live electronics, 2003)

Excavated Dialogues, sheng (mouth organ from China), dizi (transverse flute from China), flute (+ piccolo), oboe (+ English horn), bassoon (+ contrabassoon), trombone (+ bass trombone), pipa (lute from China), daruan (bass lute from China), yangqin (hammered dulcimer from China), zheng (zither from China), erhu (violin from China), violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, 2003

Seed I, string quartet, 2008 (may be performed simultaneously with Seed II as Anea Crystal, 2 string quartets)

Seed II, string quartet, 2008 (may be performed simultaneously with Seed I as Anea Crystal, 2 string quartets)

Sahaf – Drift, saxophone, electric guitar, piano, percussion, 2008

Sheva – Seven, trumpet, trombone, contraguitar (folk guitar with additional strings), cello, piano, 2 percussion, 2008

DUO LEAT – Slow Duo, 2 bass clarinets, 2009–10

The last leaf, oboe, 2010 (also version for sopranino saxophone, 2012)

Lovesong, flute (+ bass flute), oboe, bass clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion, 2010

Gradual edge, cello, organ, 2011

Streams (Slow Summer Stay I), 2 clarinets (both + bass clarinet), bassoon, guitar, viola, cello, piano, percussion, 2012 (may be performed simultaneously with Lakes [Slow Summer Stay II] as Upstream [Slow Summer Stay III])

Lakes (Slow Summer Stay II), 2 clarinets (both + bass clarinet), bassoon, guitar, viola, cello, piano, percussion, 2012 (may be performed simultaneously with Streams [Slow Summer Stay I] as Upstream [Slow Summer Stay III])

CHORAL:

Pilgerfahrten (texts by Stefan George, Tove Jansson [translated by Birgitta Kicherer]), male speaker, children's chorus, small orchestra (4 trombones, 2 percussion, 6 violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos, 2 double basses), 2005–06, revised 2007

Rega echad, sheket bevakasha – Just a moment, silence please (text by Natan Zach), mixed chorus, small orchestra/orchestra (flute, alto flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone [+ bass trombone], harp, timpani, percussion, strings), 2012

VOCAL:

Manoalchadiya (text by Endad Eldan), high female voice, low female voice, bass flute, 1988

Shu Hai mitamen behatalat kidon – Shu Hai Practices Javelin (text by Zohar Eitan), low female voice, 9 low female voices, live electronics, 1996–97 (also version for low female voice, fixed media, live electronics, 1996–97; also longer version of second movement as Shu Hai in an orchestral setting, low female voice, 9 low female voices, orchestra, live electronics, 2000–01 [also version for low female voice, orchestra, fixed media, live electronics, 2000–01])

Six miniatures and a simultaneous song (text by Zohar Eitan), 2 ensembles (soprano, guitar, viola; bass flute, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, cello), 1998

Algae (monodrama, text by Wieland Hoban), bass, piano, 2008–09

PIANO:

fardanceCLOSE, 2012

DISCOGRAPHY

Afatsim. ensemble recherche (ORF, 1997)

Afatsim; String Quartet; Die Kreuzung; Dam Sheon Hachol (original version); Ina. Mayumi Miyata, yu; John Fonville, bass flute; Takashi Saito, alto saxophone; Arun Bharali, Erik Ulman, violins; Conrad Bruderer, Mary Oliver, violas; Franklin Cox, cello; Úlfar Haraldsson, Keizo Misoiri, double basses; Arditti String Quartet; Harvey Sollberger/Sonor Ensemble (Mode Records: mode 77, 1999)

Ina. John Fonville, bass flute (Einstein Records: EIN 014, 2000)

Six miniatures and a simultaneous song; Shu Hai in an orchestral setting; Shu Hai mitamen behatalat kidon (solo version). Deborah Kayser, soprano; Ute Wassermann, low voice; Simon Hewett/Elision; Johannes Kalitzke/Basel Sinfonietta (Mode Records: mode 117, 2002)

Maim zarim, maim gnuvim – Strange Water, Stolen Water from Maim. Peter Veale, piccolo oboe, oboe, English horn; Rico Gubler, E-flat contrabass tubax, sopranino saxophone; Seth Josel, electric guitar, steel guitar; Mary Oliver, viola; John Mark Harris, harpsichord, piano; Sylvain Cambreling/SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg (col legno: WWE 20229, 2003)

Pnima...ins Innere. Silke Storz, Ute Wassermann, female voices; Philip Larson, Tom Sol, male voices; Anthony Burr, bass clarinet; Rico Gubler, alto saxophone; Andreas Eberle, trombone; Mary Oliver, viola; Franklin Cox, cello; David Shively, musical saw; Johannes Kalitzke/Münchener Kammerorchester; Experimentalstudio des SWR, live electronics (Mode Records: mode 169, 2007) (DVD)

Maim. Peter Veale, piccolo oboe, oboe, English horn; Rico Gubler, E-flat contrabass tubax, sopranino saxophone; Seth Josel, electric guitar, steel guitar; Mary Oliver, viola; John Mark Harris, harpsichord, piano; Johannes Kalitzke/Konzerthausorchester Berlin; Experimentalstudio des SWR, live electronics (Mode Records: mode 219, 2010)

Shu Hai mitamen behatalat kidon (solo version). Noa Frenkel, alto; Experimentalstudio des SWR, live electronics (NEOS: 11516, 2015)