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A Musical Autumn for Chaya Czernowin: Residencies, Premieres, and International Performances

Oct. 01, 2021

Chaya Czernowin has been named The Karel Husa Visiting Professor of Composition for 2021-22 at Ithaca College. The position is awarded annually to a major figure in music composition today. Visiting Professors come to the Ithaca College campus during the course of the academic year to lecture on their music and issues relevant to contemporary composition. In addition, during their time on campus, they conduct private lessons with the School of Music's composition majors. Over the year of their professorship, selected works are performed and studied by Ithaca College School of Music faculty and students.

This fall will see a number of performances featuring Chaya Czernowin's music. On October 14, SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, Yuval Weinberg, and the JACK Quartet gave the world premiere of Unhistoric Acts for choir and string quartet at the Donaueschinger Musiktage Festival in Donaueschingen, Germany. The performance opened the festival which marks its 100th anniversary this year. The composer notes:

"Unhistoric Acts is the middle panel in the triptych Vena (current, vein, pulse) which consists of three large scale independent pieces, each a full evening long. Together they create a triptych, dealing with the present from three different points of view: our home and its threats (Memory Palace), rage (Unhistoric Acts), and the (in)human (Immaterial). The name of the piece comes from George Eliott’s Middlemarch:'For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts and things which are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the member who lived faithfully a hidden life and the rest is in unvisited tombs.'The text is composed of Kohelet, ("Everything has an appointed season, and there is a time for every matter under the sky"), of the context of George Floyd's murder (his sister’s words and words of Darnella Frazier's who took the video), and of words spoken by the choir about their experience during the COVID-19-pandemic."

Christian Karlsen leads Kammarensemblen Sweden in the national premiere performance of The Fabrication of Light on October 21 at Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Stockholm. Members of the ensemble BRuCH perform Manoalchadia for two female voices and bass flute on October 27 at Kunst-Station St. Peter in Cologne. And Enno Poppe conducts the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and clarinetist Carl Rosman in the national premiere of Fast Darkness II: freeze and melt.

In addition,  Atara will be performed by soprano Sofia Jernberg, baritone Holger Falk, and the Vienna Radio Orchestra Symphony, conducted by Christian Karlsen on November 9 at the Wien Modern Festival.

Finally, Chaya Czernowin is composer-in-residence at the Huddersfield Contrmporary Music Festivalin November. Three of her works will be presented at the festival: The Fabrication of LightFast Darkness I : I can see your turned eyes from inside your body, andHIDDEN.

Listen to Chaya Czernowin's Sahaf (1995):

(Sahaf/Chaya Czernowin/Ensemble Nickel)

To learn more about Chaya Czernowin, visit:

Chaya Czernowin
Unhistoric Acts (2021)
Vena, part II
for mixed choir of 24 voices and string quartet
text compilation by the composer

The Fabrication of Light (2020)
for large ensemble

Manoalchadia (1988)
for two female voices and bass flute
Text: two poems by Endad Eldan

Atara (2020-2021)
A lament for orchestra and two amplified voices (S/Bar)
Text by Zohar Eitan

Fast Darkness I: I can see your turned eyes from inside your body (2020)
for bass clarinet solo and ensemble
cbcl(bcl)Baritonsax.trombone(bass trombone)-tuba-perc-Git.Keyb.Str. (1.1. 0.1 · 1 · 1)

HIDDEN (2013-2014)
for string quartet and electronics