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World Premiere of Chaya Czernowin's Guardian at the 2017 Donaueschingen Musiktage; Infinte Now named Opernwelt's "Premiere of the Year"

Oct. 01, 2017

World Premiere of Chaya Czernowin's <em>Guardian</em> at the 2017 Donaueschingen Musiktage; <em>Infinte Now</em> named Opernwelt's "Premiere of the Year"

Chaya Czernowin’s new cello concerto, Guardian, receives its world premiere performance as part of the closing concert of the 2017 Donaueschingen Musiktage on October 22. Czernowin’s long-time collaborator, the intrepid French cellist Séverine Ballon, joins the SWR-Orchestra Stuttgart as soloist with Pablo Rus Broseta conducting.

In GuardianCzernowin writes, “the cello is dreaming the orchestra and vice versa.” She elaborates: 

At times, the cello grows to include the orchestra within its resonant body. The orchestra, at times, dreams that it is the cello, or even just one of its strings or the tip of the bow. Time compresses and stretches so thin that it becomes a scent rather than a canvas. This scent is an intense color, which stains the form, distorts and transforms it.

The work receives its Luxembourg premiere on November 17 when Ballon joins the Orchestre Philharmonie du Luxembourg led by Roland Kluttig. View the score to Guardian below:

Czernowin's most recent opera Infinite now, which premiered at Vlaamse Opera in Ghent last season, has been named "Premiere of the Year 2017" by Opernwelt Magazine’s critics poll. Based on a story by the Chinese author Can Xue as well as Luk Perceval’s drama Front, itself based on Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, the opera explores the elongation of time in the face of catastrophe. Infinite Now comes 17 years after the debut of Czernowin's first opera Pnima… ins Innere at the Munich Biennale, which was also awarded Premiere of the Year by Opernwelt Magazine.

Also this month, Czernowin’s recent work for chamber ensemble, Ayre: Towed through plumes, thicket, asphalt, sawdust and hazardous air I shall not forget the sound of receives performances with the Oslo Sinfonietta (October 11), the New York New Music Ensemble at the Pacific Rim Music Festival in Santa Cruz, CA (October 27), and with the UK’s Riot Ensemble in Brighton (October 28) and Chichester (October 31). The JACK Quartet give a performance of the composer’s Anea Crystal at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia on November 8 following Czernowin’s residency as part of the inaugural Barnes Ensemble Festival (September 30-October 8). 

For more information on Chaya Czernowin, visit

Chaya Czernowin
Guardian (2017)
for cello and orchestra

Infinite now
opera in 6 acts
libretto (En, Fr, Chi, Flem) by Luk Perceval and Chaya Czernowin
after texts by Erich Maria Remarque, Can Xue and soldiers' letters from the First World War
for soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, countertenor, baritone, bass and actors
Instrumental soloists: gtr(amp).egtr-2vc
Orchestra: 3(pic).3(ca).3(bcl).2(cbsn)-

Pnima... Inwards (1998-1999)
chamber opera
libretto (vocalise) based on the novella See under: Love by David Grossmann
for four vocal soloists, instrumental soloists and string orchestra

Ayre: Towed through plumes, thicket, asphalt, sawdust and hazardous air I shall not forget the sound of (2015)
for chamber ensemble

Anea Crystal (2008)
for two string quartets and an octet