updated 30 January 2024
© Astrid Ackermann, Schott

Chaya Czernowin

Israeli composer born 7 December 1957 in Haifa.

 Chaya Czernowin was born in Israel in 1957. She studied at the Samuel Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv from 1976 to 1982. At the age of 25, she received a DAAD fellowship to study in Germany (1983-1985). From there she traveled to the United States, where she completed her doctorate at the University of California (1987-1993). In 1993 she was invited to complete a residency in Japan on an Asahi Shimbun Fellowship, where she remained until 1995. She returned to Germany for a residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude (1997) and then continued to Vienna, Austria. During these years she studied with Abel Ehrlich, Yizhak Sadaï, Dieter Schnebel, Eli Yarden, Joan Tower, Brian Ferneyhough, and Roger Reynolds.

She represented Israel at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in 1981, received a Stipendiumpreis in 1988, and was awarded the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis of the Summer Courses at Darmstadt in 1992. In 1998, the IRCAM reading panel selected her for a commission to write Winter Songs I: Pending Light (2003). She was also the recipient of fellowships from the experimental studio of the SWR Frieburg in 1998, 2000, and 2001.

Chaya Czernowin’s catalogue covers a wide range of compositions, from chamber music pieces to pieces for large orchestras, such as the monumental triptych Maim for five soloists, large orchestra, and electronics (2001-2007), as well as musical theater and opera pieces, such as Pnima…inwards, which premiered at the Munich Biennale in 2000 and was named best premiere of the year by the journal Opernwelt. Other lyric pieces include Adama, a chamber opera written in combination with Mozart’s Zaïde, which premiered at the Salzburg Festival, where she was a composer-in-residence in 2005-2006, and the chamber opera and you will love me back (2011). Her compositions have been played in major festivals in Japan, South Korea, Australia, and North and South America. She has received numerous awards and honors, including the Siemens Foundation Composers Prize in 2003, a Rockefeller Foundation grant in 2004, a Fromm Foundation Grant in 2009, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011. In 2013, she was artist-in-residence at the Lucern Festival, where her At the fringe of our gaze for ensemble and orchestra and White Wind Waiting for guitar and orchestra were premiered. In 2014, HIDDEN for string quartet and electronics premiered in the IRCAM’s Espace de Projection during the ManiFeste festival. Her third opera, Infinite Now, directed and with libretto by Luk Perceval, premiered in April 2017 at the Vlaamse Opera in Ghent, Belgium.

Chaya Czernowin has been a professor at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (2006-2009), where she was the first woman ever to teach composition. Since 2009, she has been the Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor of Music at Harvard University. Along with Jean Baptist Joly (the director of Akademie Schloss Solitude) and Steven Takasugi, she helped to create the Summer Academy at Schloss Solitude, a biannual international summer course for young composers. She, Takasugi, and Yaron Deutsch (of the Nikel Ensemble) also founded the Tzlil Meudcan festival and international summer school. She was named to the Akademie der Künste in Berlin in 2017, and to the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste in Munich in 2021. In 2022, she was awarded the GEMA Deutschen Musikautor prize in the “Composition for Musical Theatre” category.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2024


Site personnel de Chaya Czernowin ; éditions Schott ; Université d’Harvard.

By Martin Iddon

Chaya Czernowin’s music is a music of unlikely, impossible fusions and explosions. The music’s own heritage—which is to say the history it makes for itself, the other voices one may catch on the wind of Czernowin’s output—recalls a range of composers, not quite central in canonic histories, but not true outsiders either. This is music in a historical tradition where the major figures might be Hugo Wolf, Leoš Janáček, and Giacinto Scelsi, alongside Edgard Varèse, Alban Berg, and Morton Feldman. It is music, then, at the end of a strange, almost alien history of music which is, nevertheless, one which is wholly recognisable and somehow familiar.

It is forceful, direct, and physical, recalling the immediacy aimed at by the composers of the Neue Einfachheit, specifically the sorts of ways in which Berg (and Beethoven too) was evoked by Wolfgang Rihm in the mid-1970s. Yet in Czernowin’s music this is achieved without any reactionary return to tonal resources or retreat into traditional forms. Where Janáček’s music is, famously, concerned with melodies derived from the patterns of speech, the voice in Czernowin seems to create musical expression from the impossibility of speech, from subjects who are emotionally overwhelmed and can, at most, mumble, stutter, or wail.

Her music is concerned with questions of scale, recalling both Feldman and Iannis Xenakis, but not for the sake of scale ‘itself’, but rather to reveal the tininess that is hidden within scale: if Feldman’s music is already massive in its length or Xenakis’s in its presentation of monoliths of sound, Czernowin’s presents instead the ‘exploded view’, revealing the fragility of the monolith, while never denying the monolith the truth of its immensity. No less, however, does this evoke Wolf, in his condensation of the mammoth scale of Wagner’s operas into the tiny scale of the art song. The very specificity of this impossible combination—and many others detailed more fully in what follows—is at the heart of what Czernowin’s music is ‘about’, both in its own terms and in a broader sense. Musically, it shows that immiscible worlds—the super-saturation of the New Complexity and the timbral fragility of composers like Mark Andre, say—fold into one another and that, as such, musical narratives neither of collapse and fragmentation nor ones which suggest ‘everything has been done’ nor ones which repeat or retreat to the past are adequate. Figuratively, it suggests that, though perhaps the tides of massive monolithic forces cannot be held back, the tiny triumphs within the failure are always significant, always palpable.

Many of the major interests of Chaya Czernowin’s music are already evident from the tight cluster of ideas which inform the titles of pieces. She is the composer of Maim (water), a triptych for orchestra (2001–07), Adama (earth), a chamber opera which is interleaved with Mozart’s Zaide (2004–05/1779–80), and Esh (fire) for countertenor and orchestra (2009). Even if there is, as yet, no piece entitled ruach or avir (air and wind respectively in Hebrew, both words thus connoting the element of air), the latter appears, translated, in White Wind Waiting for acoustic guitar and orchestra (2013). The nature of the elemental is dealt with directly, while intuitive associations which seem to sit between elements produce other seemingly ‘basic’ materials. These materials might be considered—in Czernowin’s terms—ways of thinking about what sits below music, what music rests on, and what gives rise to the possibility of music. These primal forms—the ground of music—are precisely that which music hides, which music makes it hard to hear: music must be amplified, magnified in order to peer through the cracks, to stretch one’s ear, as it were. Although all four elements have featured significantly in Czernowin’s music, it is arguably water which has predominated. The first major statement on it, Maim, occupied her for much of the 2000s: the opening panel of the triptych—Maim zarim, maim gnuvim (Strange Water, Stolen Water)—premiered in 2001, followed by The Memory of Water in 2004 and Mei Mecha’a (Water of Dissent), written from 2004–06. As such, Maim provides a useful frame to consider how such elemental materials are deployed in practical terms, looking both backwards to the earlier part of Czernowin’s career and forwards to her more recent output.

On the one hand there are more-or-less literalistic musical translations of flows and points of water: the end of Maim zarim, maim gnuvim presents drops of water, surrounding the audience, as the sound of the solo tubax is electronically multiplied; the same points appear as a cloud of mist, in the process of condensation, at the beginning of Mei Mecha’a and seem to crystallise or freeze into solidity as their meccanico repetition turns them into line in the centre of The Memory of Water. Nevertheless, these are not ‘natural’ states, nor simple programmatic figurations of water as a chemical substance. In Mei mecha’a, it seems at points as if liquid water sheathes a solid, strange watery mass, yet one not made of ice, while, in the centre of the movement, a curious machine, half-pump, half-catapult, hurls water of a wholly different type toward both mass and flow. These can, to be sure, all be heard as ways of figured the various ideas of what water might be, but their simultaneous—impossibly simultaneous—presence estranges water from itself. Nevertheless, a sort of ‘natural law’ applies: downward glissandi are a major feature of the texture of Maim, heard as if the pull of gravity demands their fall, while upward glissandi seem to struggle to rise. It is the water, then, which seems so familiar, but which acts in such an alien way, strange, stolen, dissenting, half-forgotten: the plants watered by it are “bruised and blistered”.1 This, at least, is one way of conceiving what takes place in Czernowin’s music. It should be noted that this, apparently metaphorical, description of process could be re-framed in more strictly music analytic terms: the blocks of matter described above are, still, musical material in a more traditional sense; what happens to these materials, too, could be mapped according to the now well-developed analytical functions of musical gesture. Yet here it might well seem that it would be the music analytical terminology that would become mere metaphor for the experience that develops in the hearing of this music. Although one can easily be led astray—especially since the composer herself favours a seemingly metaphorical approach to describing her output—to turn to a merely technical vocabulary would do a disservice to the music, even though the reader might, perhaps, here the thrum of the language of the music analyst sitting quietly below the surface of what follows. It is, too, intimately informed by those descriptions Czernowin has made of her music and process, but aims to reveal, too, what lurks in the cracks of those descriptions, and what can be heard in them, if one lends a careful enough ear.

That maim and esh—the seemingly immiscible water and fire—are fused in shamayim (the heavens) is a well-known Kabbalistic etymology. These Hebrew titles, then, already suggest spaces between elements, where there is sometimes fusion, but where sometimes the gap between the two halves remains visible: esh (through a slightly different transliteration, as aish) finds itself fused with ruach in the expression ish-ruach, literally ‘a man of spirit’, but more usually an intellectual or person of culture. These same spaces between elements recur repeatedly in the titles of Czernowin’s music, sometimes with the gap bridged or concealed, sometimes made obvious. Winter Songs II and III (both 2003) bear the subtitles ‘Stones’ and ‘Roots’ respectively, matter intersecting with, intertwined with, or made of solid earth. Light, which would have been understood by the medieval alchemical tradition of the elements as fire appears in the subtitles of Winter Songs I and V, ‘Pending Light’ (2002–03) and ‘Forgotten Light’ (2014). Water reappears in the subtitles of the three Slow Summer Stays, ‘Streams’, ‘Lakes’, and ‘Upstream’ (all 2012), while the warmth of the summer evoked by the title hints at the dryness of earth, again according to the same alchemical tradition, opposed to the wetness of these liquid bodies. Water occurs again in Hidden (2013–14), for spatialised string quartet and live electronics, where precisely what is hidden are the rocks of Winter Songs II, now arranged, as if symbolically, meaningfully, in an underwater labyrinth which is also made of those same stones:

The material of the piece moves as if it is under water, devoid of sharp or dramatic gestures or any external drama. It is comprised of a submerged labyrinth of monolithic aural rocks, which are heard from varied distances and angles. It is inhabited by voids, low vibrations and different kinds of silences which are felt rather than heard as the landscape becomes increasingly unfamiliar. Along the course of its ever deeper descent from the surface and from the conventions of musical expression, the piece attempts to give testimony to that which it cannot decipher.2

In just this way, Czernowin’s music is concerned with the subcutaneous, that which is concealed, internally, but which is also on the edge of perceptibility, the just hidden, the becoming concealed. This is evident from the outset in the case of Hidden—the listener seems not to encounter the labyrinth ‘itself’, only its echoes and vibrations as its mere presence affects the flow of the piece from the listener’s perspective—but is no less significant as a guiding principle in At the fringe of our gaze (2013) or the seemingly impossible bilocation of Zohar Iver (2011), the two words of its title juxtaposing ‘blindness’ with ‘radiance’.3 Nevertheless, in Hidden, the puncture of the ‘real’ world which occurs at the close of the piece—as the electronics turn, finally, outside, rather than inwards, broadcasting the seemingly unprocessed, ‘authentic’ sounds of field recordings of rain, a quiet night-time soundscape, and a passing car—becomes truly shocking, as abstraction, almost comfortable abstraction, is suddenly removed. This seems in part to be a radical reconsideration of (or return to) Czernowin’s ‘breakthrough’ piece, the opera Pnima (1998–99), which is to say ‘inwards’, in which the audience encounters two characters—an old man, a holocaust survivor, and a child, his grandchild—whose interior lives, and the impossibility of communicating the truth of them mean that the audience sees and hears little more than the superficial reflection of this interiority, mirrored in direct ways through the absence of a libretto containing any comprehensible words—only vocables are indicated—and by the singers being positioned off-stage: two off-stage female voices sing the part of the child; two off-stage male voices the part of the old man; the on-stage characters are performed by actors. Though one might imagine that the ostensible bleakness of Pnima is suffused with pessimism, it is here, in fact, that the hopefulness which underpins her approach may be found. Although the old man and the child can almost not communicate, the ‘presque rien’ of communication still remains communication and, even in its imperfection, a broken, fractured communication might allow—in the case of the otherwise incommunicable and unrepresentable experience of the camps—some sort of dialogue for and with successive generations. It is this testimony—an undecipherable, but vital one—that finds itself re-thought, on a more oblique level, in Hidden.

As early as Afatsim (1996), there was an interest in treating music as if it had, as it were, some sort of swelling, a gall, caused by a parasitical infection, just underneath the skin. In that earlier piece, this meant an attempt somehow to disfigure ‘pure’ linear structures, as tiny moments—or what ‘should’ be tiny moments if the piece were somehow ‘properly’ musical—are magnified out of all proportion, causing a shifting sense of the passage both of time and of what and how musical matter is supposed to signify in such a context. Elsewhere, the idea that something organic is trapped beneath the surface of some, more or less, elemental matter recurs. It is surely hard to think of amber, without thinking too of an animal—an ant, a mosquito, a fly, in any case an animal which is ancient and primal—trapped inside it. Three (intersecting) pieces to date have been concerned with the substance: Amber (1993) for large orchestra, White Liquid Amber (2000) for three piccolos, and Liquid Amber (2000) for three piccolos and large orchestra. Similarly, the string quartets Seed I and Seed II when combined precipitate into the composite piece, the string octet, Anea Crystal (all three, 2008). This sort of conception surely returns Czernowin to the impossible conceptions of the alchemists. Where they, according to the well-worn cliché, attempted to transform lead into gold, Czernowin transforms organic, not-yet-germinating seeds, into (non-organic?) crystal. What could not be achieved with a science which never truly was one, can be presented in an art where such impossibilities can, really, exist. That intersection of the elemental and biological—in part presented as a figuration of the physical intersection of real performing bodies with the pure surfaces of a certain sort of idealised modernism—appears too in the single-movement song cycle, the monodrama Algae (2009), on a text by Wieland Hoban. Early in his meditation on the nature of water, and its artistic presentation, Gaston Bachelard—arguably the most significant twentieth-century thinker to have theorised a poetics of the elements—signals the presence of such vegetable matter in ways which well describe the experience of the piece: “In the depths of matter there grows an obscure vegetation; black flowers bloom in matter’s darkness. They already possess a velvety touch, a formula for perfume.”4 Perhaps these are, again, the plants of Maim, growing in more fertile territory, but no less alien. It is in precisely this territory that one encounters in Czernowin’s music a sense that the musical materials are somehow unruly: they feel like they are subject to natural laws which precede the authority of the composer who can, too, only fight against those laws to the extent she may feel the struggle worth the candle. Moreover, as organisms in their own right, they have their own desires, to which the composer may or may not accede. As she has herself suggested, discussing the physicality of the relationship her composing hand has with the page, “[i]t is as if the musical material and the writing hand are constantly thinking and speaking with each other, and we see the evidence of their dialogue in the shape that the piece ends up taking.”5 This note recalls Bachelard’s claim that “[t]he hand has its dreams, too, and its own hypotheses. It helps us to come to know matter in its secret, inward parts. The hand, then, helps us to dream matter.”6 These activities are, in a way, the galls under the composer’s own musical skin. As Bachelard argues, continuing his discussion of the poetic presentation of water: “it seems as though the water itself dreams and is covered over with a nightmarish vegetation. This oneiric vegetation is already induced by a reverie when one contemplates water plants. Aquatic flora is, for some people, a true exoticism, a temptation to dream of a beyond far from the sun’s flowers and a life of limpidity.”7

As time has gone on, the disfigurations of Afatsim have become less significant—or less obvious, in any case—but the concern with the subcutaneous and the almost wholly withdrawn, that which can be educed only by inference, has remained. Czernowin herself argues that the listening experiences suggested by the musics of Brian Ferneyhough, Alvin Lucier, and Morton Feldman

enable us to aim towards music which is in itself on the fringes of our perception, or is in itself a highly sensitive seismograph at the borders of perception, where gaps and incongruities emerge as we experience our innate limitations. For me, personally, in order to express musically something pertinent, I need to speak from that perspective.8

This has two consequences. First, the music becomes concerned with the idea of the quiet: even music which is, for the listener, actually loud may very well be investigating, on a different level, what quietness—in the sense of that which can just be encountered aurally—might mean, just as the seismograph can capture extremely powerful movements of earth which would be, nevertheless, wholly humanly imperceptible otherwise: the quiet, in this sense, is that which is on the edge of perceptibility. Second, the music becomes concerned with amplification or magnification: the metaphorical gaze of the listener is asked to examine these vanishing materials close up, as one might have to while they are in the process of disappearing, dissipating. This is, hardly surprisingly, at its most obvious in the orchestral piece, The Quiet (2010). Here, the orchestra is divided into three groups, performing simultaneously, a division that recalls the triptych of Maim, especially since here the strange flows of water which characterise the earlier orchestral essay become deep frozen in a projection of the almost silent violence of a snowstorm. The flows, the glissandi of Maim, which then seemed impelled by a sort of gravity to come to rest even where countered by another force, seem in The Quiet to have the same sort of force, but are here almost weightless, buffeted back into motion whenever they slow or settle. The frozen water of the snowflakes is, too, another sort of crystal.

To say that Czernowin’s work is elemental is not to say that it is in any way primitive. Or, to be more accurate, it is to note that there is a radical dissimilarity and discontinuity between what might be thought of as primitive scientific thought and primitive artistic thought. As Bachelard notes, “[i]f we look at the problem from the standpoint of psychology, we shall soon see that, paradoxically, primitivity in poetry develops very late.” He goes on to argue that, further, “*[p]rimitive poetry* must create its language, it must always be accompanied by the creation of a language, and thus it may well be hampered by the language that has already been learned.”9 Indeed, as early as 1938, Bachelard “had already described the task of poetry as re-living primitivity.”10 In any case, the sorts of pre-scientific elemental imaginings of the medieval alchemists, doubtless recall, with a sort of immediacy, the sonic experience of Czernowin’s language: “before science, people explained natural phenomena by analogy with their own bodies, feelings, and dreams. Minerals contracted diseases, alcoholics spontaneously burnt like alcohol itself, electricity was ‘lively,’ and so on.”11 Equally well, one might hear in Czernowin’s music the “principles of reality”, which Giordano Bruno outlined in his theory of magic, toward the end of the sixteenth century:

first, water or the abyss or the Styx; second, dryness or atoms or earth (I am not speaking of the terrestrial globe); third, spirit or air or soul; fourth, light. These are so different from each other that one cannot be transformed into the nature of another, although they do come together and associate, some times more or less, sometimes all or some of them.12

Clearly, just as Bruno was not speaking of the earth ‘itself’, as a physical thing, so Czernowin’s music is no simple simulation of physical realities, even where she speaks of “a concise and concentrated focus on a singular physical gesture. Close examination of the gesture reveals the strange physical laws of the world in which the gesture exists, and the body performing it”.13 This is, instead, an attempt, on the one hand, to think of the activities of impossible matter under the restrictions of the laws of the natural world and the bodies which populate it, and, on the other, to (re)capture a pre-rational artistic response to the world, remembering that “alchemic texts presented mercury as the (male) child of water (which is female), but older than her, and sometimes as the water’s child and father. In these texts, mercury is sometimes fighting for a kingdom against his father, whom he kills.”14 Just these sorts of impossibilities have little place in a rational, scientific world view, but are precisely the theme to which Czernowin finds herself devoted. What links Czernowin most strongly to the alchemists, however, is that, although these idea are presented in poetic form, they are not (or are certainly not only) metaphors. Czernowin says that, in Sahaf (2008), for saxophone, electric guitar, piano, and percussion,

one can think of a river, in which there is all sorts of junk. Wood, metal, glass, leftovers, whatever. At the delta of the river, everything empties into an enormous mill. But the hard bits don’t simply allow themselves to be crushed. The machine begins to stutter, the mill machinery threatens to break, but then freone can think of a river, in which there is all sorts of junk. Wood, metal, glass, leftovers, whatever. At the delta of the river, everything empties into an enormous mill. But the hard bits don’t simply allow themselves to be crushed. The machine begins to stutter, the mill machinery threatens to break, but then frees itself and starts up again more powerfully…15

As she goes on to stress, though there is a metaphorical level, there is, too, a level on which these ideas are literally, though musically, figured: “Much of this image of the river can be heard in the music very easily: the stuttering of the machine, the detritus, perhaps the howling of the electric guitar.”16 Yet the aural experience does not allow such images to be reduced to a simple dichotomy between the programmatic and the metaphorical. The sense is much more one in which such metaphors have taken on material form, such that they have real consequences, beyond the realm of metaphor: “the voices of water are hardly metaphoric at all; […] the language of the waters is a direct poetic reality; that streams and rivers provide the sound for mute country landscapes, and do it with a strange fidelity; […] murmuring waters teach birds and men to sing, speak, recount”.17

  1. Martin Iddon, ‘both/neither: On elements of and in Chaya Czernowin’s recent music’, Maim (Mode Records: mode219, 2010).
  2. Chaya Czernowin, Hidden (Schott: ED 56379, 2013–14)
  3. ‘Zohar’ might also be translated as ‘light’, but is not here related to the alchemical light which is coterminous with fire. Nevertheless, given the Kabbalistic readings of titles which pervade here, it is notable that The Zohar is a foundational text of the Kabbalistic tradition.
  4. Gaston Bachelard, Water and Dreams: An Essay On the Imagination of Matter, tr. Edith R. Farrell (Dallas, TX: Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, 1994 [1942]), 2.
  5. Chaya Czernowin, ‘Compositional Ideas and Trajectories in Recent Works’, Komponieren in der Gegenwart: Texte der 42. Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik 2004, ed. Jörn Peter Hiekel (Saarbrücken: Pfau, 2006), 24–38 (25).
  6. Gaston Bachelard, ‘The Hand Dreams: On Material Imagination’, in Mary McAllester Jones, Gaston Bachelard, Subversive Humanist: Texts and Readings (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991 [1942]), 102–06 (105).
  7. Gaston Bachelard, Water and Dreams: An Essay On the Imagination of Matter, tr. Edith R. Farrell (Dallas, TX: Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, 1994 [1942]), 139.
  8. Chaya Czernowin, ‘Compositional Ideas and Trajectories in Recent Works’, Komponieren in der Gegenwart: Texte der 42. Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik 2004, ed. Jörn Peter Hiekel (Saarbrücken: Pfau, 2006), 24–38 (25).
  9. Gaston Bachelard, ‘Mathematics and Poetry; On Lautréamont’s Dynamic Imagination’, in Mary McAllester Jones, Gaston Bachelard, Subversive Humanist: Texts and Readings (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1991 [1951]), 98–101 (100).
  10. Cristina Chimisso, Gaston Bachelard: Critic of Science and the Imagination (London: Routledge, 2001), 235.
  11. Cristina Chimisso, Gaston Bachelard: Critic of Science and the Imagination (London: Routledge, 2001), 90.
  12. Giordano Bruno, ‘On Magic’, tr. Richard J. Blackwell, in idem, Cause, Principle and Unity and Essays on Magic, eds. Richard J. Blackwell and Robert de Lucca (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998 [ca. 1588]), 103–42 (118).
  13. Chaya Czernowin, programme note for Anea Crystal (Schott: ED 20538, 2008)
  14. Cristina Chimisso, Gaston Bachelard: Critic of Science and the Imagination (London: Routledge, 2001), 204.
  15. Chaya Czernowin, ‘Gespräch mit Chaya Czernowin’, in Klangperspektiven, ed. Lukas Haselböck (Hofheim: Wolke, 2011), 249–55 (251).
  16. Chaya Czernowin, ‘Gespräch mit Chaya Czernowin’, in Klangperspektiven, ed. Lukas Haselböck (Hofheim: Wolke, 2011), 249–55 (251).
  17. Gaston Bachelard, Water and Dreams: An Essay On the Imagination of Matter, tr. Edith R. Farrell (Dallas, TX: Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, 1994 [1942]), 15.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2015


Interventions filmées

(liens vérifiés en février 2022).

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en février 2022).


  • Otto Paul BURKHARDT, « Nachhall Ferner Katastrophen: Chaya Czernowins Oper “Pnima” an der Staatoper Stuttgart », Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, n° 171/5, 2010, p. 74-75.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, « The Primal, the Abstracted and the Foreign: Composing for Voice », Contemporary Music Review, n° 34/5-6, 2015, p. 449-463.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, « Teaching that is not yet there », Contemporary Music Review, n° 31/4, 2012, p. 283-290.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, « Compositional Ideas and Trajectories in Recent Works », Komponieren in der Gegenwart: Texte der 42. Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik 2004, éd. Jörn Peter Hiekel (Saarbrücken: Pfau, 2006), p. 24-38.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, « Gespräch mit Chaya Czernowin », in Klangperspektiven, ed. Lukas Haselböck (Hofheim : Wolke, 2011), p. 249-255.
  • Linda DUSMAN, « Chaya Czernowin: Conversations and Interludes », Contemporary Music Review, n° 34/5-6, 2015, p. 464-477.
  • Marco FREI, « In Goldenen Schnitt: Chaya Czernowin “White Wind Waiting” » , Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, n° 174/6, 2013, p. 50-53.
  • Beate KUTSCHKE, « Identitätsdebatte in Noten: zur Soziokritischen Dimension in Chaya Czernowins Kompositionen », Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, n° 163/5, 2002, p. 50-55.
  • Hella MELKERT, « Leuchtfeuer an Dürsterem Ort: Chaya Czernowins Triptychon “Naim” », Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, n° 168/2, 2007, p. 50-53.
  • Hella MELKERT, « Mozart entgegengehen: “Zaïde / Adama Fragments” von Chaya Czernowin », Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, n° 167/4, 2006, p. 59-61.


  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, « The Fabrication of Light », Ensemble Musikfabrik ;  Enno Poppe, direction, 1 Cd Musikfabrik, 2021.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Ayre: Towed through plumes, thicket, asphalt, sawdust and hazardous air I shall not forget the sound of, dans « Speak, Be Silent », 1 CD Huddersfield Contemporary Records, 2019, HCR20CD.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Ina, Ine Vanoeveren, flûtes ; Yeung-ping Chen, électronique ; Tom Erbe, mastering, dans « sound check seven », 1 cd Music department of UCSD, 2018.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Guardian, SWR Symphonieorchester ; Séverine Ballon, violoncelle ; Pablo Rus Broseta, direction, dans « Donaueschinger Musiktage », 1 cd NEOS, 2017.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Adiantum Capillus-Veneris ; Hidden, Inbal Hever, mezzo-soprano ; JACK Quartet, Carlo Laurenzi, électronique (Ircam), dans « Hidden », 1 cd Wergo, 2017
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Sahaf (Drift) : Knights of the strange : The last leaf ; Algae Zohar Iver (Blind Radiance), Yaron Deutsch, guitare électrique ; Patrick Stadler, saxophones ; Brian Archinal, percussion ; Antoine Françoise, piano, dans « Nikel - A Decade », 1 coffret Nikel (cd N), 2017.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Wintersongs V ; Five Action Sketches; Wintersongs IV ; Five Action Sketches II: So Narrow ; Five Action Sketches IV: Siler ; Wintersongs II: Stones ; Five Action Sketches V: Sand, Jeffrey Gavett, baryton ; Kai Wessel, contre-ténor ; ICE International Contemporary Ensemble ; Steven Schick, direction dans « Wintersongs », 1 cd Kairos, 2017, 0015008.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, The Crescendo Trilogy (The Quiet, Zohar Iver, Esh) ; At the Fringe of our Gaze ; White Wind Waiting, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks ; SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg ; West-Eastern Divan Orchestra ; Philharmonisches Orchester des Staatstheater Cottbus ; Berner Symphonieorchester ; direction : Mario Venzago, Evan Christ, Daniel Barenboim, Brad Lubman, François-Xavier Roth, dans « The Quiet : works for orchestra », 1 cd Wergo, 2016, WER73192.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Slow Summer Stay III : Upstream, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin ; Manuel Nawri, direction ; Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik ; Johannes Kalitzke, direction, dans « Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik 2015 »,  1 cd WDR, 2015.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Shu Hai mitamen bahatalat Kidon, Noa Frenkel, alto ; Experimentalstudio des SWR, électronique, dans « Experimentalstudio 40 Years Anthology, vol. 2 » avec des œuvres de Mark Andre, 1 cd Neos, 2014, 11516.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Gradual Edge, Christina Meißner, violoncelle, Poul Skjølstrup Larsen et Reinhard Seeliger, orgue, dans « Seraph » avec des œuvres de Younghi Pagh-Paan, René Mense, Lisa Streich, 1 cd Querstand, 2014.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Lovesong, ensemble Recherche, dans « Liebeslieder » avec des œuvres de Mozart, Andre, Claren … et al., 1 cd Wergo, 2014.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, The Last Leaf, Peter Veale, hautbois, 1 cd MusikFabrik, 2014.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Esh, Kai Wessel contre-ténor ; Philharmonisches Orchester des Staatstheater Cottbus ; Evan Christ, direction, dans « Impulse 2013 », 1 cd Talos, 2013, TLS166.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Ina, Sara Hammarströn, flûte, dans « The Age of Wire and String », 1 cd Studio Acusticum, 2013, SA02.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, « Shifting Gravity », Anea Crystal ; Drift ; Sheva ; Winter Songs III, Ipke Starke, Eric Daubresse (Ircam) : RIMs électronique live, ensemble courage, Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble Nikel, ascolta, direction :  Titus Engel et Jonathan Stockhammer, 1 cd Wergo, 2011, WER-67262.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Maim, Rico Gubler : tubax, John Mark Harris : piano et clavecin, Seth Josel : guitares, Mary Oliver : alto, Peter Veale : musette, hautbois et cor anglais, Experimentalstudio des SWR, Michael Acker, Reinhold Braig et Thomas Hummel : son, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, direction : Johannes Kalitzke, 1 cd Mode Records, 2010, mode 219.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Ina ; While Liquid Amber, dans « Sylvie Lacroix : Fruits », avec des œuvres de Klaus K. Hübler, Ming Wang, Sylvie Lacroix et Florian Bogner, 1 cd Telos Records, 2011.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Duo Leat, dans « ShortCuts », Petra Stump et Heinz-Peter Linshalm : clarinettes, avec des œuvres de Germán Toro Pérez, Lotta Wennäkoski, David Philip Hefti, Alexander Stankovski, Sylvie Lacroix, Christof Dienz, Michael Norris, Dieter Kaufmann, Andrew Ford, Jean-François Charles, Bernhard Gander, Eckart Beinke, Alexandra Hay, Dominik Karski, Wolfgang Seierl, John Elmsly, Gerald Futscher, Jorge Sánchez-Chiong, Simeon Pironkoff, Christoph Herndler, Wolfgang Suppan, Klaus Lang, Nimrod Katzir, Ori Talmon, Iris Szeghy, Silvia Colasanti, Gunter Schneider, Reinhard Fuchs, Bruno Strobl, Massimo Botter, Johannes Kretz, Michael Amann, Alexander Moosbrugger, 2 cd ein_klang records, 2010, EKR 045/46.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Pilgerfahrten, dans « Musica Viva Festival 2008 », Matthias Bundschuh : récitant, Dresdner Kreuzchor, Ensemble Courage, direction : Roderich Kreile, 6 sacd Neos, avec des œuvres de Karlheinz Stockhausen, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Aribert Reimann, Jörg Widmann, Matthias Pintscher, Iannis Xenakis, James Dillon, Beat Furrer, Giacinto Scelsi, Kaija Saariaho, Liza Lim, Rebecca Saunders, Adriana Hölszky, 2009, NEOS 10926.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART, Zaïde / Adama, Mojca Erdmann, Topi Lehtipuu, John Mark Ainsley, Johan Reuter, Renato Girolami, Noa Frenkel, Yaron Windmüller, Andreas Fischer, Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, oenm - Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik, direction : Ivor Bolton et Johannes Kalitzke, mise en scène : Claus Guth, co-production Unitel et BFMI, 3sat, Classica, festival de Salzburg, 2 dvds Deutsche Grammophon, 2006, NTSC 073 425-2.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Pnima…ins innere, Richard Beek, Elias Maurides, Philip Larson, Tom Sol, Ute Wassermann, Silke Storz, Anthony burr, Rico Gubler, Andreas Ehberle, David Shively, Mary Oliver, Frank Cox, Münchener Kammerorchester, direction : Johannes Kalitzke, mise en scène : Claus Guth, production : Münchener Biennale 2000, 1 dvd Mode Records, 2006, mode 169.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN,« Shu Hai Practices Javelin » : Six miniatures and a simultaneous song ; Shu Hai in an orchestral setting ; Shu Hai mitamen behatalat kidon (Shu Hai Practices javelin), Ute Wassermann : voix, électronique live : Experimental Studio Heinrich Strobel Stiftung SWR (André Richard, directeur), Basel Sinfonietta, direction : Johannes Kalitzke, ensemble ELISION, direction : Simon Hewett, Deborah Kayser : soprano, Erkki Veltheimalto : alto, Geoffrey Morris : guitare, Paula Rae : flûte basse, Brian Catchlove : clarinette basse, Timothy O’Dwyer : saxophone alto, John Tooby : violoncelle, 1 cd Mode Records, 2003, mode 117.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN,« Afatsim » : Afatsim ; Die Kreuzung ; String quartet ; The hour glass bleeds still ; Ina, John Fonville : flûte basse, Susan Barrett : hautbois, Robert Zelickman : clarinette, Ivan Raykoff : piano, Steven Schick : percussion, Jáños Négyesy : violon, Pavïkki Nykter : alto, Hugh Livingston : violoncelle, Bert Turetzky : contrebasse, Harvey Sollberger : direction, Quatuor Arditti, Mayumi Miyata : shô, Takashi Saito : saxophone alto, Keizo Misoiri : contrebasse, Fumio Tamura : direction, Arun Bharali, Erik Ulman : violons, Mary Oliver, Conrad Bruderer : altos, Frank Cox : violoncelle, Ulfar Haraldsson : contrebasse, Harvey Sollberger : direction : John Fonville : flûte soliste et pré-enregistrées, 1 cd Mode Recordes, 2001, mode 77.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, While Liquid Amber, dans « Flue », John Fonville  : flûtes, avec des œuvres de Roger Reynolds, Lei Liang, 1 cd Einstein Records, EIN 021.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Maim Zarim Maim Gnuvim (strange water stolen water), dans « Donaueschinge Musiktage 2002 », Rico Gubler : tubax, Peter Veale : hautbois, John Mark Harris : piano et clavecin, Seth Josel : guitares, Mary Oliver : alto, Orchestre de la SWR, direction : Sylvain Camberling, Experimental Studio de la SWR, avec des œuvres de Julio Estrada, Misato Mochizuki, Gérard Pape, Alan Hilario, Karin Rehnqvist, Helmut Oehring, Josef Anton Riedl, Jaap Blonk, Klaus Huber, Bernhard Lang, 3 cds col legno, 2004, WWE 3CD 20229.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Ina, dans« Living in Fire », John Fonville, avec des œuvres de Paul Koonce, David Dramm, Ignacio Baca-Lobera et Hiroyuki Itoh, 1 cd Einstein Records, 2000.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Esh, dans«  Impulse », Kai Wessel : contre-ténor, Philharmonisches Orchester des Staatstheater Cottbus, direction : Evan Christ, avec des œuvres de Detlef Heusinger, Daniel Teruggi, Giovanni Verando, Ludger Brummer, Florence Baschet, Sidney Corbett, 1 cd Telos Music, TLS166.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Afazim, dans« 30 Jahre musikprotokoll. Moderne in Österreich 1968-1997 », Ensemble Recherche, direction : Kuamé Ryan, avec des œuvres de Friedrich Cerha:, György Ligeti, Anestis Logothetis, Otto M. Zykan, Arnold Schönberg, Gösta Neuwirth, Gerhard Rühm, Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, Kurt Schwertsik, Mauricio Kagel, Hermann Markus Preßl, Luciano Berio, Heinz Karl Gruber, Andrzej Dobrowolski, Wilhelm Zobl, Ernst Krenek, Alfred Schnittke, Thomas Pernes, Arvo Pärt, Wolfgang Rihm, Ernst Jandl / Martin Haselböck, Dieter Kaufmann, Vinko Globokar, Arthur Lourié, Beat Furrer, Michael Jarrell, Younghi Pagh-Paan, Karlheinz Essl, Gerd Kühr, Giacinto Scelsi, Georg Friedrich Haas, Adriana Hölszky, Olga Neuwirth, Isabel Mundry, Peter Ablinger, Mayako Kubo, coffret 5 cds, ORF, 1996.
  • Chaya CZERNOWIN, Ina, dans« Norrbotten NEO—The age of Yarn and Wire », Sara Hammarström : flûte, avec des œuvres de Rolf Wallin, Fausto Romitelli, David Felder et Anders Hultqvist, 1 cd Acusticum SA02.


  • Uli AUMÜLLER, Heart Chamber. An Inquiry about Love, captation de l’opéra de Chaya CZERNOWIN à l’Opéra allemand de Berlin, 1 DVD Naxos, 2019, 2.110673.
  • Uli AUMÜLLER, I did not rehearse to say I love you, regard sur la création de l’opéra de Chaya CZERNOWIN Heart Chamber. An Inquiry about Love, 1 DVD Naxos, 2019, 2.110673.