Kats-Chernin’s ‘Lebewohl’ concerto 2019 Art Music Award finalist

Kats-Chernin’s ‘Lebewohl’ concerto 2019 Art Music Award finalist
November 21, 2018 Jacqueline

Elena Kats-Chernin’s third piano concerto, Lebewohl, has been nominated a finalist for the 2019 APRA AMCOS Art Music Award for ‘Orchestral Work of the Year’. Performed by pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alondra de la Parra.
More on the 2019 Art Music Awards here.

A momentous week for the composer, whose full-length opera, WHITELEY (libretto by Justin Fleming) for Opera Australia, opened with its world premiere at the Sydney Opera House Joan Sutherland Theatre on 15 July 2019. Dates here and reviews from Sydney Morning Herald, Time Out Sydney.


Multi award-winning pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska premiered internationally renowned composer Elena Kats-Chernin’s third piano concerto, ‘Lebewohl’ (meaning, Farewell), privately commissioned and written especially for Cislowska.

The third piano concerto by Elena Kats-Chernin, titled Lebewohl and premiered in Brisbane in September by Tamara-Anna Cislowska, imagines a series of fond farewells from JS Bach to his first wife Maria Barbara who died unexpectedly in 1720.

Elena Kats-Chernin is reunited with her keyboard collaborator Tamara-Anna Cislowska in a new piano concerto, her third for the instrument, which is premiered in Brisbane on 6 September. Alondra de la Parra conducts the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at the QPAC Concert Hall, and the soloist travels on to Hobart on 9 November for a further performance with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra under Karina Canellakis.

As Tamara-Anna Cislowska explains in her programme note, the concerto contemplates the uncelebrated first wife of Johann Sebastian Bach, the Baroque master who has been one of Kats-Chernin’s primary inspirations throughout her composing life. Maria Barbara Bach died unexpectedly and suddenly in July 1720 when her husband was away on a six-week trip to Carlsbad with his employer Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen. Bach only learnt of the death when he returned to his own front door, leaving him sole parent of the four surviving children of the seven that Maria Barbara had borne. Read the full article on Boosey.com here.

World premiere: 6 September, 2018 at the Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Tamara-Anna Cislowska, piano / Queensland Symphony Orchestra / Alondra de la Parra, conductor

Second performance 9 November, 2018 at Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, Australia
Tamara-Anna Cislowska, piano / Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra / Karina Canellakis, conductor


  • Review on ArtsHub [4.5 stars]: “Pianist, award-winning recording artist and frequent collaborator of the composer Tamara Anna-Cislowska gave a performance that left little doubt that there exists nobody better to premiere this work. Cislowska owned and embodied Lebewohl, from the moody turbulence in the first movement to the contemplative, minimalist 4th movement. … On many levels it felt like a singular and momentous occasion.”
    – Charlene Li, ArtsHub (live review QPAC, September 2018)
  • Programme notes for ‘Lebewohl’ by Tamara-Anna Cislowska, on Boosey & Hawkes
  • Interview with Tamara in Limelight magazine: “Tamara-Anna Cislowska: our busiest pianist on her latest collaboration” (link here)