Osvaldo N. Golijov

Osvaldo N. Golijov

Music Department

Loyola Professor of Music

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Fields: Composition, World Music, Film Scoring

• Osvaldo Golijov »

Email: ogolijov@holycross.edu
Office Phone: 508-793-2761
Office: Brooks 140
PO Box: 151A


Osvaldo Golijov grew up in an Eastern European Jewish household in La Plata, Argentina. Born to a piano teacher mother and physician father, Golijov was raised surrounded by classical chamber music, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the new tango of Astor Piazzolla. 

Defined by The New York Times as "a musical alchemist (who) conjures up new worlds," Golijov takes gestures and sound imagery from his own background as the points of departure for his compositions. Music from the Judeo-Christian liturgy, the western repertory of many periods, folk traditions from around the world, and the inevitable tango and other Latin American genres, appear in his work in different stages of transformation, often metamorphosing into something else entirely or even disappearing altogether from the surface. His music is regularly performed by major ensembles in America and Europe. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, among several other awards.

He is the Loyola Professor of Music at Holy Cross, where he has taught since 1991. 


Some of Golijov’s notable works include: 

  • “Falling Out of Time” (2019), written for Silkroad Ensemble, based on the novel by David Grossman
  • “Sign of the Leviathan” (2017) for French Horn and Orchestra, commissioned for the Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Celebration 
  • “Drag Down the Sky” (2016) for Baritone and String Quartet, commissioned by the Spoleto Festival USA 
  • “Qohelet” (2012), commissioned by the St Lawrence String Quartet 
  • “Twixt” (2011), soundtrack to the film by Francis Ford Coppola 
  • “Sidereus” (2010), for orchestra, commissioned by a consortium of 36 orchestras 
  • “Tetro”, soundtrack to the film by Francis Ford Coppola
  • “She Was Here” (2008), an orchestration of four songs by Schubert, premiered by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra 
  • “Youth Without Youth”, soundtrack to the film by Francis Ford Coppola.
  • “Azul” (2006), for cello and orchestra, premiered by Yo-Yo Ma at Tanglewood 
  • “Ayre” (2004): a song cycle for soprano and ensemble, premiered by Dawn Upshaw and The Andalucian Dogs 
  • “Ainadamar” (2003), Golijov's first opera, libretto by David Henry Hwang 
  • “Tenebrae” (2002), for soprano, clarinet and string quartet 
  • “Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra” (2001), Lúa Descolorida from this set was later repurposed as the “Peter's Tears” aria in “La Pasión según San Marcos” 
  • “La Pasión según San Marcos” (St. Mark Passion) (2000) 
  • “Oceana” (1996), cantata for soloist, boys choir, chorus, electric guitars, and orchestra 
  • “The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind” (1994), for klezmer clarinet and string quartet (and later for clarinet and string orchestra)
  • “Yiddishbbuk” (1992), for string quartet 


  • Vilcek Prize (2008)
  • 2 Grammy awards for “Ainadamar” in the categories of Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Contemporary Composition (2007)
  • Musical America Composer of the Year (2006)
  • MacArthur Fellowship (2003)
  • Grammy nomination for “St. Mark Passion” (2002)
  • France's Diapason D'Or (1997)
  • Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's Stoeger Prize for Contemporary Music (1996)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship (1995)
  • First Prize at Kennedy Center’s Friedheim Awards for “The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind” (1995)
  • BMW prize for music-theatre composition awarded by the jury of the Munich Biennale for “November” (1994)
  • First Prize at Kennedy Center’s Friedheim Awards for “Yiddishbbuk” (1993)
  • Paul Fromm Award (1992) 


Golijov has received, among others, commissions from: 

  • Hans Werner Henze for the city of Munich 
  • New York's Lincoln Center 
  • The Minnesota Orchestra 
  • London's South Bank Centre
  • Birmingham (UK) Contemporary Music Group 
  • Lisbon's Expo '98 
  • Schleswig-Holstein Festival 
  • Tanglewood Music Festival
  • Spoleto USA 
  • Oregon Bach Festival
  • Chicago Symphony
  • Boston Symphony
  • Carnegie Hall

Golijov has also received commissions and grants from:

  • Koussevitzky Music Foundation
  • Guggenheim Foundation
  • Barlow 
  • Fromm Foundations 
  • Chamber Music America 
  • Meet the Composer 
  • National Endowment for the Arts


Golijov’s music is regularly performed in many places of the world, including: 

  • New York's Lincoln Center and Brooklyn Academy of Music
  • Washington's Kennedy Center
  • Boston's Jordan Hall
  • Chicago's Orchestra Hall
  • Paris' Theatre de la Ville
  • London's Royal Festival Hall and Barbican Centre
  • Vienna's Konzerthaus
  • Frankfurt's Alte Opera
  • Amsterdam's Concertgebow
  • Tokyo's Suntory Hall 
  • Sidney Opera House
  • Los Angeles Philharmonic Disney Hall
  • Carnegie Hall


Golijov has been composer in residence at:

  • Carnegie Hall
  • Chicago Symphony
  • Marlboro Festival
  • Ravinia Festival
  • Holland Festival
  • Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival
  • Lincoln Center Golijov Festival
  • Finland's Kuhmo Festival (upcoming)
  • Norway’s Trondheim Festival

Other Teaching

  • Carnegie Hall workshops with Dawn Upshaw
  • Tanglewood Music Center
  • Sundance Film Composers Lab


Golijov's works have been released on many labels, including Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Hansler, Warner Records, In a Circle, and BBC. His music is published by Boosey and Hawkes, Ytalianna, and Narrow Bridge Songs.

NPR’s ‘Here & Now’ Gets Inside Look at Osvaldo Golijov’s New Work ‘Falling Out of Time’

Robin Young of NPR spoke with Golijov about his new song cycle “Falling Out of Time.” Her conversation with Golijov explored music, grief and the process of creating the song cycle.