A special concert on Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m. presents Argentine-born American composer Osvaldo Golijov’s Falling Out of Time (2019), composed for a multicultural, multistylistic instrumental ensemble and presented in a semi-staged performance at Symphony Hall, in association with Celebrity Series of Boston.

Drawing on popular and folk music styles, Golijov’s urgently impactful piece is based on David Grossman’s 2014 experimental novel of the same title about parents’ grief at the loss of a child. (Grossman wrote the book after the 2006 death of his son, Uri, during Israel’s war with Lebanon.) Bringing together an impressive group of musicians, including some members of the Silkroad Ensemble, this Boston premiere is an opportunity to see a new piece by a remarkable living composer who happens to reside in the Boston metropolitan area.  

Osvaldo Golijov (b. 1960) has been associated with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for more than three decades. A Fellow of the BSO’s Tanglewood Music Center in 1990, Golijov wrote his string quartet YIDDISHBBUK for the TMC’s Fromm commission; the piece was premiered by the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Tanglewood in 1992. He has been a Tanglewood faculty member on many occasions. The BSO commissioned his opera Ainadamar for the TMC, which staged the world premiere in summer 2003. The BSO gave the U.S. premiere of his La Pasión Según San Marco in 2001 and also commissioned his cello concerto Azul for soloist Yo-Yo Ma (2006), his Sign of the Leviathan for BSO principal horn James Sommerville and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (2015), and his Lullaby and Doina for the Boston Symphony Chamber Players (2001). 

Selected by the Music Director and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the BSO, and by the Head of the Music Department of Harvard University, Mr. Golijov is the recipient of this year’s Mark M. Horblit Award for distinguished composition (more details below).


The origin of this musical project came from a 2002 encounter between Osvaldo Golijov and Yitzhak Frankenthal, founder of The Parents Circle, an organization of Israelis and Palestinians who have lost family members to the ongoing conflict. “The notion of losing one’s child conjures,” says Golijov, “the utmost pain imaginable, a supernova of pain.” Translated from the original Hebrew by Jessica Cohen, Grossman’s story of parental mourning is further reimagined by Golijov into 13 musical movements and three vocal soloists who embody the characters Woman, Centaur, and Man, and are accompanied by evocative and sweeping washes of instrumental sound. 

Golijov collaborated with the musicians of the Silkroad Ensemble in the writing of the piece. (Silkroad commissioned it with additional support from the Alice L. Walton Foundation and the Barr Foundation.) On October 31, 2019, it received its world premiere at the College of the Holy Cross’ Brooks Hall in Worcester, Mass. A year later, during the height of the COVID epidemic, a recording of the work was released on the label In a Circle Records. "Harrowing and hallucinogenic, this song cycle about bereavement and isolation has unintended resonance in a year that has familiarized so many with trauma and loss,” wrote the New York Times in a feature article published on November 5, 2020.

The upcoming semi-staged production at Symphony Hall includes projected artwork by Mary Frank; the projection designer is Camilla Tassi. Falling Out of Time is dedicated to The Parents Circle. 


The Boston Symphony Orchestra has presented Osvaldo Golijov with the Mark M. Horblit “Merit Award” for distinguished composition. The award was created in 1947 by the late Boston attorney Mark M. Horblit to, in his own words, “foster and promote the writing of symphonic compositions … in recognition of meritorious work in that field.” Mr. Golijov is the 24th recipient of the award, which includes a cash prize of $5,000.

The Horblit Award was first presented to Aaron Copland in 1947, and most recently in 2019 to former BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès. Other recipients have included Walter Piston (1948), Leonard Bernstein (1949), Lukas Foss (1952), Gunther Schuller (1966), Roger Sessions (1977), Earl Kim (1983), Leon Kirchner (1985), Donald Martino (1987), Elliott Carter (1988 and 2007), Ned Rorem (1992), John Corigliano (1993), and John Harbison (2013).


The Vilna Shul: Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture will host a conversation with composer Osvaldo Golijov and Falling Out of Time musicians Nora Fischer and Yoni Rechter on the origins and journey of this artistic work on Sunday, April 23 from 3-5 p.m.

Presented by The Vilna Shul in association with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Celebrity Series and BroadBand Collaborative.


Sunday, April 23, 3-5 p.m.

Falling Out of Time: A Conversation

The Vilna Shul, 18 Phillips St., Boston

Composer Osvaldo Golijov in conversation with musicians Nora Fischer and Yoni Rechter

Presented by The Vilna Shul in association with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Celebrity Series, and BroadBand Collaborative.

Sunday, April 30, 2 p.m.

Osvaldo GOLIJOV Falling Out of Time

(A Tone Poem in Voices, from the novel by David Grossman. Translation from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen.)

Symphony Hall, 301 Mass. Ave, Boston

Biella da Costa, Woman

Nora Fischer, Centaur

Yoni Rechter, Man

Ensemble: Dan Brantigan, trumpet and flugelhorn; Shawn Conley, acoustic and electric bass; Jeremy Flower, electric guitar and synthesizer; Johnny Gandelsman, violin; Mario Gotoh, viola; Karen Ouzounian, cello; Shane Shanahan, percussion; Mazz Swift, violin; Megan Conley, harp Semi-staged production, presented in association with Celebrity Series of Boston.

Production Staff

Charlie Campbell, monitor engineer

Cristin Canterbury Bagnall, executive producer (the shepherd)

Lauren Cavanaugh, stage manager and associate production manager

Aaron Copp, production manager and lighting designer

Cat J. Cusick, lighting director

Jody Elff, sound engineer

Johnny Gandelsman, music director

Maile Okamura, costume designer

Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, scenic designer

Camilla Tassi, projection designer, based on art work by Mary Frank

Tour Management

Johnny Gandelsman, In a Circle Records

Cristin Canterbury Bagnall and Lori Taylor, BroadBand Collaborative

How to Purchase Tickets

Tickets to the April 30 concert may be purchased through, by calling 888-266-1200, or by visiting the Symphony Hall Box Office. 

Tickets for the April 23 conversation with the composer and musicians may be reserved at


Accessible seats and other accommodations are available for all patrons. Disability accommodations can be made by calling 617-638-9431 or email For more information, visit


Longstanding major corporate partner Bank of America returns as the BSO Lead Season Sponsor for the 2022–23 season.

The BSO is proud to announce that the Arbella Insurance Foundation, a longtime sponsor, is continuing its major sponsorship for the 17th season as the Music For All Sponsor, supporting new audience development initiatives. The BSO is delighted to have Fairmont Copley Plaza begin its 21st season as the Official Hotel of the BSO.

The BSO is thrilled to welcome back Genesis Motor America as a season sponsor and the Official Vehicle of the BSO. The BSO is excited to have Turkish Airlines as a new Winter Season sponsor.


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