From: La Plata, Argentina. LA Opera: Ainadamar (2025).

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. His blending of genres and seamless integration of voices speak volumes about his approach and style, a musical language that can only be termed “Golijovian.”

Since the early 1990s, Golijov has enjoyed collaborations with some of the world’s leading chamber music ensembles such as the Kronos Quartet and the St. Lawrence String Quartet; in addition to relationships with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, and Robert Spano; and orchestras including the Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago symphony orchestras. In 2000, the premiere of Golijov's La Pasión según San Marcos (St. Mark Passion) took the music world by storm. The Boston Globe called it "the first indisputably great composition of the 21st century.” Golijov has also received acclaim for other groundbreaking works such as his opera Ainadamar and the clarinet quintet The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, as well as music he has written for the films of Francis Ford Coppola.

In recent years, members of the Silkroad Ensemble have toured Golijov’s Falling Out of Time, including a 2022 performance at Carnegie Hall. The 80-minute song cycle, based on the novel by David Grossman, is available on In a Circle Records. The recording was nominated for a Latin Grammy and met with widespread critical acclaim. The Guardian called the work “a Kindertotenlieder for our fragile present.”

Other recent works include Ever Yours for string octet, premiered by St. Lawrence String Quartet and Telegraph Quartet, and Um Dia Bom for string quartet Brooklyn Rider. He is currently composing a new work for violin and orchestra to be premiered by Johnny Gandelsman and The Knights, and the soundtrack for a new Coppola film, Megalopolis.

This fall, Welsh National Opera presents a new critically acclaimed production of Ainadamar by Olivier Award-winning choreographer and director Deborah Colker, co-produced by Detroit Opera, Opera Ventures, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera.

Golijov served as the Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall during the 2012/13 season. He is Composer-In-Residence at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he has taught since 1991.