Karmella Tsepkolenko

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Music (classical music, composition, contemporary music, general, theatre)
Europe, Eastern, Europe, Western
Ukraine, Germany
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Karmella Tsepkolenko


Karmella Tsepkolenko

a life devoted to music

The reigning queen of the Odessa new music scene, Karmella Tsepkolenko composes, teaches and organises festivals and cultural events.
Karmella Tsepkolenko is composer, pianist and pedagogue. An international figure in world of modern composition, she is a fixed star in the Ukrainian cultural firmament.
Karmella was born in Odessa in 1955 and began her musical education at the age of seven. She studied piano and composition at Odessa professor P.S. Stolyarsk’s Special Music Boarding School until the age of eighteen. Continuing her education at The Odessa State Music Academy she went on to receive a Ph.D. in Music Pedagogy at what is now Moscow Pedagogical Institute. In 1980, at the young age of 25, Karmella was herself appointed professor of composition at The Odessa State Music Academy. Here she created the first school of modern composition and has educated a number of pupils who have themselves gone on to win national and international prizes.
Karmella Tsepkolenko has composed over seventy works, including three operas, three symphonies, piano concertos, concertos for symphony and piano, symphonies for chamber orchestras, chamber music, instrumental works, vocal compositions and compositions for electronic music. She has participated in many of the most important international music festivals and held creative residencies or received grants from major institutions in Germany, Switzerland and the United States.
In 1995 Karmella Tsepolenko founded the Association of New Music where she is chairman of the board. One year later, this institution became the Ukrainian representative organisation of the International Society of Contemporary Music. Also in 1995, Karmella co-founded the annual international modern art festival “Two Days and Two Nights of Music”. This popular festival was envisioned as a grandiose 48 hour event modelled of the compositional logic of the composer, and integrating elements from all fields of art and music. It has taken place every year since 1995. Other cultural events, festivals and artistic actions initiated by Karmella Tsepkolenko are the popular “Wandering Music/Art Academy”, “Prima Vista”, “Festival of Improvisation in the Contemporary World”, and “Novel Dance Art”. A major cultural mover in Odessa and the Ukraine, Karmella Tsepkolenko’s contribution to contemporary music internationally cannot be exaggerated.
Author: Edward Buffalo Bromberg


2006 «LES GRANDS VOYAGES AUTOR DU MONDE» - music to photo-film “Simenon ecrivain photographe” (DVD-ROM) 80`
2006 „Tramway ?5” - music to the film 25`
2006 „Kitchen Symphony” – chamber opera for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble 20`
2006 “Solo-Momento no.4” for harpsihord 7`
2005 Nach Unentschieden for conductor (wistle, 2 bng, w-bl), flutist (picc, fl, alt.fl) clarinettist (es-cl, cl, b-cl) violinist (vl) and cellist (cello): 12`
2005 “Solo-Solissimo no.3” for spinet: 7`
2005 “Duel-Duo no.11” for accordion and cello (ac, vc): 10`
2004 “Duel-Duo no.10” for organ and percussion (2tr, tmbl-bl, tbr-mil, Tibets pti, gr-c,
2 China gng, 2 Thailand gng, ttam, vbr, 2bng, 3ttom, tbr-mil, 3pti-ssp, h-h, gr-c) (premiered on January 23, 2005, Christus Kirchen, Freiburg, Germany): 12`
2004 Symphony no.4 for symphony orchestra (pic, 2fl, 2ob, 2cl, 2fg; 4cr, 2tr, 3tn, tb; tpni, bl-di-l, 4ttom, tbr-mil, trg, pto-ssp, gr-c, vbr; gng, ttam, p, str.): 30`
2003 “Duel-Duo no.9” for piano and percussion (bl-di-l, tbr-mil, ttom, pto-ssp, gng, vbr), (premiered on November 2003, Cagliari, Sassari, Italy): 13`
2003 “Solo-Momento no.3” for viola (premiered on June 2003, Roma, Italy): 2`
2003 “Hinter dem Horizont” on verses by Matthias Kneip (in German) for soprano, percussion (tmpni, 2 darabukas, crot, gng, vbr), piano and double bass (premiered on October, 2003, Dresden, Germany): 11`
2003 “Duel-Duo no.8” for 2 flutists {pic/dizi-fl/a-fl/fl, s-b-bl-fl/gr-b-bl-fl(roessler)/gr-b-bl-fl(paekold)/b-bl-fl}, (premiered on April 2003, Odessa, Ukraine): 10`
2002 “Cabin for Eight” for 8 instrumentalists {fl/a-fl, cl/b-cl, t-sax/s-sax, prc (mar, 4bng, tubi-di-vtr, tubi-di-bmb, bl-di-l, tmr-mil, 4ttom, cassa, ttam) p/toy-p, vn, vl, vc}, (premiered on January, 2004 - Paris, France): 17`
2002 “Solo-Momento no.2” for percussion (3sen-plates, 2bng, tbrin, bl-di-l): 5`
2001-2002 Chamber Symphony no.3 (Kammersymphonie Nr.3) for chamber orchestra (fl, ob, cl, t-sax, fg; 2cr; 2prc: 1- vbr, 4ttom, 4bng, w-bl; 2- mar, 4 tmpl-bl, tbrin, trg; p; str) (premiered on September 2004, Kyiv, Ukraine): 20`
2001 “Solo-Momento no.1” for piano (premiered on September 2001, Heilbronn, Germany): 2`
2001 “Solo-Solissimo no.2”, piano piece for the right hand (premiered on September 2001, Heilbronn, Germany): 6`
2000 “Vergessener Völker Müdigkeiten... Friedhofstück” (“The weariness of Forgotten Peoples”/“Forgotten Peoples’ Exhaustions… Cemetery piece”; “Znesylljam zlamleni narody …Cvyntarna muzuka”) for accordionist \ac/v/prc - 2 bng, (or hengereg, bng), w-bl and video show (photos of cemeteries from the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire Royal Monarchy by Christoph Lingg), (premiered on October 2001, Vienna, Austria): 14`
2000 “Die Tür Sperrangelweit Auf” (“The Door Opened to the Limit”; “Dveri nastizh”) for clarinettist (cl/b-cl/sen-plates/bng), pianist (p/v) and cellist (vc/tbi-di-bmb/tbi-di-vtr/w-bl), (premiered on May 2000, Bern, Switzerland): 15`
1999 “Solo-Solissimo no.1” for violin (premiered on March 2000, Beyrouth, Lebanon): 8`
1999 “Ten Transformations into Nothing” (“Zehn Verwandlungen zu Nichts”, “Desjat’ peretvoren’ u nishcho”) for chamber orchestra (cl, b-cl, s-sax, t-sax, tb; mar, 2bng, 3ttom, gr-c; ac; vn, vl, vc), version 2002 (fl, ob, cl, fg; cr; mar, 2bng, 3ttom, gr-c; p; vn, vl, vc): 20`
1999 “Alles, Ausser - Was Noch Alles Ist...” (“All Except – What Yet Is All…”; “Vse, okrim - shche vs’oho…”), chamber symphony no.2 for chamber orchestra (fl, ob, cl, b-cl, fg; 2pr?: 1- vbr, 3bng, tbi-di-bmb, trg, 3sen-plates; 2- mar, 4tpl-bl, tbi-di-vtr, w-bl; p; 2vn, vl, vc, cb), (premiered on February 2000, Odessa, Ukraine): 11`
1998 “Im Träumen… und Hier Unten auf Der Erde” (“In Dreaming… and Here Below on the Earth”; “U mrijakh… abo tut vnyzu, na zemli”) for flute, piano and cello (premiered on February 1999, Hannover, Germany): 14`
1998 “Duel-Duo no.7” for clarinet and piano (premiered on November 1999, Bern, Switzerland): 9`
1998 “Wenn Die Kette Zerrisse, Fände Sie Bestimmt Nicht Alle Perlen Wieder” (“When the Chain Would Break, It Certainly Could Not Find All Pearls Again”; “Jak nytka uvirvet’sja, hodi jij zibraty vsi perly znovu”) for tenor saxophone, percussion (vbr, 4ttom, sen-plates), accordion and double bass (premiered on November 1998, Vienna, Austria): 9`
1997 “Drei Stücke” (“Three Pieces”, “Try p’jesy”) (1. “Das tanzende Herz”; 2. “Fragment”; 3. “Die Uhr”) on verses by Rainer Brambach (in German) for bass baritone and piano (premiered on January 1998, Vienna, Austria): 7`
1997 “Out of the Blues” for piano (premiered on December 1997, Amsterdam, Holland): 7`
1997 “Duel-Duo no.6” for 2 violas (premiered on July 1997, Sapporo, Japan): 8`
1997 “Duel-Duo no.2” version for 2 cellos (premiered on 1997, Warsaw, Poland): 5`
1997 “Self-Reflection no.2”, performance for tape (premiered on November 1997, Kyiv, Ukraine): 5`
1996 “Self-Reflection no.1”, performance for piano and tape (premiered on December 1996, New York, USA): 10`
1996 “Princess”, performance for flutist (pic/fl/a-fl/b-fl/cb-fl) and string quartet (premiered on April 1996, Odessa, Ukraine): 30`
1996 “Ausgang” (“Exit”, “Vykhid”), cantata on verses by P.Tychyna (in Ukrainian), A.Blok (in Russian), Th.Fontane (in German), G.Apollinaire (in French), E.E.Cummings (in English) for female voice, clarinet, accordion and piano (premiered on June 1997, Bern, Swirzerland): 14`
1996 “Konzert der Vögel” (“Concert of the Birds”; “Koncert ptakhiv”), opera and music-theatre work, libretto after mystic comedy by Djevad Karahasan (in German), co-production with 5 other composers (parts XI, XII, XIII by Karmella Tsepkolenko) for alto, soprano, bass baritone, flute, clarinet, percussion (4bng, tbi-di-vtr, w-bl, trg, 4tpl-bl) and viola (premiered on March, 1997, Salzburg, Austria): 25`
1995 “From Corner to Corner” (“Von Ecke zu Ecke”; “Z bezvykhodi u bezvykhid’”) for 3 double basses (premiered on May 1996, Hamburg, Germany): 12`
1995 “Feeling of Solitude” (“Einsamkeitsgefühl”; “Vidchuttja samotnosti”) for oboe (ed.: 1995), (premiered on August 1997, Luzern, Switzerland): 8`
1995 “Paysage Solo” for piano (ed.: 1995), (premiered on August 1995, Dueren, Germany): 7`
1995 “Duel-Duo no.5” for violin and accordion (ed.: 1995), (premiered on October 1996, Odessa, Ukraine): 9`
1995 “Duel-Duo no.4” for oboe and piano (ed.: 1995), (premiered on September 2001, Paris, France): 7`
1995 “Ca-Ri-N Sounds” for flute (ed.: 1995), (premiered on April 1995, Odessa, Ukraine): 7`
1994 “Zwischen Zwei Feuern” (“Between Two Fires”; “Mizh dvokh vohniv”), mini-mono-opera, libretto by Serhij Stupak and Karmella Tsepkolenko (in German) after Hermann Hesse’s “Der Steppenwolf” for percussion quartet (1- cnli, 2pti-ssp, w-bl, 2trg; 2– tbi-di-vtr, tbi-di-bmb, 5tpl-bl, mar; 3- 3bng, 3ttom, tbr-mil, vbr; 4- 3cngs, ttam, gr-c), bass clarinet (or tenor saxophone) and female voice (prod.: Odessa, Ukraine, 1995; ed.: 1995), (premiered on April 1995, Odessa, Ukraine): 22`
1994 “Wandering in the Space of Triangle” (“Wanderung im Triangelraum”; “Blukannja u prostori trykutnyka”), performance for marimba, violin, viola and cello, (ed.: 1995), (premiered on June 1994, Odessa, Ukraine): 15`
1994 “Far from the Crowd” (“Aus dem Kreis Heraustretend”; “Vychodjashchij iz kruga”) for accordion (ed.: 1995), (premiered on March 1995, Antwerp, Belgium): 7`
1993 “Aum-Quintet” for tenor saxophone, mezzo-soprano (without words), piano, violin and cello (ed.: 1995), (premiered on 1994, Odessa, Ukraine): 14`
1993 “Duel-Duo no.3” for trumpet and organ (ed.: 1995): 7`
1993 “Duel-Duo no.2” for violin and cello (ed.: 1995), (premiered on June 2001, Chisinau Moldova): 5`

1993 “Duel-Duo no.1” for trumpet and tuba (ed.: 1995), (premiered on August 1993, Bayreuth, Germany): 3`
1992 “Infinitely Identical Suns” (“Ewige Gleichheit der Sonnen”; “Bezkinechna odnakovist’ sonc”) for flute, clarinet, percussion (w-bl, 4ttom, 3bng, gng, pto-ssp, mar), piano, violin and cello (ed.: 1995), (premiered on November 1992, Odessa, Ukraine; premiered on February 1993, Zurich, Switzerland): 13`
1992 “Royal Flush” - “Card Game no.1” (“Royal Flush” - “Kartenspiel Nr.1; “Flesh-rojal’” - “Hra v Karty No.1”) for violin, cello and piano (ed.: 1995), (premiered on February 1993, Odessa, Ukraine): 7`
1992 “Children Pieces” for piano: 40`
1992 “The Light, Which is in You is Not Darkness?” (“Ist das in dir seiende Licht keine Finsternis?”) (Luke 11:34-36: “Then Whatch Out That the Light in You May Not Be Darkness”; “So Schaue Darauf, Dass Nicht das Licht in Dir Finsternis sei“, “Svitlo, shcho v tobi, chy ne je pit’ma?”) for organ (ed.: 1995), (premiered on February 1993, Koeln, Germany): 9`
1991 “Night Preference” - “Card Game no.3” (“Nacht-räferenz” -“Kartenspiel Nr.3”; “Nichnyj Preferans” -“Hra v karty No.3”) for flute (or clarinet), percussion (pto-ssp, 3bng), organ (or piano) and cello (ed.: 1995), (premiered on March 1992, Novosobirsk, Russia): 10`
1991 “Black Moon Cycle” (“Schwarzmondzyklus”; “Cykl Chornoho Misjacja”; “Cykl Chornoj Luny”) for violin and piano (ed.: 1995), (premiered on October 1991, Kyiv, Ukraine): 14`
1991 “Evening Solitaire” - “Card Game no.2” (“Abend-Patience” - “Kartenspiel Nr.2”; “Vechirnij Pas’jans” - “Hra v karty No.2”) for piano (ed.: 1995), (premiered on April 1992, Odessa, Ukraine): 9`
1990 “Artistic Games”, music material for textbook by O.Perepelytsya, K.Tsepkolenko “Artistic Games” for piano: 35`
1990-1991 “Tonocolori” (“Color Sounds”), piano pieces for children (ed.: 1995), (premiered on November 1991, Geureth, France): 10`
1990 “Parallels” (“Parallelen”, Kammersymphonie Nr.1), chamber symphony no.1 for chamber orchestra (p; str) (ed.: 1995), (premiered on May 1991, Kyiv, Ukraine): 23`
1989 “Dorian’s Fate” (“Dorians Schicksal”, “Dolja Doriana”), chamber opera, libretto by Serhij Stupak (in Ukrainian) after Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Grey”, in 2 acts for soprano, countertenor, tenor, baritone, bass and chamber orchestra (fl, ob, cl, fg; 2cr; tpni, w-bl, trg, pti-ssp, tbr-mil, gr-c; cmb, p; 2vn, vl, vc, cb) (prod.: Kiev, 1990), (premiered on May 1990, ????, Ukraine): 35`
1988 “Chronicle of One Event” (“Chronik Eines Ereignisses”; “Chronika odnijei podii”) for cello and piano (premiered on March 1989, Kazan, Tatarstan): 9`
1988 “Memorial Symphony”, symphony no.3 (“Gedächtnissymphonie”; “Pomynal’na symfonija“) for symphony orchestra (pic, 2fl, 2ob, 2cl, 2fg; 4cr, 2tr, 3tn, tb; tpni, w-bl, tbr-mil, pti, gr-c, vbr; ar; str) (premiered on April 1989, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine): 20`
1988 Saxophone Quartet \s-sax, a-sax, t-sax, bar-sax (or b-sax), (premiered on January 1988, Kyiv, Ukraine): 10`
1987 “Concerto-Drama” (“Konzert-Drama”) for piano and large orchestra (pic, 2fl, 2ob, 2cl, 2fg; 4cr, 2tr, 3tn, tb; tpni, w-bl, tbr-mil, pti, gr-c; ar; str), (premiered on May 1989, Kyiv, Ukraine): 35`
1987 “Grief about a Skomorokh” (“Trauer um einen Skomorochen”; “Pechal’ o skomorokhe”), cantata on verses by Vladimir Razhnikov (in Russian) for mezzo-soprano, flute, oboe, cembalo, violin and cello (premiered on April 1988, Kyiv, Ukraine): 12`
1987 “Landscape with Oboe” (“Landschaft mit Oboe”; “Pejzazh z hobojem”) for oboe and piano (premiered on February 1988, Moscow, Russia): 12`

1987 “Vij” (“Viy”) (after N.Gogol’s tale) for brass quintet (2tr, cr, tn, tb), (premiered on November 1988, St.-Petersburg, Russia): 8`
1986 Trio for clarinet, bassoon and piano (premiered on February 1987, Kyiv, Ukraine): 7`
1986 “Theatre Sonata” (“Theatersonate”; Teatral’na sonata”) for clarinet and piano (premiered on March 1987, Kyiv, Ukraine): 16`
1985 “Meetings with the Memory” (“Begegnungen mit dem Gedächtnis”; “Zustrichi z pam’’jattju”), cycle pieces for piano (ed.: 1995), (premiered on May 1986, Odessa, Ukraine): 12`
1984 “Expectation of Changes” (“Erwartung der Veränderungen”; “Ozhidanie peremen”), vocal cycle on verses by Vladimir Razhnikov (in Russian) for mezzo-soprano and piano (premiered on May 1985, Odessa, Ukraine): 10`
1983 “History of the Flute-Puritan” (“Geschichte einer Flöte-Puritanerin”, “Istorija flejty-purytanky”) for flute, oboe, cembalo, violin and cello (premiered on September 1983, Odessa, Ukraine): 16`
1982 “Nine Reflections on Two Worlds” (“Neun Meditationen über zwei Welten”; “Devjat’ razmyshlenij o dvukh mirakh”) on verses by Vladimir Razhnikov (in Russian) for voice and chamber orchestra (2fl, ob, cl, fg; 2cr; tpni, w-bl, gr-c; p, ar; 3vn, vl, vc, 2cb): 31`
1982 “Glorification of the Four Elements” (“Verherrlichung der Vier Elemente”; “Slavlennja chotyrjoch stykhij”) for string quartet (ed.: Kiev, Muzychna Ukrajina, 1989 in: Strunni kvartety ukrajins’kykh kompozytoriv 1), (premiered on May 1988, Warshawa, Poland): 14`
1981 “Children Pieces” (“Dytjachi p’jesy”; “Detskie p’jesy”): 1. “Offence” - “Obida”; 2. “Skipping-Ropes” - “Skakalki” for 2 pianos (premiered on April 1982, Odessa, Ukraine): 4`
1981 “Symphonic Diptych”, symphony no.2 (“Symphonisches Diptychon”) for symphony orchestra (pic, 2fl, 2ob, 2cl, 2fg; 4cr, 2tr, 3tn, tb; tpni, tmb-mil, pti, gr-c; ar; str), (premiered on September 1985, Lviv, Ukraine): 8’
1981 “Mechanical Songs” (“Mechanische Lieder”; “Mekhanichni pisni”) for 2 pianos (ed.: 1995), (premiered on April 1982, Odessa, Ukraine): 10`
1980 Sonata for piano (premiered on May 1981, Odessa, Ukraine): 20`
1980 “Divertissement” for violin ensemble (3 parts): 5`
1979 “Symphonic Poem”, symphony no.1 (“Symphonische Dichtung”) for symphony orchestra (pic, 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 fg; 4 cr, 2 tr, 3 tn, tb; tpni, tbr-mil, pti, gr-c; ar; str), (premiered on June 1979, Odessa, Ukraine): 12`
1978 “Bad Weather” (“Unwitter”, “Nepogoda”), cycle of romances on verses by A.Nizhegorodtseva (in Russian) (1. “No more quiet...” - “Ne spokojnej stala…”; 2. “And you don’t trust my eyes” - “A ty glazam moim ne verish’”; 3. “Song” - “Pesnja”; 4. “He promised and took his words back” - “Obeshchal i bral slova obratno”) - for mezzo-soprano and piano (no.1 ed.: Kiev, Muzychna Ukrajina, 1981 in: Tvory molodykh kompozytoriv Ukrainy dlja holosu v suprovodi fortepiano), (premiered on April 1979, Odessa, Ukraine): 10`


2006 Laureate of The National Prize - Honored Art Worker of Ukraine
2003 "Mitten am Rand", Die Höge, Germany
2002 Unkrainian Ministry for Culture and Arts B. Liatoshynskyl Prize
2001 Ukrainian Composers Union Prize
2001 "World Music Days", Yokohama, 1999 "World Music Days" ISCM Bucharest,
1998 Wien Modern, Vienna
1998 residence Künstlerhof Schreyahn
1996 grant National Endowment for the Arts - USA
1996 Fellowship International Renaissance Foundation
1996 grant Brahms-Haus Foundation
1995 International piano forum for new music, Heilbronn
1993 Fellowship Henrich Böll Foundation
1990 "Tonocolori" piano cycle wins "rendesvous international du piano en Creuse" composition prize
1980 professor of composition Odessa State Musical Academy
1978 winner Soviet Union young composers competition


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Black/North SEAS

The SEAS Platform 2008-2010

(02 December 05 - 31 December 10)