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Nemtsov, Sarah

Sarah Nemtsov was born in Oldenburg, Germany in 1980 and studied composition in Hanover and Berlin with Nigel Osborne, Johannes Schöllhorn and Walter Zimmermann. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Busoni Composition Prize of the Berlin Academy of Arts, the German Music Authors’ Prize of GEMA (the German performance rights association) and the international ricordilab prize for composition. She works closely with prestigious ensembles and orchestras, including the radio symphony orchestras of Frankfurt and Vienna, the Deutsches Sinfonieorchester (Berlin), Ensemble Musikfabrik (Cologne), Klangforum (Vienna), ensemble modern (Frankfurt), ensemble mosaik (Berlin), Ensemble Adapter (Berlin), Neue Vocalsolisten (Stuttgart) and Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris), and her works are performed at such renowned international festivals as Donaueschingen, Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music, Wien Modern, ECLAT, Ultraschall, Holland, Musica, Bregenz and Munich Biennale. Nemtsov’s innovative music is characterized by powerfully conceived sonic combinations; complex, energetic textures; musical layering; and interaction between acoustical instruments and electronics. Literature and other art forms are important inspirations, and her compositions often address political and social topics. Her catalogue includes more than 100 works and virtually every genre. Since 2016, she has been published by Ricordi. In 2014 Nemtsov taught composition as a guest lecturer at the Cologne Hochschule für Musik und Tanz; in the summer semester of 2018, she taught composition as a DAAD guest lecturer at Haifa University; and she also regularly teaches composition courses (for example, at Darmstadt in the summers of 2021 and 2023). In 2020, Nemtsov was nominated for Opus Klassik’s “Composer of the Year” prize. In 2021, she was admitted as a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts. About her opera SACRIFICE (premiered in 2017 at the Halle Opera) Die Zeit wrote: “Sound becomes space becomes time becomes reality.” Currently she is working on her latest opera OPHELIA for the Saarbrücken State Theatre (world premiere: May 2023). Sarah Nemtsov lives in Berlin with her three children and her husband Jascha Nemtsov, with whom she also is co-director of the gallery and public venue Raum für Kunst und Diskurs (Space for Art and Discourse).

Photo: Rut Sigurdardóttir