Biography

sivan profile picture

Dr. Sivan Cohen Elias is a composer, interdisciplinary artist and performer who often integrates different art forms into a unified medium. 

Alongside her sonic practice, her work includes installations, sound sculptures, prepared instruments, choreography, video editing, text, costumes, improvisation and performance. In her work, performance, play, task, and absurdity operate simultaneously in hybrid systems and bodies that merge behaviors of human, animal and machine, exploring ever-changing phenomena.

Born in Jerusalem, Israel, Cohen Elias' works have been commissioned, broadcast and performed by ensembles and performers (including herself) in and around Europe, Israel, Russia and the United States, including Klangforum Wien, MusikFabrik, Mosaik, Dal Niente, Distractfold, Mocrep, Jack Quartet, Nikel among many more. Festival appearances include Darmstadt Fereinkurse, Bludenz, Wien Modern, Witten, Klangspuren, Ultraschall, and Warsaw Autumn.

Numerous awards include the Impuls International Composition Competition 2009, the Boost! project Prize Darmstadt 2012, and, most recently, her mini opera .onion won the Staatstheater International Music-Theatre Competition Darmstadt 2016. She is currently working on a full-length opera, commissioned by Staatstheater Darmstadt to be premiered in 2018.

After receiving BMus and MMus from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Music schools between 2005-2007, she served as the chairperson of the Israel Women Composers' Forum, and on organizing committees of international new music festivals in Israel, including Tzlil Meudcan, dedicated to developing previously non-existent platforms. In 2007 Cohen Elias left her home country and relocated to Vienna for a Post-Graduate program at the University for Music and Performance art. In 2009 she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts for PhD composition studies at Harvard University under the guidance of Prof. Chaya Czernowin and prof. Hans Tutchku. In 2012-13 she spent a year in Stuttgart as a fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude. She received her doctorate from Harvard in May, 2017. In 2017 she relocated to Chicago, where she was the composer in residence at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. In 2018, Cohen Elias joins the faculty at the University of Iowa as a visiting assistant professor, teaching applied composition and courses in the Electronic Music Studios.