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Sounds from God– Music embedded in the human psyche of Boris Pigovat

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posted on 08.04.2021, 20:54 by Xi Liu

This thesis examines the life and music of Israeli composer Boris Pigovat with emphasis on the works he has composed that feature the viola. It presents the first detailed account of his life from childhood to being an internationally respected composer. His landmark work from 1995, the Holocaust Requiem, stands amongst the most significant works of all time for viola and orchestra. While the research includes details of Pigovat’s education and career, it also examines in depth the background and analytical aspects of the Holocaust Requiem and the Sonata for viola and piano, and includes video recordings by the researcher of all his works featuring the viola.

The central component of this study is the production of the film Lacrimosa Dies Illa, a documentary about the Holocaust Requiem that includes interviews with the composer, commentary by a colleague in Kyiv at the site of the Babi Yar massacre of 1941 (at which the composers grandparents and aunt were executed), and performances of excerpts of the Holocaust Requiem with the researcher as soloist with the New Zealand School of Music Orchestra, conducted by Martin Riseley.


Advisor 1

Maurice, Donald

Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Music

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music