Haunting yet quietly rigorous… Often there seems to be more breath than voice in these wordless poems, though other times Ms. Chaker draws full-bellied sounds, or sketches out silvery arpeggios.”   - The New York Times 

Born in Paris but raised in Lebanon from the age of 6, composer and violinist Layale Chaker was raised speaking multiple languages, both linguistically and musically. Her complex sound universe, described by NPR as “beguiling” with “bright and beautiful strands… gorgeous, wine-dark swirls,” lies at the intersection of classical contemporary music, jazz, Arabic music, and improvisation. A 2020-2022 Jerome Hill Fellow, Chaker is also recipient of the 2022 Opera America Discovery 2022 Award, among many other accolades. 

To open Chaker’s 2023-2024 season, the New York Philharmonic presents the world premiere of her double concerto for clarinet, violin and orchestra Dawning, co-commissioned with Nebraska Crossroads Music Festival and Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra. Featuring the composer as violin soloist alongside clarinetist and husband Kinan Azmeh, Dawning is a musical love letter to the innocent children who have joined earthside amid trying times, drawing inspiration from the many lullabies the couple has been singing to their new son. Chaker describes her central image as “resilient seedlings sprouting from the cracks of leaden landscapes, symbolizing the enduring spirit of life and the promise of a new dawn. It's a testament to the human capacity to create and nurture life, even in the face of adversities, and a poignant reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is room for joy, love, and the promise of a brighter future.” 

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