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Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho featured in New Music New Haven concert April 12

March 26, 2012

“She is, quite simply, one of the most original compositional voices of our time.”
— Kyle MacMillan, Denver Post

The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert featuring guest composer Kaija Saariaho on Thursday, April 12. Saariaho’s pieces Serenatas and Terrestre will be performed alongside new works by students in the School of Music’s prestigious composition program. The concert begins at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven).

Saariaho describes Serenatas – a collection of five small pieces for cello, piano, and percussion – as “sometimes sweet, sometimes tormented.” “The attitude of the musicians,” she says, should be as “devoted as it would be when playing a serenade to a lover…”

Terrestre is a reworking for solo flute with violin, cello, harp, and percussion) of the second movement of the two-movement flute concerto Aile du songe (Wing of Dream), which itself was inspired by a collection of poems called Oiseaux (Birds) by Saint-John Perse.

The concert will also feature music by graduate composers from the Yale School of Music: Jordan Kuspa’s Picaresque Episodes for trombone quartet; Stephen Feigenbaum’s Sonata for double bass and piano (with Matthew Rosenthal, bass, and Lee Dionne, piano); Daniel Schlosberg’s Once (with Shawn Moore, violin, and Colin Brookes, viola); Justin Tierney’s Escritura del Dios (with Dashon Burton, bass-baritone); and Fay Wang’s Monodrama of Old Heaven.

Admission to the concert is free, and no tickets are required. Christopher Theofanidis is the artistic director of the New Music New Haven concert series.

For more information, visit music.yale.edu or contact the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.


About the Featured Composer

Kaija Saariaho is a prominent member of a group of Finnish composers and performers who are now, in mid-career, making a worldwide impact. Born in Helsinki in 1952, she studied at the Sibelius Academy there with the pioneering modernist Paavo Heininen and, with Magnus Lindberg and others, she founded the progressive ‘Ears Open’ group. She continued her studies in Freiburg with Brian Ferneyhough and Klaus Huber, at the Darmstadt summer courses, and, from 1982, at the IRCAM research institute in Paris – the city which has been her home ever since. Her studies and research at IRCAM have had a major influence on her music and her characteristically luxuriant and mysterious textures are often created by combining live music and electronics. Although much of her catalogue comprises chamber works, from the mid-nineties she has turned increasingly to larger forces and broader structures, such as the operas L’Amour de loin and Adriana Mater and the oratorio La Passion de Simone. Saariaho has claimed major composing awards: the Grawemeyer Award, the Wihouri Prize, the Nemmers Prize, and in 2011 the Sonning Prize. In 2015 she will be the judge of the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award.

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