Kaija Saariaho's 60th birthday

Kaija Saariaho's 60th birthday


Photo by Priska Ketterer Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho will celebrate her 60th birthday on October 14. Performances of her music in this birthday year include a feature at MITO – SettembreMusica festival, September 6-11.

Musical celebrations continue in October in Helsinki with Voices, Spaces, Senses – a mini-festival at the Sibelius Academy, Saariaho’s alma mater. From October 12-14 the three-day festivities include a concert by Avanti! Ensemble, who will give the Finnish premiere of Emilie Suite with conductor John Storgårds and soprano Karen Vourc’h. On October 12, her actual birthday, The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra performs Saariaho’s Orion with regular collaborator, conductor Susanna Malkki.

On October 19, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra presents Congratulations Kaija! The program for this concert is a surprise birthday present for Kaija Saariaho and will be announced at the beginning of the concert week. It will include a performance of La Passion de Simone, Saariaho’s powerful oratorio based on the life of French philosopher Simone Weill. The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and chorus will be joined by soprano Dawn Upshaw, for whom the work was written, and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen.

In October Saariaho will travel to Istanbul for the world premiere of Frises for solo violin and electronics. This work was composed to complement a program including the Bach Chaconne and Berio’s Sequenza VIII, performed by violinist Richard Schmoucler.  

Circle Map, her latest orchestral work, will receive further performances in Stavanger on September 28, Boston November 2, 3 and 6, and Gothenburg February 6.

On January 17 and 18 Saariaho’s monodrama Emilie, based on the life of Emilie du Chatelet, will be performed at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation with soprano Barbara Hannigan in the central role, conducted by Ernest Martinez Izquierdo. 

Saariaho’s long time collaborator Kari Krikku performs D’OM LE VRAI SENS, a clarinet concerto written especially for him, in Norway, Warsaw, Spain, and Mexico.

Within the walls of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, TX, Da Camera will present the world premiere of Sombre, a chamber work commissioned for and inspired by the chapel. Hear it with other works of Saariaho, Ravel, and Messiaen on February 23 and 24.

Saariaho is the focus of Cité de la Musique’s Domaine Privé from April 16-23, with a week of performances by new and regular collaborators.  Not to be missed!

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