La Biennale di Venezia announces the Lions for Music 2021.
Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho is awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement “for the remarkable technical and expressive level she has achieved in her choral scores and for her original use of the voice”. The acknowledgment was recommended by the Director of the Music Department, Lucia Ronchetti, and approved by the Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia.
The 65th International Festival of Contemporary Music, titled Choruses and dedicated to vocal dramaturgies in contemporary composition, will take place in Venice from September 17 – 26.
Inauguration day on September 17th will be dedicated to Kaija Saariaho, featuring the awards ceremony for the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement (Ca’ Giustinian, at 12 noon) and the opening concert performed by the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice conducted by Ernest Martinez-Isquierdo (Teatro La Fenice, at 8 pm). The programme includes the Italian premiere performance of Oltra Mar, for chorus and orchestra, composed by Kaija Saariaho in 1999 and the Italian premiere performance of an orchestral work by Hans Abrahamsen written in 2011 and based on the orchestration of Claude Debussy’s Children’s Corner.
As the motivation reads: “As part of her vast production for voice, vocal ensemble and chorus, Kaija Saariaho will be awarded the Golden Lion for Oltra mar in particular, considered an absolute masterpiece. Oltra mar, which in ancient French means ‘across the sea’, is a harmonically complex but transparent composition, and a synthesis of unusual metamorphic orchestral colours influenced by Impressionism”. “One of the major living composers whose works are among the most widely performed in the world – continues the motivation – Kaija Saariaho’s music has the gift of power and immediacy and generates original acoustic tapestries and unprecedented sonic narrations”.
In the past, the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Music has been awarded to Pierre Boulez (2012) and Tan Dun (2017), among other wonderful composers.
Listen Oltra Mar on Spotify