On Sunday May 7 the BBC Symphony Orchestra explore the vast musical output of Kaija Saariaho over five events and concerts from London’s Barbican Centre. One of the monumental composers of our time, few living composers are more deserving of a day of total immersion; and none occupies such a striking position between intellectual enquiry and pure, wondrous beauty.
Events on May 7
10:30am Kaija Saariaho Film Screening
The ‘Echoes of the Universe' documentary tells the story of Kaija Saariaho, a composer born in Finland but who built her career from Paris. The documentary focuses on Saariaho's international composing career and her extensive musical catalogue through her most significant opera and instrumental works.
1pm Guildhall School Musicians: Spotlight on Kaija Saariaho
Musicians from Guildhall School present a selection of Saariaho’s chamber music from the intimate space of Milton Court.
3:30pm Talk: Inside the Music of Kaija
Aleksi Barrière and Professor Jonathan Cross discuss Kaija Saariaho’s music during this free event.
5pm BBC Singers: Spotlight on Kaija Saariaho
The BBC Singers and conductor Krista Audere perform the vocal music of Kaija Saariaho. The programme includes the UK premiere of Reconnaissance (2020), a powerful ‘science-fiction madrigal’ inspired by images of Mars and the fragility of human ambition, with text by Aleksi Barrière.
7:30pm BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo
Sakari Oramo crowns a day of total immersion in the music of Kaija Saariaho with a sumptuous orchestral celebration with four orchestral works dating from 1989 to 2020 – including the UK premiere of the orchestral Saarikoski Songs (2020) performed by their dedicatee soprano Anu Komsi.