Outi Tarkiainen - Festival Composer at Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival

Outi Tarkiainen - Festival Composer at Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival
© Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival

Outi Tarkiainen is this year’s festival composer at Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival.

Under the theme ‘Roots and Wings’, this year’s festival presents the world premieres of two of her works, commissioned by the festival.

With music by Outi Tarkiainen, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kaija Saariaho, this year’s festival is one of this summer’s unique experiences.


World Premieres

July 18, 2023

Outi Tarkiainen The Seasons of Love for Clarinet Quintet
Lauri Sallinen, clarinet

The Seasons of Love is Tarkiainen’s first clarinet quintet. Commissioned by Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, the work is dedicated to and performed by the composer’s husband, clarinettist Lauri Sallinen.

The Clarinet Quintet ‘The Seasons of Love’ celebrates the power of love that changes with life’s seasons. I have dedicated it to the love of my life, Lauri Sallinen, my husband and the father of my children. The Seasons of Love is at the same time a sort of portrait of him – at different stages in life, in the past and the future – as a clarinettist and person; just as he is, as I love him.
– Outi Tarkiainen

July 17, 2023

Outi Tarkiainen The Downfall of Judith Shakespeare
Virpi Räisänen (mezzo-soprano)
Blanca Gleisner (oboe), Matilda Kaul (violin), Tuomas Lehto (cello) and Heini Kärkkäinen (piano)

The Downfall of Judith Shakespeare is an excerpt of Tarkiainen’s first opera A Room of One’s Own based on Virginia Woolf’s classic essay. The opera seeks to answer the question of why, from one century to another, women merely flit as shadows across the stage in the arts and history.

Savonlinna Opera Festival will present the Finnish premiere of A Room of One’s Own July 26 & 28, 2023.


Outi Tarkiainen & Esa-Pekka Salonen

July 10, 2023

Outi Tarkiainen They Walked Side by Side for mezzo-soprano and violin
Virpi Räisänen (mezzo-soprano) and Siljamari Heikinheimo (violin)

They Walked Side by Side is a condensed version of the epilogue of Tarkiainen’s song cycle The Earth, Spring’s Daughter, a mythical epos illustrating the core experiences of the North and its people from the past to the present day. 

July 12, 2023

Outi Tarkiainen The Lustful Mother for mezzo-soprano, string quartet and piano.
Virpi Räisänen (mezzo-soprano) and Irina Zahharenkova (piano)
Danel Quartet

Esa-Pekka Salonen Homonculus for string quartet
Kamus Quartet


Remembering Kaija Saariaho

July 13, 2023

Kaija Saariaho Cloud Trio
Minna Pensola, Antti Tikkanen and Sergey Malov

A string trio is a fascinating ensemble. Even if its instruments come from the same family it magnifies the individual characters of each. When writing the trio, I was surprised how different it was to writing for a string quartet.

Why Cloud Trio? When composing this piece in the French Alps (Les Arcs), watching the big sky above mountains I realized once again how rich a metaphor a natural element can be: its state or shape is so recognizable, and yet it is always varied and rich in detail.
– Kaija Saariaho 

July 20, 2023

Kaija Saariaho Tempest Songbook

Many of Shakespeare’s works have inspired composers through the centuries, and ‘The Tempest’ is no exception. Attributed to Henry Purcell (though the music may in fact have been composed by John Blow) is a suite of music for that very play. In that same play, Kaija Saariaho discovered a number of unique birthday greetings, and without any intention of writing a largescale work, set first one to music, then another, and another, and so on.

This concert presents the two series together, in a beautifully intertwined program.  

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