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Acclaimed Finnish Composer Kaija Saariaho In Residence At Carnegie Hall For Series Of Events, Beginning November 30 & December 1 With Two Concerts By The Avanti! Chamber Orchestra

The acclaimed Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho begins her season-long Carnegie Hall residency as holder of The Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair with two programs by the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra on Wednesday, November 30 and Thursday, December 1 in Zankel Hall.

In spring 2012, music by Ms. Saariaho is the focus of one more concert in Zankel Hall and two performances in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. In addition, with cellist and frequent collaborator Anssi Karttunen, she leads a Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop for young composers and solo string players. Presented by the Weill Music Institute as part of her residency, the workshop includes a public master class in Weill Recital Hall and culminates in two final concerts in Zankel Hall.

Two features have marked Ms. Saariaho’s career and continue to stand out. One is a close and productive association with individual artists—including writer Amin Maalouf, director Peter Sellars, conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, flute player Camilla Hoitenga, cellist Anssi Karttunen, sopranos Dawn Upshaw and Karita Mattila, and pianists Emanuel Ax and Tuija Hakkila. The other is a concern, shown equally in her choice of subject matter and texts and in the profusion of expression marks in her scores, to make her music a combination of abstract processes and an urgent communication from composer to listener of ideas, images, and emotions.

To see video of Ms. Saariaho’s work and the most up to date information on her residency, click here. Ms. Saariaho’s new recording, released by Ondine/Naxos in September 2011, includes her Clarinet Concerto, D’Om le Vrai Sens, as well as Laterna Magica for large orchestra, and Leino Songs for soprano and orchestra, all performed by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sakari Oramo with soprano Anu Komsi and clarinetist Kari Kriikku. For more information on the recording, click here.



2011
2012 Debs Composer’s Chair Kaija Saariaho programs include:

November 30 and December 1: Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
Ms. Saariaho’s Carnegie Hall residency begins with performances on Wednesday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, December 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall with leading Finnish new music ensemble Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. On the first evening, the ensemble performs the world premiere of a suite from Saariaho’s monodrama Emilie, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, and Nymphéa (her 1987 breakout string quartet with electronics originally composed for and recorded by Kronos Quartet); as well as works by two fellow Finnish composers: Jukka Tiensuu’s Nemo and Lotta Wennäkoski's Kuule II. For this program, Avanti! is led by conductor Hannu Lintu and joined by bass clarinet player Heikki Nikula and soprano Elizabeth Futral (who performed the North American premiere of the role of Emilie in the fully staged production of the opera at Spoleto Festival USA.) A pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall with Ms. Saariaho in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning at Carnegie Hall.

Avanti! returns the following evening, led by Hannu Lintu and joined by vocalist Markus Allen for a program of Finnish tangos and light-hearted music written by Finnish composers. Entitled Finnish Tango: A Journey to The Fairy Land the program includes works by Kullervo Linna, Toivo Kärki, Jani Uhlenius, Oskar Merikanto, Jean Sibelius, Pentti Viherluoto, Unto Mononen, Arvo Koskimaa, Veikko Juntunen, Taisto Wesslin, Ramon Arcado, and Kaj Chydenius.

March 5: Making Music: Kaija Saariaho
A special Making Music program entitled Voix, Espace celebrating Ms. Saariaho’s workstakes place on Monday, March 5 at 6:00 p.m. in Zankel Hall. Directed by Rachid Safir, the evening features a number of Saariaho’s vocal ensemble works performed by Solistes XXI, with a multimedia installation by Ms. Saariaho’s husband, the composer and video artist Jean-Baptiste Barrière. Prior to the performance, Ms. Saariaho will speak about her music with Jeremy Geffen, Carnegie Hall’s Director of Artistic Planning. This concert marks the second Carnegie Hall Making Music program, devoted to Ms. Saariaho’s work; the first occurred in 2003.

March 6–March 12: Professional Training Workshop
From March 6 to March 12, with cellist and frequent collaborator Anssi Karttunen, Ms. Saariaho leads a Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop for young composers and solo string players (violin, viola, cello, or bass), presented by the Weill Music Institute. Ms. Saariaho and Mr. Karttunen will work with the young musicians on composing new works for string players. The workshop includes a public master class on Friday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Weill Recital Hall and culminates in two final concerts featuring music by participating composers, in addition to works by Saariaho, on Sunday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Monday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m., both in Zankel Hall.

March 10: St. Louis Symphony
On Saturday, March 10 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Music Director David Robertson conducts the St. Louis Symphony in Saariaho’s Quatre Instants, featuring Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, a close friend and collaborator of the composer’s, for whom the work was written. When Ms. Mattila premiered the work at the 2003 Ekenäs festival, critics called the performance “irresistible” (Le Monde). Also on the program is Debussy’s Printemps and Stravinsky’s complete The Firebird. A pre-concert talk takes place at 7:00 p.m. with Mr. Robertson in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Carnegie Hall’s Director of Artistic Planning.

May 23: The Cleveland Orchestra
On Wednesday, May 23 at 8:00 p.m. Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducts The Cleveland Orchestra in the New York premiere of Saariaho’s Laterna Magica in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. The new work was inspired by the autobiography of Ingmar Bergman. Works by Brahms and Shostakovich complete the program.


Carnegie Hall’s Composer’s Chair was inaugurated in 1995, inviting composer appointees to collaborate with Carnegie Hall on creative aspects of the Hall’s activities. In 1999, the position was renamed for trustee and chairman emeritus Richard Debs and his wife, Barbara, in honor of their longstanding commitment to Carnegie Hall and its artistic goals. Beginning in the 2007–2008 season, the Debs Composer’s Chair was reconfigured as a one-year position. Previous holders of Carnegie Hall’s Debs Composer’s Chair include: Brad Mehldau (2010–2011), Louis Andriessen (2009–2010), Elliott Carter (2008–2009), Thomas Adès (2007–2008), John Adams (2003–2007), Pierre Boulez (1999–2003), and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (1995–1999).


About The Artists
Born in 1952 in Finland, Kaija Saariaho’s childhood was full of music, and she learned to play several instruments. She later studied at the famed Sibelius Academy, where—with fellow students Esa-Pekka Salonen and Magnus Lindberg, among others—she co-founded the Korvat auki! (Ears Open!) society, devoted to the study and performance of contemporary music neglected by established institutions. Ms. Saariaho’s later studies and research at Paris’s IRCAM had a major influence on her music. The characteristically sensuous and mysterious textures heard in her works are rooted in the combination of live music and electronics in her earlier compositions, and continue into her works without electronics. Although much of her catalogue comprises chamber works, she has turned increasingly to larger forces and broader structures since the mid-1990s, as exemplified in the operas L’Amour de loin, Adriana Mater, and Emilie, as well as the oratorio La Passion de Simone. Pianist Emanuel Ax played the world premiere of Ms. Saariaho’s chamber work, Je sens un deuxieme Coeur, in Zankel Hall in 2004, and the Emerson String Quartet performed the world premiere of her Terra Memoria in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage in 2008. Both works were Carnegie Hall commissions. Ms. Saariaho awards include the Wihouri Silbelius Prize, the Nemmers Prize for Music Composition, and the Sonning Music Prize. In 2015, she will be the judge of the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award.

Program Information for the 2011–2012 Carnegie Hall Debs Composer’s Chair Kaija Saariaho

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
AVANTI! CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Hannu Lintu, Conductor
Elizabeth Futral, Soprano
Heikki Nikula, Bass Clarinet
Avanti! Quartet

KAIJA SAARIAHO Nymphéa
LOTTA WENNÄKOSKI Kuule II
JUKKA TIENSUU Nemo
KAIJA SAARIAHO Emilie Suite (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

Pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 PM in Zankel Hall with Kaija Saariaho in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.

Tickets: $29, $39
___________________________________

Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
AVANTI! CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Hannu Lintu, Conductor
Markus Allan, Vocalist
Host to be announced

FINNISH TANGO: A JOURNEY TO THE FAIRY TALE LAND
KULLERVO LINNA "Iltarusko" (arr. Niemi)
TOIVO KÄRKI "On elon retki näin" (arr. Laine and Niemi)
TOIVO KÄRKI "Liljankukka"(arr. Niemi)
JANI UHLENIUS "Pilvet karaka- niin minäkin" (arr. Niemi)
PENTTI VIHERLUOTO "Punaiset lehdet" (arr. Niemi)
UNTO MONONEN "Satumaa" (arr. Niemi)
OSKAR MERIKANTO Kesäillan valssi
JEAN SIBELIUS Valse Triste
TAISTO WESSLIN "Tangon Kotimaa" (arr. Laine and Niemi)
RAMON ARCADO "Rio de la Plata" (arr. Igoni)
VEIKKO JUNTUNEN "Valkoiset linnut" (arr. Laine and Niemi)
ARVO KOSKIMAA "Syyspihlajan alla" (arr. Niemi)
KAJ CHYDENIUS "Viimeisestä illasta" (arr. Lintinen)

Tickets: $29, $39
___________________________________

Monday, March 5, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.
Zankel Hall
MAKING MUSIC: KAIJA SAARIAHO

Commentary by Kaija Saariaho
Solistes XXI, Vocal Ensemble
••Raphaële Kennedy, Soprano
••Céline Boucard, Soprano
••Maryseult Wieczorek, Soprano
••Sébastien Amadieu, Countertenor
••Laurent David, Tenor
••Edouard Hazebrouck, Tenor
••Jean-Sébastien Nicolas, Baritone
••Jean-Christophe Jacques, Baritone
Rachid Safir, Director
Jean-Baptiste Barrière, Video Artist
Jeremy Geffen, Series Moderator

VOIX, ESPACE

ALL-KAIJA SAARIAHO PROGRAM
Echo
Nuits, adieux
Lonh
From the Grammar of Dreams
Tag des Jahrs


Sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP

Tickets: $30
___________________________________

Friday, March 9, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
Weill Recital Hall
KAIJA SAARIAHO WITH ANSSI KARTUNEN MASTER CLASS


Catch a glimpse of the mentoring that goes on in a Weill Music Institute Professional Training Workshop, as Carnegie Hall’s Debs Composer’s Chair Kaija Saariaho and Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen, her frequent collaborator, pass along invaluable advice to teams of young composers and solo string players.

Professional Training Workshops are made possible, in part, by Mr. and Mrs. Nicola Bulgari and The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Tickets: $15
___________________________________

Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY

David Robertson, Music Director and Conductor
Karita Mattila, Soprano

CLAUDE DEBUSSY Printemps
KAIJA SAARIAHO Quatre Instants
IGOR STRAVINSKY The Firebird (complete)

Pre-concert talk starts at 7:00 PM in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage with David Robertson in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.

The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Solomon in support of the 2011-212 season.

Tickets: $32–$96
___________________________________

Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
Monday, March 12, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
KAIJA SAARIAHO WITH ANSSI KARTTUNEN YOUNG ARTISTS CONCERT


This final concert of Kaija Saariaho and Anssi Karttunen’s Weill Music Institute Professional Training Workshop features participating composers’ music performed by young solo string players, in addition to works by Saariaho. Hear music that is new and fresh, all prepared under the guidance of Carnegie Hall’s Debs Composer’s Chair and the dynamic Finnish cellist who is her frequent collaborator.

Professional Training Workshops are made possible, in part, by Mr. and Mrs. Nicola Bulgari and The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Tickets: $15
___________________________________

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA

Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director and Conductor
Yefim Bronfman, Piano

JOHANNES BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83
KAIJA SAARIAHO Laterna magica (NY Premiere)
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 54

The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel R. Lewis in support of the 2011-2012 season.

The Carnegie Hall Live broadcast series is sponsored by Duff & Phelps.

This Carnegie Hall Live broadcast is supported by Macy's.

Please note this concert is being broadcast live on WQXR Radio.

Tickets: $40–$122
___________________________________

Kaija Saariaho is the holder of the 2011–2012 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
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