• Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012

    Acclaimed Finnish Composer Kaija Saariaho Continues Carnegie Hall Residency, March 5-23

    March Performances Include a Multimedia Making Music Program of Vocal Ensemble Works, Concert by the St. Louis Symphony with David Robertson and Karita Mattila, Plus Workshop for Young Composers and String Players with Saariaho and Anssi Karttunen
    The acclaimed Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho continues her season-long Carnegie Hall residency as holder of The Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair with an engaging Making Music series program entitled Voix, Espace on Monday, March 5 at 6:00 p.m. in Zankel Hall. The concert features five 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 join Carnegie Hall’s Director of Artistic Planning Jeremy Geffen for a pre-concert talk at 5:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall.

    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, and 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 and Monday, March 12, both at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall.

    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. The cycle employs four texts in the native language of the soprano and composer. Writer Amin Maalouf suggested the first three texts and provides an original fourth text that closes the cycle. Saariaho writes, “The apparent simplicity of Amin's texts gives space for music. The words and short phrases are codes which hide a rich world of sensations, colours, and fragrances.” 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.

    The culminating concert of Ms. Saariaho’s 2011-2012 residency, on
    Wednesday, May 23 at 8:00 p.m., features the New York premiere of Saariaho’s Laterna magica performed by Music Director and Conductor Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra. Ms. Saariaho’s new work consists of shifting mirages of sound and referential sonic gestures inspired by the memoirs of film director Ingmar Bergman. The program also includes Yefim Bronfman as soloist in Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83 and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 54. This concert will be broadcast live on WQXR (105.9 FM) and streamed on wqxr.org as part of the Carnegie Hall Live series. It is also broadcast on radio stations across the country, courtesy of American Public Media.

    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 latest 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.

    About the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall
    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 Artist
    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

    Monday, March 5, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.
    Zankel Hall

    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


    Nuits, adieux
    From the Grammar of Dreams
    Tag des Jahrs

    Sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP

    Tickets: $30

    Friday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m.
    Weill Recital Hall

    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 at 8:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

    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.

    Tickets: $32—$96

    Sunday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m.
    Monday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m.
    Zankel Hall

    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 at 8:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

    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.
    Ticket Information
    Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

    For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

    In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.
    # # #