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Aho, Kalevi

Aho, Kalevi

Aho, Kalevi, prominent Finnish composer, pedagogue, and writer on music; b. Forssa, March 9, 1949. He was a student of Rautavaara at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki (composition diploma, 1971) and of Blacher at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik and Darstellende Kunst in Berlin (1971–72). From 1974 to 1988 he lectured on musicology at the Univ. of Helsinki, and then was acting prof. of composition at the Sibelius Academy (1988–93). He has written numerous articles on music for various publications, as well as the vol. Suomen musükki (Helsingissá, 1995). Among his honors are the Leonie Sonning Prize of Denmark (1974) and the Henrik Steffens Prize of Germany (1990). After composing in a neo-Classical vein, he embraced a more modern idiom. In his later works, his style became refreshingly varied, ranging from the traditional to the postmodern.


DRAMATIC: Avain (The Key), dramatic monologue for Singer and Chamber Orch. (1978-79; Helsinki, Sept. 4, 1979); Hyönteiselämää (Insect Life), opera (1985-87; Helsinki, Sept. 27, 1996). ORCH.: 10 syms.: No. 1 (1969; Helsinki, Feb. 18, 1971), No. 2 (1970; Helsinki, April 17, 1973), No. 3, Sinfonia concertante No. 1, for Violin and Orch. (1971-73; Helsinki, Feb. 20, 1975), No. 4 (1972-73; Helsinki, March 12, 1974), No. 5 (1975-76; Helsinki, April 19, 1977), No. 6 (1979-80; Helsinki, Feb. 13, 1980), No. 7, Hyönteissinfonia (Insect Symphony; Helsinki, Oct. 26, 1988), No. 8 for Organ and Orch. (1993; Lahti, Aug. 4, 1994), No. 9, Sinfonia concertante No. 2, for Trombone and Orch. (1993-94; Helsinki, Sept. 2, 1994), and No. 10 (1996; Lahti, Feb. 6, 1997); 2 chamber syms. for Strings: No. 1 (Helsinki, Aug. 22, 1976) and No. 2 (1991-92; Kokkola, Feb. 9, 1992); Violin Concerto (1981; Helsinki, Sept. 29, 1982); Hiljaisuus (Silence; Finnish Radio, Dec. 23, 1982; first public perf., Helsinki, Oct. 9, 1985); Cello Concerto (1983-84; Helsinki, Sept. 1, 1984); Fanfare for YS for Brass Ensemble (Helsinki, April 18, 1986); Piano Concerto (1988-89; Helsinki, Aug. 29, 1990); Paloheimo Fanfare (Lahti, Aug. 31, 1989); Pergamon for 4 Instrumental Groups, 4 Reciters, and Electric Organ for the 350th anniversary of the Univ. of Helsinki (Helsinki, Sept. 9, 1990). CHAMBER: 3 string quartets: No. 1 (suppressed), No. 2 (Helsinki, Nov. 18, 1970), and No. 3 (Helsinki, Oct. 6, 1971); Quintet for Oboe and String Quartet (1973; Jyväskylä, July 2, 1974); Sonata for Solo Violin (1973; Helsinki, April 17, 1978); Prelude, Toccata, and Postlude for Cello and Piano (1974; Helsinki, Feb. 14, 1977); Solo I for Violin (1975; Kaustinen, Jan. 26, 1986) and III for Flute (1990-91; Helsinki, April 14, 1991); Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Violin, Viola, and Cello (1977; Helinki, March 24, 1983); Quintet Bassoon and String Quartet (1977; Helsinki, Jan. 16, 1978); Quartet for Flute, Alto Saxophone, Guitar, and Percussion (Amsterdam, Oct. 1, 1982); Oboe Sonata (1984-85; Helsinki, March 26, 1985); 2 sonatas for Solo Accordion: No. 1 (1984; Kuhmo, July 29, 1989) and No. 2 (1990; Ikaalinen, June 8, 1991); 3 Melodies for 1 to 4 Kanteles (1984; Kaustinen, June 1985); Inventions for Oboe and Cello (1986); Quartetto piccolo for 3 Violins and Cello or String Quartet (1989); Nuppu for Flute and Piano (Helsinki, Dec. 8, 1991); Halla for Violin and Piano (1992; Kuhmo, July 27, 1994); Epilogue for Trombone and Organ (1994); Quintet for Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass (Lahti, Dec. 7, 1994). KEYBOARD: Piano: Sonata (Helsinki, Sept. 6, 1980); 2 Easy Pieces for Children (1983); Solo II (1985; Helsinki, Feb. 27, 1986); Sonatine (1993). Organ: Ludus Solemnis (1978); In memoriam (1980); 3 Interludes (1993; arr. from the Sym. No. 8; Copenhagen, March 1994). VOCAL: Jäähyväiset Arkadialle for Voice and Piano (1971); Lasimaalaus (Stained Glass) for Women’s Chorus (Forssa, May 16, 1975); Kolme laulua elämästä (3 Songs about Life) for Tenor and Piano (1977); Hiljaisuus (Silence) for Chorus (1978; Helsinki, April 23, 1986); Sheherazade for Chorus (1978; Tampere, June 2, 1979); Kyynikon paratüsi (A Cynic’s Paradise) for Tenor and Chamber Ensemble (Tampere, April 30, 1991; also for Tenor and Piano); Hyvät ystävät (Dear Friends) for Baritone and Orch. (Helsinki, Oct. 17, 1992); Veet välkkyy taas (The Waters Shimmer Once More) for Men’s Chorus (Espoo, May 17, 1992); Mysteerio for Women’s Chorus (Forssa, Nov. 20, 1994). OTHER: Various orchestrations and arrangements.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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