Saariaho, Kaija (Anneli)

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Saariaho, Kaija (Anneli)

Saariaho, Kaija (Anneli) , significant Finnish composer; b. Helsinki, Oct. 14, 1952. She was a student of Heininen at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki (1976–81), and also attended the Univ. of Industrial Arts in Helsinki. She pursued training with Ferneyhough and Huber at the Freiberg im Breisgau Hochschule für Musik (diploma, 1983), and also attended the summer courses in new music in Darmstadt (1980, 1982) and worked in computer music at IRCAM in Paris (1982). From 1983 to 1986, and again from 1988 to 1992, she held a Finnish government artist’s grant. In 1986 she won the Kranichstein Prize in Darmstadt. She received the Prix Italia in 1988. In 1988–89 she held a composition fellowship at the Univ. of Calif, at San Diego. In 1989 she received the Austrian TV’s Ars Electronica. Saariaho has followed an advanced compositional path in which she makes use of tape, live electronics, and computers. Her Lonh for Soprano and Electronics (Vienna, Oct. 20, 1996) won the Nordic Council’s Music Prize in 2000. Her works are often of striking individuality and communicative power.


DRAMATIC : Maa, ballet (Helsinki, Oct. 31, 1991); Clémence, opera after Amin Maalouf (1999–2000; Salzburg, Aug. 15, 2000); several tape music scores for theater. ORCH.: Verblendungen for Orch. and Tape (1982–84; Helsinki, April 10, 1984); Du Cristal (1989–90; Helsinki, Sept. 5, 1990); …à la Fumée (1990; Helsinki, March 20, 1991); Graal Théâtre for Violin and Orch. (1994; London, Aug. 29, 1995; also for Violin and Chamber Orch., Helsinki, Sept. 14, 1997); Forty Heartbreaks (1998). chamber : Canvas for Flute (1978); Yellows for Horn and Percussion (1980); Im Traume for Cello and Piano (1980); Laconisme de l’aile for Flute (1982; Freiburg im Breisgau, March 1, 1983); Jardin Secret II for Harpsichord and Tape (1984; Savonlinna, July 12, 1986) and III: Nymphéa for String Quartet and Live Electronics (N.Y., May 20, 1987); Lichtbogen for Chamber Ensemble and Live Electronics (1985–86; Paris, May 13, 1986); Io for Chamber Ensemble, Tape, and Live Electronics (1986–87; Paris, July 27, 1987); Petals for Cello and Optional Electronics (Bremen, May 20, 1988); Oi kuu for Bass Clarinet and Cello (Warsaw, Sept. 15, 1990; also for Bass Flute and Cello); Amers for Cello, Chamber Ensemble, and Live Electronics (London, Dec. 8, 1992); NoaNoa for Flute and Electronics (Darmstadt, July 23, 1992); Près for Cello and Electronics (Strasbourg, Nov. 10, 1992); 6 Japanese Gardens for Percussion and Electronics (1993); Solar for Chamber Ensemble (Antwerp, Oct. 26, 1993); Nocturne for Violin (Helsinki, Feb. 16, 1994); Trois Rivières for Percussion Quartet and Electronics (Strasbourg, Sept. 25, 1994); Folia for Double Bass and Electronics (Lyons, March 23, 1995); Mirrors for Cello and Flute (Siegen, June 18, 1997); Spins and Spells for Cello (1997); Neiges for Cello Octet (Beauvais, May 9, 1998); Cendres for Alto Flute, Cello, and Piano (Essen, Sept. 30, 1998); Couleurs du Vent for Flute (1998; Kuhmo, July 26, 1999; also for Alto Flute, Lemi-Lappeenranta Festival, Aug. 4, 1999). VOCAL: Brüden (The Bride), song cycle for Soprano, 2 Flutes, and Percussion (1977); Jing for Soprano and Cello (1979); Ne; och inte (No and not), 3 songs for Women’s Quartet or Chorus (1979); Suomenkielinen sekakuorokappale (A Piece for Mixed Chorus in the Finnish Language; 1979); Preludi-Tunnustus-Postludi (Prelude-Confession-Postlude) for Soprano and Prepared Grand Piano (1980); Study for Life for Woman’s Voice, Dancer, Tape, and Light (1980); Kolme Preludia (3 Preludes) for Soprano and Organ (1980); …sah den Vögeln for Soprano, Flute, Oboe, Cello, and Prepared Piano (1981); Ju laägre solen for Soprano, Flute, and Guitar (1982; Freiburg im Breisgau, March 1, 1983; rev. 1985 as Adjö); Piipää for 2 Singers, Tape, and Live Electronics (1987); Grammaire des Rêves for Soprano, Alto, 2 Flutes, Harp, Viola, and Cello (1988; Paris, March 20, 1989); From the grammar of dreams for 2 Sopranos (Huddersfield, Nov. 24, 1988); Nuits, adieux for 4 Voices and Live Electronics (Witten, May 11, 1991; also for Chorus, 1996; Paris, March 20, 1997); Caliban’s Dream for Baritone, Guitar, Mandolin, Harp, and Double Bass (Brussels, March 13, 1993); Chêteau de l’ême for Soprano and Orch. (Salzburg, Aug. 9, 1996); Lonh for Soprano and Electronics (Vienna, Oct. 20, 1996); Die Aussicht for Soprano, Flute, Guitar, Violin, and Cello (1996; Manta, Italy, July 6, 1997; also for Soprano, Flute, Piano, and Cello, 1998); Miranda’s Lament for Soprano, Clarinet, Harp, Violin, and Contrabass (1997; Järvenpää, Jan. 13, 1998); Oltra mar for Chorus and Orch., after Amin Maalouf and Abou SaÎd (1998–99; N.Y., Nov. 11, 1999). electronic : Stilleben (1987–88).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire