Kaija Saariaho

Kaija Saariaho, the Finnish composer, has lived and worked in Paris since 1982. She studied composition under Paavo Heininen at the Sibelius Academy and later at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg with Brian Ferneyhough and Klaus Huber. In 1982 she attended courses in computer music at IRCAM in Paris, since then the computer has been an important element of her composing technique.

Recent works include a violin concert, Graol Théâtre, for Gidon Kremerpremiered at the 1995 BBC Proms and a major work for chorus and orchestra, Oltra mar, which was premiered by the New York Philharmonic and Kurt Masur on 11 November 1999, a part of their millennium series of commissions.

These last three projects point to Kaija Saariaho's next major work her first opera L'Amour de loin. A co-commission from the Salzburg Festival and Théâtre du Châtelet, L'Amour de loin is based on La Vida Breve of Jaufre Rudel, Prince of Blaye, one of the first great troubadours of the 12th century. The libretto has been written by the French-Lebanese author Amin Maalouf. L'Amour de loin will be premiered on 15 August 2000 at the Salzburg Festival, directed by Peter Sellars, conducted by Kent Nagano, and with Dawn Upshaw singing the title role.

Works presented