Kaija Saariaho turns 70 this year, and while audiences at the Helsinki Festival won’t be treated to a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’, the event will be marked with a different kind of sing-along when the Helsinki Chamber Choir performs all Saariaho’s a cappella pieces in the Temppeliaukio Church. It will also be the Finnish premiere of her most recent: Reconnaissance.
Saariaho was named ‘the best living composer in the world’ in a survey of contemporary composers conducted by BBC Music Magazine. The performers and setting for the celebration will be worthy of her music – a top choir of dedicated professionals and a venue cut into solid rock that’s like an instrument in itself.
The performance of the choral works will coincide with the Night of the Arts, and aptly so: this will be a celebration of both artist and arts.
Helsinki Chamber Choir
Nils Schweckendiek, director
Linnéa Sundfaer Casserly and Julia Heéger, soprano
Eleriin Müüripeal and David Hackston, alto
Martti Anttila and Mats Lillhannus, tenor
Sampo Haapaniemi and Jussi Linnanmäki, bass
Anna Kuvaja, piano
I-Han Fu, percussions
Aleksi Kotila, violin
Joasia Cieślak, cello
Eero Marttila, bass