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Kaija Saariaho is 60

Alongside the Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina, who celebrated her 80th birthday in the autumn of 2011, Kaija Saariaho is one of the most highly respected and performed women composers of the present day. Saariaho will celebrate her 60th birthday on 14 October 2012. The world premiere of her first opera "L’amour de loin" at the Salzburg Festival on 15 August 2000 attracted special attention. The libretto, in French, was written by the author Amin Maalouf, who was born in Lebanon and now lives in Paris. The plot of the opera is based on "La vida breve" by the twelfth-century troubadour Jaufré Rudel and focuses on a fairytale-like and tragic love.

Saariaho's opera "Adriana Mater" received its German premiere on 12 March 2011 at the Osnabrück Theatre.

"Of course, music is of the first priority and is, for me, the most important way of describing the world", the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho once said. "Even though music is what interests me most today, and my solutions for expressing things are of a musical nature, I do not think in separate categories. In the entirely personal way that I have developed of perceiving things, there is certainly a strongly synaesthetic component that gives great importance to the visual side. I believe that those who listen to my music also sense this."

Current CD and DVD Releases with Works of Kaija Saariaho:

Spectral Strands (DVD)
Garth Knox, Brian O' Reilly, Götz Dipper, Joachim Goßmann, Michael Edwards
(Saariaho Vent Nocturne)
WERGO 20625

"L’amour de loin"
Soloists, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
2 SACD - harmonia mundi HMC801937.38

"Notes on Light", "Mirage", "Quatres Instants", "Orion"
Orchestre de Paris, Christoph Eschenbach, Anssi Karttunen, Karita Mattila


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