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Our new composer Osmo Tapio Rihl

The Finnish composer Osmo Tapio Räihälä will be represented in our catalogues of contemporary music from now on. At the moment, we can report on the American premiere of his work “L’homme à la licorne” for soprano saxophone and piano on 21 March 2015 at Karkness Chapel in Cleveland, Ohio. The saxophonist will be Olli-Pekka Tuomisalo accompanied by the pianist Risto-Matti Marin.

Osmo Tapio Räihälä was born in 1964. He achieved his breakthrough as a composer with “Barlinnie Nine” (1999/2005), a homage to the Scottish football player Duncan Ferguson. This colourful work describes the numerous detours in the career of Ferguson, who became known as a “bad boy” of football. Alongside the solo concertos for horn and orchestra and for oboe and orchestra, both rich in tone colours, the composer has since written a series of compositions with markedly pictorial titles as well. The chamber music work “Roiku” (Fire) for 6 violoncelli, “Rautasade” (Iron Rain) for orchestra and “Zenith” for trumpet, flute, clarinet, violin and violoncello may serve as examples.

And Räihälä is not only a composer, but also well-known in his homeland from a large number of radio and television broadcasts. Unlike many of his composer colleagues of avant-garde music, Räihälä started out as a rock musician and turned to so-called serious music only at about the age of 20. He studied musicology at the Academies in Turku and Helsinki and composition with Harri Vuori. His works have meanwhile been regularly performed in over two dozen countries on five continents.

Räihälä‘s main area of focus is on instrumental music. The composer repeatedly refers to the influence of visual art on his works. He himself experiences music in a very visual way: colours, forms, lines, shadows, surfaces - all these visual associations are perceptible through stylistic change, motivic contrasts and clearly contoured melodic sequences.

21 March 2015
Cleveland (Ohio), Karkness Chapel
American premiere: Osmo Tapio Räihälä
“L’homme à la licorne” for soprano saxophone and piano
Olli-Pekka Tuomisalo (saxophone)
Risto-Matti Marin (piano)

Copyright of the photo: Markku Pihlaja


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