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Kaija Saariaho Memorial Concert with The Carice Singers

Towards the Light

Sun 2 Jun

Kaija Saariaho Memorial Concert with The Carice Singers

Towards the Light

Kaija Saariaho Tag des Jahrs
Lotta Wennäkoski Valossa (Towards the light)
Kaija Saariaho Reconnaissance
Jonathan Harvey Plainsongs for Peace and Light
Kaija Saariaho Nuits, Adieux 
The Carice Singers
Riot Ensemble:
Marianne Schofield bass
Aaron Holloway-Nahum eletronics
Sam Wilson percussion
George Parris director

Kaija Saariaho, the revered Finnish composer, died on this day, June 2023. The Carice Singers mark the first anniversary with a sequence of her iridescent music, including her final, powerful choral work Reconnaissance.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of our time, Kaija Saariaho has left an enduring mark on the world of music. This concert, given by two ensembles and a conductor who knew Saariaho and who are passionate about the universe she created, aims to honour the Finnish composer’s limitless imagination.

Saariaho’s final choral work, Reconnaissance, described ‘a defining choral masterwork of our era’ (Classical Music Daily), contains an urgent message concerning mankind’s domination of planet earth. Dubbed a ‘science-fiction madrigal’, the five-movement work features quotations from the 1972 film Solaris and ends with a Requiem, which will have grave and intimate undertones in the context of this performance.

Alongside Reconnaissance will be Saariaho’s other choral milestones Nuits, Adieux and Tag des Jahrs and scintillating music from her contemporaries, Jonathan Harvey — with whom she shared a colour palette — and her former student Lotta Wennäkoski, whose Valossa will receive its UK premiere in this concert.

Generously supported by the Royal Philharmonic Society with funding from the RPS Susan Bradshaw Composers’ Fund in addition to the Nicholas John Trust, the Lucille Graham Trust, the Hinrichsen Foundation, the Anglo-Finnish Society, the Finnish Institute in the UK & Ireland, the Friends and Benefactors of The Carice Singers and a few anonymous donors.

This event will last approximately 70 minutes, without an interval.

About the Carice Singers:

The Carice Singers was founded by George Parris in 2011. Since being described as having a “beauty of tone” and “musicality” that “few can match” by Gramophone Magazine in 2016, it has carved out a unique place in the UK’s choral scene, defined by its sound, imagination and sense of adventure. Named after Elgar’s daughter, the group mixes a sustained focus on British music with a broader European outlook, aiming for fresh perspectives and performances of exceptional quality.

Recently, the group gave its debut performance at Three Choirs Festival alongside concerts for Music at Oxford’s festival ‘Arvo Pärt… and a Littlemore’ and the Joy & Devotion Festival of Polish Choral Music. They appear regularly at London’s St Martin-in-the-Fields and were Ensemble in Residence at Cheltenham Music Festival in 2021 and 2023.

Date:Sun 2 Jun
Start time:6pm (Doors: 5.30pm)
Venue:Hall One

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