Wednesday, February 17, 2010

[Ahem] Toot, toot...

Tomorrow night kicks off a surprising number of performances of my music in the coming months. I have to say I'm rather humbled by the interest. For anyone who'd like to come hear something:

Feb. 18 at Feeniks Club, 10.00 pm: The Golden Horns, sandwiched into their usual fun, wide-ranging program, give the first performances in Finland of my antiphonal fanfare Anthem II, as well as a set of four Georgian (as in "Republic of", not "State of") folk songs I arranged for them last year. Both pieces are being released on their new CD this spring.

March 13: Tommi Hyytinen (of Golden Horns fame) gives the world première of Northlands, for horn and string orchestra. The performance is in his hometown of Kokkola with the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Juha Kangas.

March 21: The Olaus Petri Church Choir and Peter Peitsalo give the première of my new psalm setting, Sion, prisa din Gud (Zion, praise thy God), as well as a repeat performance of Du kröner året (You crown the year).

April 8: My long-time collaborator, flutist Hanna Kinnunen, gives her fourth doctoral concert at Helsinki's German church. The program features the première of A world only dreamed, for alto flute, viola, mezzo-soprano and chromatic zither, to a text by Paul Rochberg (son of composer George), as well as works by Takemitsu and Rochberg himself. Violist Riitta-Liisa Ristiluoma, mezzo Jutta Seppinen and my lovely wife Hedi Viisma, who commissioned the piece, fill out the ensemble.

April 15: The Helsinki Guitar Duo perform The wine-dark sea on their concert at the Tampere Biennale.

April 17: Also at the Biennale, flutist Mario Caroli and pianist Keiko Nakayama perform my T.S. Eliot-inspired suite Ash-Wednesday, in a huge program featuring works by Sciarrino, Jukka Tiensuu, and my teacher, Veli-Matti Puumala.

May 10: Risto-Matti Marin gives the first complete performance in Helsinki of my hubristic, hour-long piano prelude cycle Leaves of Grass at the Sibelius Academy, in association with the DocMus department.

May 11: Accordionist Veli Kujala performs my Zen-quiet being the pine tree on his final doctoral concert, again at the Sibelius Academy. This piece has a rocky history of either being performed in a great acoustic but not making it onto tape, or being recorded in a terrible space. Hopefully this time we'll get both in order. Also on the program is my great friend Juhani Nuorvala's deliciously titled accordion trio What's A Nice Chord Like You Doing In A Piece Like This?

May 25: Hedi gives her second doctoral concert at Helsinki's beautiful Temppeliaukio Church, performing A world only dreamed once again. The program features Finnish and world premières of chamber works for chromatic zither by Märt-Matis Lill and Ilari Kaila, as well as Hedi's own arrangements of chamber works by Debussy and Ravel. The concert will be recorded for broadcast on Finnish radio.

June 21: The wine-dark sea receives its Japanese première in Tokyo, on a concert of Finnish music by Ensemble Nomad. I very much hope to make it over there.

July 12: The Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival hosts the world première of pine tree, dreaming (being the pine tree II) for string sextet. The Enesco Quartet does the honors, with Aurélie Deschamps, viola, and Tomas Djupsjöbacka, cello.

July also features a performance by Nils Schweckendiek and the Helsinki Chamber Choir of ad puram annihilationem meam, a piece they continue to make entirely their own, once again with dancer-choreographer Nina Hyvärinen bringing her quiet grace to the proceedings. Details when the program is published.

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