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Aulis Sallinen at the Academic Bookstore in Helsinki, Finland in 2009

Aulis Sallinen (born April 9, 1935) is a Finnish contemporary classical music composer. He writes in a modern, though tonal and not experimental music style. He studied at the Sibelius Academy, where his teachers included Joonas Kokkonen. He has had works commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, and has also written 6 operas, 8 symphonies, a Violin Concerto and any number of chamber works. He won the Nordic Council Music Prize in 1978 for his opera Ratsumies (The Horseman).

Contents

Childhood and studies

Sallinen was born in Salmi, in an area which was conquered by the USSR when he was nine. His first instruments were violin and piano. He would play both jazz and classical music. He was known to be extremely creative, and spent much time during his teenage years improvising. After a while, he began writing his ideas down on paper, and began to do serious composition. He attended the Sibelius Academy of Music, and studied with a number of prestigious teachers.

Early adult life

After graduating, Sallinen took a position as composition teacher at the Sibelius Academy, and continued composing. In his mid 20's, he was put on the board of directors of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He became chairman of the board of Finnish Composers ten years after. Though he was a known teacher and was on many boards of directors, his compositions were not particularly noted until he was made "Professor of Arts for Life" by the Finnish government, giving him money so he could focus more on composition.

Later life

After receiving that award, Sallinen devoted great amounts of time to his composing. He has revived standard forms and harmonies, but puts them together in very contemporary ways. He has received a number of commissions from some very renowned groups and has composed eight symphonies, including one using material from a proposed ballet on The Lord of the Rings and containing two mediaeval Finnish tunes from the Piae Cantiones. He has written six operas, and is well-known as the composer of the title track of the Kronos Quartet's album Winter was Hard.

Career highlights

  • 1960 - awarded diploma from the Sibelius Academy.
  • 1960-70 - administrator of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
  • 1978 - Nordic Council Music Prize for The Horseman.
  • 1981 - becomes the first person to be made a Professor of Arts for life by the Finnish Government, enabling him to concentrate on composing full-time.
  • 1983 - Wihuri International Sibelius Prize.
  • 2004 - first in series of recordings of complete orchestral music released on the CPO label.

Selected works

Symphonies

  • Symphony No. 1, Op. 24 (1971)
  • Symphony No. 2 Symphonic Dialogue, Op. 29 (1972)
  • Symphony No. 3, Op. 35 (1975)
  • Symphony No. 4, Op. 49 (1979)
  • Symphony No. 5 Washington Mosaics, Op. 57 (1985-1987)
  • Symphony No. 6 From a New Zealand Diary, Op. 65 (1990)
  • Symphony No. 7 The Dreams of Gandalf, Op. 71 (1996)
  • Symphony No. 8 Autumnal Fragments, Op. 81 (2001)

Orchestral

  • Mauermusik, Op. 7 (1963)
  • Variations for Orchestra, Op. 8 (1963)
  • Choralifor wind orchestra, Op. 22 (1970)
  • Chamber Music I, Op. 38 (1975)
  • Chamber Music II, for alto flute and string orchestra Op. 41 (1976)
  • Dies Irae, for soprano, bass, male choir and orchestra, Op. 47 (1978)
  • Shadows, Op. 52 (1982)
  • Chamber Music III The Nocturnal Dances of Don Juan Quixote, Op. 58 (1983; cello, strings)
  • Sunrise Serenade, Op. 63 (1989)
  • Songs of Life and Death, Op. 69 (1995; baritone, choir, orchestra)
  • Palace Rhapsody, Op. 72 (1996)
  • Introduction and Tango Overture for piano & strings, Op. 74b (1997)
  • A Solemn Overture, Op. 75 (1997)
  • Chamber Music IV Metamorphosis, for piano and strings, Op. 79 (2000)
  • Chamber Music V Barabbas Variations, for accordion and strings Op. 80 (2000)
  • Chamber Music VI Trois invitations au voyage, Op. 88 (2006)

Concertos

  • Violin Concerto, Op. 18 (1968)
  • Cello Concerto, Op. 44 (1977)
  • Flute Concerto Harlekiini, Op. 70 (1995)
  • Horn Concerto Campane ed Arie, Op. 82 (2002)
  • Chamber Concerto, for violin, piano and chamber orchestra, Op. 87 (2005)
  • Concerto for clarinet, viola and orchestra, Op. 91 (2007) (also for clarinet, cello and orchestra, Op. 91a)

Chamber music

  • String Quartet No. 1, Op. 14 (1958)
  • String Quartet No. 2 Canzona, Op. 4 (1960)
  • Quattro per quattro, Op. 12 (1965)
  • String Quartet No. 3 Some Aspects of Peltoniemi Hintrik's Funeral March, Op. 19 (1969)
  • Four Etudes for violin & piano, Op.21 (1970)
  • String Quartet No. 4 Quiet Songs, Op. 25 (1971)
  • Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 26 (1971)
  • Metamorphora, for cello & piano, Op. 34 (1974)
  • String Quartet No. 5 Pieces of Mosaic, Op. 54 (1983)
  • From a Swan Song, for cello & piano, Op. 67 (1991)
  • Piano Quintet ...des morceaux oublies, Op. 85 (2004)
  • Cello Sonata, Op. 86 (2004)

Operas

  • The Horseman, Op. 32 (1974, Ratsumies (Finnish), Ryttaren (Swedish))
  • The Red Line, Op. 46 (1978)
  • The King goes forth to France, Op.53 (1983, Kuningas lähtee Ranskaan (Finnish))
  • Kullervo, Op. 61 (1988)
  • The Palace, Op.68 (1991-1993, Palatsi (Finnish))
  • King Lear, Op. 76 (1999)

Recordings

External links








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