Kaija Saariaho


Kaija Saariaho is one of a group of Finnish artists whose works have achieved international fame. Kaija Saariaho studied composition in Helsinki, Freiburg and Paris, where she has lived since 1982. Her research at IRCAM (Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music) had a great influence on her musical work. Her works are characterised by a lush yet mysterious character, created by combining live music with electronic sounds. Even though a large part of Kaija Saariaho's repertoire comprises chamber music, she turned to larger structures from the mid-nineties onwards. She created among other works the operas L'amour de loin and Adriana Mater or the oratorio La Passion de Simone. Kaija Saariaho first worked with choreographer Wayne McGregor in 2009 for Limen. The composition Circle Map, on which choreographer McGregor's 2018 new creation for the Bayerisches Staatsballett was based, dates from 2012. Kaija Sasriaho died in May 2023 at the age of 70.