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The First Performances of Rautavaara’s Variations for five

(April 2014)

Einojuhani Rautavaara has three world premieres in a matter of months

Einojuhani Rautavaara’s output continues to impress, and 2014 is no exception for the famed Finnish composer. On March 6, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Edward Gardner and featuring soloist Gerald Finley, gave the world premiere of Rautavaara’s orchestration of six songs by Jean Sibelius titled In the Stream of Life (2013) in Bergen, Norway. The collection of songs, orchestrated for solo baritone and orchestra, uses texts by European poets Ernst Josephson, Richard Dehmel, and Johan Ludvig Runeberg. Clocking in at 15 minutes, In the Stream of Life was co-commissioned by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

For more information about In the Stream of Life, click here.
To view a score of In the Stream of Life, click here.

On April 10, the world premiere of Rautavaara’s second string quintet, Variations for five (2013), will be performed by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center when it travels to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC—part of CMS on Tour. The following day (April 11), CMS comes back to New York City to give the New York premiere of the work at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Variations for five for two violins, viola, and two cellos is approximately 16 minutes and was co-commissioned by the Library of Congress, Dina Koston and the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

For more information about Variations for five, click here.

Another upcoming world premiere will occur on May 31 at London’s Wigmore Hall: the voice and piano version of Rautavaara’s song cycle Rubaiyat (2014) will be performed by baritone Gerald Finley and pianist Julius Drake. Running approximately 20 minutes, Rubaiyat is a selection of the eponymous collection of Persian poetry translated by Edward FitzGerald. The work was commissioned by Wigmore Hall with the support of André Hoffmann, President of the Fondation Hoffmann, a Swiss grant-making foundation. An orchestral version is forthcoming.

For more information about Rubaiyat, click here.

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