The opening concert of Music nova 2017, conducted by new Artistic Director André de Ridder, features both world and Finnish premieres: two fresh voices of the next generation of Finnish composers as well as two internationally renowned composers, who represent groundbreaking developments of contemporary classical music in the 21st century.
As a European premiere, The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra is to perform Play by young American composer Andrew Norman. The piece is a recent winner of the Grawemeyer Award and has garnered considerable attention and critical acclaim. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition, and critic and musicologist William Robin said it “might be the best orchestral work that the twenty-first century has seen thus far.” In October 2016, the Los Angeles Philharmonic gave the premiere performance of Play in its revised form. Play will replace the premiere of Tyondai Braxton’s TELEKINESIS.
A unique voice in new music, Michel Van der Aa is hailed as one of the most distinctive of the younger composers in Europe today, combining composition with film and stage direction, and script writing. Spaces of Blank for mezzo-soprano, orchestra and soundtrack is set to texts by Emily Dickinson, Rozalie Hirs and Anne Carson. The common element of the poems is the use of space as an analogy for anxiety.
The new Finnish work at the FRSO’s concert will be Reachings by a young composer Sebastian Hilli. The piece won the Toru Takemitshu Composition Contest in 2015 and is now heard for the first time in Finland. The concert also showcases the premiere of an orchestral work by another up and coming Finnish composer, Sauli Zinovjev.