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Ebook Information

Kaija Saariaho

Introducing a bold contemporary composer whose work embraces both technology and traditional structures

This book is the first comprehensive study of the music and career of contemporary composer Kaija Saariaho. Born in Finland in 1952, Saariaho received her early musical training at the Sibelius Academy, where her close circle included composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has since become internationally known and recognized for her operas L'amour de loin and Adriana Mater and other works that involve electronic music. Her influences include the spectral analysis of timbre, especially string sounds, micropolyphonic techniques, the visual and literary arts, and sounds in the natural world.

Pirkko Moisala approaches the unique characteristics of Saariaho's music through composition sketches, scores, critical reviews, and interviews with the composer and her trusted musicians. Drawing extensively from this material, Moisala describes the development of Saariaho's career and international reception, the characteristics of her musical expression, and the progression of her compositional process.

"This insightful book is a foundational resource for anyone seeking an understanding of Saariaho's music. It is a stimulant to the imagination and the creative spirit."--Linda Dusman, composer, sound artist, and chair of the department of music, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

"A significant contribution. An in-depth study of the life and music of a critically acclaimed yet controversial composer who is redefining the boundaries between music and noise."--Ellen K. Grolman, author of Joan Tower: The Comprehensive Bio-Bibliography


Pirkko Moisala is a professor of musicology at Helsinki University, Finland, and a coeditor of the anthology Music and Gender.

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