Finnish composer of contemporary music kaija Saariaho, considered one of the most important of her time, died this Friday in Paris at the age of 70, her family and the Chester Music record company announced in separate statements. “She fought the disease with all her might and with grace,” Chester Music said. Her family specified that she died “in her bed, in her house in Paris.” Saariaho was one of the few women who managed to break through the glass ceiling in the male-dominated composition industry, to stand out among a whole generation of Finnish artists.
creator of 120 worksbetween operas, ballets, works for orchestra and for chamber groups, Saariaho assured in 2021 in an interview with EL PERIÓDICO that “music is communication, it must reach people.”
In 2022, she was awarded the French music prize Victoires de la Musique Classique for her opera ‘Innocence‘ (Innocence), on a school shooting. The creation of that work took him seven years and two of his compatriots also participated in it, the novelist Sofi Oksanen -who wrote the original libretto- and the conductor Susanna Mälkki.
Before thatSaariaho will He made himself known with another creation, ‘L’Amour de loin’ (Love from afar), in 2000, based on a libretto by writer Amin Maalouf. Later, it was performed at the New York Metropolitan Opera.
The composer was born in helsinki in 1952, in a family that was not related to music. As a child, she learned to play the piano and the fiddle. He studied composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and in Germany. In 1982 she settled in Paris and two years later she married the French composer Jean-Baptiste Barrière.
In March 2023, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö awarded her the honorary title of Academician of the Arts, which is held by only a handful of artists.