Kaija Saariaho named Musical America's Composer of the Year 2008 (23.11.2007)

Musical America has announced its 2008 Awards and has named Kaija Saariaho Composer of the Year.

"The beneficiary of Finland’s remarkable musical education system, Saariaho is among the few contemporary composers to achieve public acclaim as well as universal critical respect. In the last decade alone she has had commissions from the major orchestras of Cleveland, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Paris," writes Susan Elliott of Musical America.

The Awards will be presented in a ceremony at Lincoln Center, New York, on December 13, 2007. The Musician of the Year for 2008 will be soprano Anna Netrebko, and the Awards of Conductor, Instrumentalist, and Ensemble of the Year will go to Robert Spano, Charles Rosen and Chanticleer.

The Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts has been an industry standard for over a century. Recognising artistic excellence and achievement in the arts, the Musician of the Year Award was begun in 1960, with Awards for Composer, Conductor, Instrumentalist, and Vocalist of the Year added in 1992; Ensemble of the Year in 1995. Finns who have previously won a Musical America Award include Karita Mattila (Musician of the Year 2005), Osmo Vänskä (Conductor of the Year 2005) and Esa-Pekka Salonen (Conductor of the Year 2006).

Ondine and Kaija Saariaho have maintained close ties for over ten years, with recordings of Quatre instants (featuring Karita Mattila, ODE 1100-5), Cinq reflets de L'Amour de loin (Pia Freund, Gabriel Suovanen and the Finnish RSO under Jukka-Pekka Saraste, ODE 1049-2), as well as Du cristal and other works performed by Kronos Quartet and the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen (ODE 1047-2), to name only a few. Ondine's next CD release of Kaija Saariaho's works is scheduled for autumn 2008 and will feature the recent composition Mirage, featuring soprano Karita Mattila, cellist Anssi Karttunen and the Orchestre de Paris under Christoph Eschenbach, coupled with Cello Concerto and Orion for Orchestra.

For further information about the 2008 Musical America Awards, please visit the website of Musical America.

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