Works Discography

Kaija Saariaho (1952-2023)

"...among the few contemporary composers to achieve public acclaim as well as universal critical respect." (Musical America, Composer of the Year Award 2008)

Kaija Saariaho is today one of the world's most significant contemporary composers. In 2008, she was named 'Composer of the Year' by Musical America. In addition, she received several internationally distinguished awards, including the Grawemeyer Composition Award for her opera L'Amour de loin in 2003. In 1997, she was awarded one of France's highest cultural honours, the title 'Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres'.

Kaija Saariaho was commissioned by the BBC, Ircam, the New York Philharmonic, the Lincoln Center in New York, the Salzburg Music Festival, the Théâtre de Châtelet in Paris and the Finnish National Opera, among others.

In her works, Kaija Saariaho frequently draws inspiration from extra-musical sources, be they the night sky, the natural environment or literature. Saariaho studied music and fine arts in parallel before taking up composition, the latter at the graphic arts department of the University of Art and Design Helsinki. She studied composition with Paavo Heininen at the Sibelius Academy from 1976 to 1981 and continued with Brian Ferneyhough at the Freiburg Music Academy, completing her diploma in 1983.

Kaija Saariaho settled to Paris in 1982.

More information:
Official Website
Chester Novello
Finnish Music Information Centre
ARTICLE: The New York Times
AUDIO: Kaija Saariaho talks about her work

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...à la fumée, for alto flute, cello and symphony orchestra (1990)
Adjö (1982/85)
Aure for violin and viola
Caliban's Dream (1992)
Calices for violin and piano (2009)
Cendres (1998) for alto flute, cello and piano
Changing Light for soprano and violin
Ciel d'hiver for orchestra
Cinq reflets de 'L'Amour de loin' (2001)
Clarinet Concerto "D'OM LE VRAI SENS" (2010)
Cloud Trio (2009) for violin, viola and cello
Couleurs du vent
Die Aussicht (1996)
Die Aussicht for soprano and string quartet
Dolce tormento
Dreaming Chaconne (2010)
Du cristal for symphony orchestra (1989-1990)
Du gick, flög (1982)
Du gick, flög for soprano and cello
Fall (from Maa)
Fleurs de Neige for string quartet
From the Grammar of Dreams (1988)
Graal théâtre, for solo violin and chamber orchestra (1997)
Grammaire des rĂŞves (1988)
II. Sempre dolce, ma energico, sempre a tempo (from Cloud Trio)
Il pleut (1986)
Je sens un deuxième coeur (2003) for viola, cello and piano
L'Amour de loin (from Cinq reflets de l'amour de loin)
Laconisme de l'aile
La Passion de Simone
Laterna Magica (2008)
Leino Songs (2007)
Lichtbogen, for nine musicians and live electronics (1986)
Lonh, for soprano and electronics (1996)
Maa - Ballet Music in Seven Scenes (1991)
Memento mori (from Orion)
Mirage (2007; chamber version) for soprano, cello and piano
Mirage, for soprano, cello and orchestra (2007)
Miranda's Lament (1997)
Mirrors I
Mirrors II
Mirrors III
Nej och inte (1979)
NoaNoa, for flute and electronics (1992)
Nocturne for violin solo (1994)
Nocturne for viola
Notes on Light, for cello and orchestra (2006)
Nymphéa for string quartet and electronics (1987)
Nymphéa Reflection (2001)
Oi kuu
Oi kuu, for bass clarinet and cello (1990)
Oltra mar (1998-99)
On fire (from Notes on Light)
Orion, for orchestra (2002)
Petals (1988)
Preludi-Tunnustus-Postludi (1980)
Première Station (from La Passion de Simone)
Presentiments (from Émilie Suite)
Près, for cello and electronics (1992)
Quatre instants (2002)
Quatre instants (2002) (Orchestral version)
River (from True Fire)
Sept papillons, for solo cello (2000)
Serenatas (2008) for percussion, cello and piano
Six Japanese Gardens, for percussion and electronics (1995)
Solar (1993)
Sombre I-III
Spins and Spells for cello solo (1997)
Spins and spells (1996)
Sua katselen (from Leino Songs)
Suomenkielinen sekakuorkappale (Piece for mixed choir in Finnish) (1979)
Terra Memoria for String Orchestra (2009)
Terra Memoria for string quartet
Tocar for violin and piano (2010)
Trans for harp and orchestra
True Fire for baritone and orchestra
Ultime Station (from La Passion de Simone)
Vent nocturne for viola and electronics (2006)
Émilie Suite
…de la Terre for violin and electronics
full discography

Discography (extract)

Kaija Saariaho

70 Years

(Digital album)


ODE 1407-2

Released 01/2023

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Kaija Saariaho

True Fire for baritone and orchestra

Ciel d'hiver for orchestra

Trans for harp and orchestra

Gerald Finley, bass-baritone

Xavier de Maistre, harp

Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Hannu Lintu, conductor

ODE 1309-2

Released 05/2019

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Esa-Pekka Salonen

Kaija Saariaho

Works for Solo Cello

Wilhelmina Smith, cello

ODE 1294-2

Released 03/2019

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Finland 100

A Century of Finnish Classics

5 CD collection celebrating 100 years of Finland's independence

Orchestral Works I & II


Vocal Works

Chamber Music

Various Finnish artist, orchestras and conductors

ODE 1300-2Q


Released 11/2016

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