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Aulis Sallinen at the Academic Bookstore in Helsinki, Finland, in 2009
|Born||9 April 1935|
|Notable work||Operas Ratsumies (The Horseman) and Punainen Viiva (The red Line)|
Aulis Sallinen (born 9 April 1935) is a Finnish contemporary classical music composer. His music has been variously described as "remorselessly harsh", a "beautifully crafted amalgam of several 20th-century styles", and "neo-romantic". Sallinen studied at the Sibelius Academy, where his teachers included Joonas Kokkonen. He has had works commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, and has also written seven operas, eight symphonies, concertos for violin, cello, flute, horn and English horn as well as several chamber works. He won the Nordic Council Music Prize in 1978 for his opera Ratsumies (The Horseman).
Childhood and studies
Sallinen was born in Salmi. During his childhood the family moved several times for his father's work, and during Evacuation of Finnish Karelia in 1944 the family relocated in Uusikaupunki, where Aulis Sallinen attended his schools.
His first instruments were violin and piano. He would play both jazz and classical music. He was known to be extremely creative, and spent much time during his teenage years improvising. After a while, he began writing his ideas down on paper, and began to do serious composition. He attended the Sibelius Academy of Music, and studied with a number of prestigious teachers such as Aarre Merikanto and Joonas Kokkonen.
Early career and operas
After graduating, Sallinen took a position as composition teacher at the Sibelius Academy, and continued composing. Among his pupils were i.e. the Austrian born Finnish composer Herman Rechberger and Jouni Kaipainen. He was appointed as the general manager of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1960, and held the position until 1969. He was the chairman of the board of the Society of Finnish Composers between 1971-74. Though he was a known teacher and was on many boards of directors, his compositions were not particularly noted until he was made "Artist Professor" by the Finnish government in 1976, letting him concentrate on composing.
Sallinen's first opera Ratsumies (The Horseman) premiered at Savonlinna Opera Festival in 1975. Together with Joonas Kokkonen's The Last Temptations (1975) it started a golden era of modern Finnish opera. Second opera, Punainen viiva (The Red Line), was commissioned by the Finnish National Opera. Sallinen's next opera Kuningas lähtee Ranskaan (The King Goes Forth to France) was a joint commission by the Covent Garden and the Finnish National Opera.
After receiving the lifelong art professorship, Sallinen devoted great amounts of time to his composing. He has revived standard forms and harmonies, but puts them together in very contemporary ways. He has received a number of commissions from some very renowned ensembles and has composed eight symphonies, including one using material from a proposed ballet on The Lord of the Rings and containing two mediaeval Finnish tunes from the Piae Cantiones. He has written seven operas and is well known as the composer of the title track of the Kronos Quartet's album Winter Was Hard.
- 1960 - awarded diploma from the Sibelius Academy.
- 1960-70 - administrator of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
- 1978 - Nordic Council Music Prize for The Horseman.
- 1981 - became the first person to be made a Professor of Arts for life by the Finnish Government, enabling him to concentrate on composing full-time.
- 1983 - Wihuri Sibelius Prize.
- 2004 - first in series of recordings of complete orchestral music released on the CPO label.
- The Horseman, Op. 32 (1974, Finnish: Ratsumies; Swedish: Ryttaren)
- The Red Line, Op. 46 (1978)
- The King Goes Forth to France, Op.53 (1983, Finnish: Kuningas lähtee Ranskaan)
- Kullervo, Op. 61 (1988)
- The Palace, Op. 68 (1991–1993, Finnish: Palatsi)
- King Lear, Op. 76 (1999)
- Castle in the Water, chronicle for a narrator, four singers, and chamber orchestra (2017, Finnish: Linna vedessä)
- Symphony No. 1, Op. 24 (1970–71)
- Symphony No. 2, Symphonic Dialogue, for percussionist and orchestra, Op. 29 (1972)
- Symphony No. 3, Op. 35 (1974–75)
- Symphony No. 4, Op. 49 (1978–79)
- Symphony No. 5, Washington Mosaics, Op. 57 (1984–85, r. 1987)
- Symphony No. 6, From a New Zealand Diary, Op. 65 (1989–90)
- Symphony No. 7, The Dreams of Gandalf, Op. 71 (1996)
- Symphony No. 8, Autumnal Fragments, Op. 81 (2001)
- Mauermusik, Op. 7 (1963)
- Variations for Orchestra, Op. 8 (1963)
- Chorali, for wind orchestra, Op. 22 (1970)
- Chamber Music I, for string orchestra, Op. 38 (1975)
- Chamber Music II, for alto flute and string orchestra Op. 41 (1976)
- Dies Irae, for soprano, bass, male choir and orchestra, Op. 47 (1978)
- Shadows, prelude for orchestra, Op. 52 (1982)
- Chamber Music III, The Nocturnal Dances of Don Juanquixote, for cello and string orchestra, Op. 58 (1985–86)
- Sunrise Serenade, Op. 63 (1989)
- Songs of Life and Death, for baritone, choir and orchestra, Op. 69 (1995)
- Palace Rhapsody for wind orchestra, Op. 72 (1996)
- Introduction and Tango Overture, for piano and string orchestra, Op. 74b (1997)
- A Solemn Overture (King Lear), Op. 75 (1997)
- Chamber Music IV, Metamorphoses of Elegy for Sebastian Knight, for piano and string orchestra, Op. 79 (2000)
- Chamber Music V, Barabbas Variations, for accordion (or piano) and string orchestra, Op. 80 (2000)
- Chamber Music VI, 3 invitations au voyage, for string quartet and string orchestra, Op. 88 (2006)
- Chamber Music VII, Cruseliana, for wind quintet and string orchestra, Op. 93 (2007)
- Chamber Music VIII, The Trees, All Their Green (Paavo Haavikko in memoriam), for cello and string orchestra, Op. 94 (2008)
- Violin Concerto, Op. 18 (1968)
- Cello Concerto, Op. 44 (1977)
- Flute Concerto, Harlequin, Op. 70 (1995)
- Horn Concerto, Campane ed Arie, Op. 82 (2002)
- Chamber Concerto, for violin, piano, and string orchestra, Op. 87 (2005)
- Concerto for Clarinet, Viola, and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 91 (2007) (also for clarinet, cello and chamber orchestra, Op. 91a)
- English Horn Concerto, Op. 97 (2010–11)
- String Quartet No. 1, Op. 2 (1958)
- String Quartet No. 2 Canzona, Op. 4 (1960)
- Quattro per quattro, Op. 12 (1965)
- String Quartet No. 3 Some Aspects of Peltoniemi Hintrik's Funeral March, Op. 19 (1969)
- Four Etudes for violin & piano, Op.21 (1970)
- String Quartet No. 4 Quiet Songs, Op. 25 (1971)
- Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 26 (1971)
- Metamorphora, for cello & piano, Op. 34 (1974)
- String Quartet No. 5 Pieces of Mosaic, Op. 54 (1983)
- From a Swan Song, for cello & piano, Op. 67 (1991)
- Barabbus Dialogues,for vocalists, narrator & chamber ensemble, Op. 84 (2003)
- Piano Quintet ...des morceaux oublies, Op. 85 (2004)
- Cello Sonata, Op. 86 (2004)
- Windy Winter in Provence for Tenor, Piano, Violin & Guitar, Op. 89 (2006)
- Mistral Music for Solo Flute, Op. 90 (2005) (also for flute & string quartet, Op. 90a)
- Piano Quintet No. 2 Three Kullervo Elegies, Op. 92 (2006)
- Preludes and Fugues for Solo Accordion, Op. 95 (2009)
- Piano Trio Les Visions Fugitives, Op. 96 (2010)
- "Die Virtuose Tafelmusik von Don Juanquijote" for Accordion & Cello, Op. 98 (2011)
- "...memories, memories..." for Children's Choir, Piano & Strings, Op. 99 (2011)
- Five Portraits of Women for Soprano, Horn & Chamber Orchestra, Op. 100 (2012)
- Baumgesang mit Epilog for Cello & Piano, Op. 101 (2013)
- Three Adagios for Organ, Op. 102 (2013)
- String Quartet No. 6, Op. 103 (2014)
Vocal and choral
- Songs from the Sea, Op. 33 for unaccompanied children's choir, based on Finnish folk songs and a poem by the composer's two sons
- Song Around a Song, Op. 50 (1980) - Four folk songs in Italian, Japanese, Finnish and English for unaccompanied children's choir
- The Iron Age: Suite, Op. 55, arranged from music for Finnish TV series based on the Kalevala
- The Beaufort Scale, Op. 56 (1984), humoresque for choir unaccompanied, based on the wind velocity scale
- Donal Henahan, "Music: Finnish Opera Offers Sallinen's 'Red Line.'" The New York Times. April 29, 1983.
- Jeremy Parsons, The Musical Times. Vol. 121, No. 1653 (Nov., 1980), pp. 693-695.
- "Sallinen, Aulis (1935 - )". Biografiakeskus (in Finnish). Retrieved 27 October 2016. (Registration required (help)).
- "Biography". all music guide. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
- "Aulis Sallinen". Ondine. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
- Antero Karttunen: Radion sinfoniaorkesteri 1927-2002, p. 78