Rautavaara, Einojuhani

Rautavaara, Einojuhani, 1928–2016, Finnish composer, b. Helsinki, studied Sibelius Academy, Helsinki (where he was later a professor of composition), and Juilliard. He is regarded as the finest Finnish composer since Sibelius. Stylistically, his early works were at first neoclassical, then twelve-tone and serialist, and later neoromantic. Rautaavra achieved a truly personal idiom in the 1980s with a more lush, tonal, and almost mystical musical approach. Prolific and widely recorded, he wrote eight symphonies, the best known of which are the seventh, the Angel of Light (1994), and the eighth, The Journey (2000). Other works include nine operas, among them Thomas (1985), Vincent (1987), The House of the Sun (1990), and Rasputin (2003); the popular Cantus arcticus (1972), a work for orchestra and birdsong; and concertos for orchestra and solo instruments, including three for piano, two each for violin and cello, and others for flute, organ, double bass, harp, clarinet, and percussion. He also wrote chamber music and choral and other vocal works.

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