Kalevi Aho

Composer. Born 9 March 1949
Kalevi Aho
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1949-03-09
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/2660777f-3722-44ab-84a2-acdefc31020e
Kalevi Aho

Kalevi Aho Biography (BBC)

Kalevi Aho has always thought naturally in the largest forms. And in an interview in 1992 in Tempo he acknowledged that, with this trait, he is lucky to live in Finland, ‘the best country in the world to be a composer. You can write operas and they get performed here. That’s not the case in Germany or England. There, if you write a symphony, you have to be the most famous composer if you want to get it performed.’

Although not particularly well-known in the UK – even in comparison with his younger compatriots Magnus Lindberg and Kaija Saariaho – Aho is now generally recognised as Finland’s leading living symphonist. So far he has composed 12 of them, the first three between the ages of 20 and 22, while he was still a student at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

Typically Aho’s orchestral works are long, highly contrapuntal and deeply serious, in a tradition that runs from Bruckner through Mahler – and his polar opposite, Sibelius – to Shostakovich and Alan Pettersson. This is especially true of his works of the 1970s, though in recent years he has broadened his palette. He is intensely aware of present-day pluralism in music, and has published a book of essays on the position of the composer in a post-modern society.

Born in 1949 at Forssa in Southern Finland, Aho studied with Einojuhani Rautavaara in Helsinki and with Boris Blacher in Berlin. From 1974 he lectured in musicology at Helsinki University, until 1988, when he became professor of composition at the Sibelius Academy. Since 1993 he has worked freelance. In addition to his symphonies, he has written four operas (the most recent, The Book of Secrets, was commissioned by Lahti Opera for the celebration of the Millennium), three chamber symphonies, concertos for piano, violin and cello, the polyglot work Pergamon (1990) for narrators, organ and four orchestral groups, and a large number of chamber works.

He has been a tireless campaigner for contemporary Finnish composers, and for leading figures from the past. Like Shostakovich, he has orchestrated Musorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death and has also edited and/or completed 18th-century Finnish string quartets and fragmentary scores by Sibelius and the Finnish master of the 1920s, Uno Klaami. Although (almost uniquely among Finnish composers) Aho has written no work based on the national epic, the Kalevala, he is instead the author of a comprehensive treatise on that poem and its enormous impact on Finnish music.

Profile © Calum MacDonald, 2003



Kalevi Aho Tracks

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Kalevi Aho
Theremin Concerto "Eight Seasons" (Midnight Sun)
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Theremin Concerto "Eight Seasons" (Midnight Sun)
Kalevi Aho
Frostwinter (Winter Frost) from Theremin Concerto - 8 Seasons
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Frostwinter (Winter Frost) from Theremin Concerto - 8 Seasons
Kalevi Aho
Minea
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Minea
Kalevi Aho
Symphonic Dances 'Hommage a Uuno Klami' - No.1 Prelude
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Symphonic Dances 'Hommage a Uuno Klami' - No.1 Prelude
Kalevi Aho
Wind Quintet No. 1: II. Vivace, leggiero - Allegro marcato
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Wind Quintet No. 1: II. Vivace, leggiero - Allegro marcato

Wind Quintet No. 1: II. Vivace, leggiero - Allegro marcato

Composer
Ensemble
Philharmonisches Bläserquintett Berlin
Kalevi Aho
Gejia, Chinese Images for Orchestra
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Gejia, Chinese Images for Orchestra
Kalevi Aho
Solo III for flute (2nd movement)
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Solo III for flute (2nd movement)
Kalevi Aho
Concerto for trombone and orchestra
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Concerto for trombone and orchestra
Bram Van Sambeek, Dmitri Slobodeniouk, Okko Kamu, Lahti Symphony Orchestra & Okko Kamu
Bassoon Concerto
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Bassoon Concerto
Kalevi Aho
'Hyonteissinfonia' - ii. The Foxtrot and Tango of the Butterflies
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'Hyonteissinfonia' - ii. The Foxtrot and Tango of the Butterflies
Kalevi Aho
Eight Seasons - a concerto for Theremin & Orchestra
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Eight Seasons - a concerto for Theremin & Orchestra
Kalevi Aho
String Quartet No 3 (2nd mvt)
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String Quartet No 3 (2nd mvt)
Kalevi Aho
Symphony No 7
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Symphony No 7
Kalevi Aho
Eight Seasons - Concerto for theremin & chamber orchestra: (Crusted snow - extract)
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Eight Seasons - Concerto for theremin & chamber orchestra: (Crusted snow - extract)
Kalevi Aho
Symphony No 1 (1st mvt) (feat. Osmo Vänskä & Lahti Symphony Orchestra)
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Symphony No 1 (1st mvt) (feat. Osmo Vänskä & Lahti Symphony Orchestra)
Kalevi Aho
Concerto for clarinet and orchestra
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Concerto for clarinet and orchestra
Kalevi Aho
Quintet for clarinet and string quartet (4th & 5th mvts)
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Quintet for clarinet and string quartet (4th & 5th mvts)
Kalevi Aho
Sieidi - concerto for percussion and orchestra
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Sieidi - concerto for percussion and orchestra
Kalevi Aho
Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet
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Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet
Kalevi Aho
The Dungbeetles (Grief over the Stolen Ball of Dung) from Symphony No 7
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The Dungbeetles (Grief over the Stolen Ball of Dung) from Symphony No 7
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