'It is my belief that music is great if, at some moment, the listener catches "a glimpse of eternity through the window of time" ... this, to my mind, is the only true justification for all art. All else is of secondary importance.' - Einojuhani Rautavaara
The Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara was born on 9 October 1928 in Helsinki. He studied at Helsinki University, at the Sibelius Academy (with Aarre Merikanto), the Juilliard School (with Vincent Persichetti), Tanglewood (with Aaron Copland and Roger Sessions), Ascona (Vladimir Vogel) and Cologne (Rudolf Petzold).
Although generally described as a mystic (he believes that his music has a will of its own, existing already in another dimension, and that his task as mediator is merely to bring it to this world), his music has gone through various phases, including Nordic neo-Classical, serialist, neo-Romantic and even a synthesis of these styles.
Some important works are A Requiem in Our Time (a prize-winning brass band piece from 1953), a series of eight symphonies including Arabescata (No 4, from 1962, Finland's only serialist symphony), and the popular Cantus Articus of 1972 which uses aleatoric and modal elements with recorded birdsong.
A selection of M&V articles about Einojuhani Rautavaara
Ensemble. Silvery Tones - Maria Nockin was at the opening concert of Phoenix Chorale's 2012-13 season
Ensemble. Born to Excel - Recent concerts in London, heard by Bill Newman
CD Spotlight. A class act - Finnish music for strings, reviewed by Greg Barns. 'Finland's prodigious musical talent is once again on display ...'
Record box. Firm conviction - Basil Ramsey listens to the music of Einojuhani Rautavaara