Einojuhani Rautavaara

Einojuhani Rautavaara [ ɛi̯nɔjuhɑni rɑu̯tɑvɑ rɑ ː ] ( born October 9, 1928 in Helsinki) is a Finnish composer who has become known primarily for symphonic works. He is considered one of the most important living Finnish composer.


Rautavaara was the son of an opera singer and so came at birth in touch with music. Both parents died early, the boy was raised by an aunt. He studied piano in Turku and after high school in Helsinki at the Jean Sibelius Academy musicology and composition with Aarre Merikanto. Jean Sibelius was Rautavaara 1955 get a scholarship that had the Koussevitzky Foundation awarded the nonagenarian. Rautavaara was able to study at the Juilliard School of Music in New York with Vincent Persichetti and the Tanglewood Music Center with Roger Sessions and Aaron Copland. He graduated in 1957, then followed by a private study of the twelve-tone technique with Wladimir Vogel in Ascona.

After various activities as a teacher at the Jean Sibelius Academy, as a librarian and archivist with the Philharmonic Orchestra in Helsinki and as rector at Käpylä Music Institute in Helsinki, he was appointed in 1976 as professor of composition at the Jean Sibelius Academy, where he worked until 1990th for his compositions, he has received numerous national and international awards and prizes, including the Wihuri Sibelius prize and the "Pro Finlandia " medal.


The Haren mountain composers lexicon called Rautavaara " a complex and contradictory phenomenon ." Rautavaara began in the 1950s neoclassical in the wake of Anton Bruckner, then composed serially in the 1960s, suggested in 1969 in the first Piano Concerto neo-romantic tones to. A number of pieces of the 1970s so especially Cantus arcticus, the famous Concerto for Orchestra and tape recordings of bird songs, seem to mystical. since the 1980s years Rautavaara connects postmodern all styles of music, which he has mastered. the series methods of twelve-tone music, he combines with three-tone elements.

The romantic and mystical side of his work leads Rautavaara on two childhood experiences back: a common dream in which he is the biblical forefather Jacob wrestled with an angel like, and a Greek Orthodox episcopal ordination, which he attended with his parents. The treated has time and again in his works of the angel theme its origin also in his employment with the Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke, whose " First Elegy " he has set to music for eight -part mixed choir. Rautavaara assumes that his compositions already " exist another reality " in and it is his job to get them from one to the other world: " I firmly believe that compositions have their own will. "

Rautavaara Although primarily known for his symphonic works, and his concerts, but is next to Aulis Sallinen also the most prolific Finnish opera composer of today. He usually writes his librettos himself and processed in their as in his instrumental works mystical- romantic themes: in Thomas his monastery experience in Vincent the artist drama Vincent van Gogh, in Sonnenhaus past worship and nearness to death that Kivi again an artist drama that Aleksis Kivi, the first tight end in Finnish contemporary writer. His last opera so far treated the charismatic figure of Rasputin.

Works (selection)