Catalonian pianist Adrian Blanco performs a retrospective concert of the works of the beloved Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara.
Selected works include Sonata No. 1, op. 50: Christus und die Fischer, Fuoco, Narcissus, and Passionale, to name a few.
About Adrian Blanco
Adrian Blanco is an accomplished concert pianist and chamber musician praised for his technical virtuosity and musical understanding. His performances have been described by Spanish newspaper “Ara” as “exquisite” and “honest.”
Since his debut as a soloist at the age of 15 performing W. A. Mozart’s Kv. 466 concert with the Orchestra of Santa Coloma, Blanco has performed in venues and concert halls across Spain, Germany, Finland, and the United States, and has been awarded First Prize in competitions such as the Isaac Albéniz competition.
As a passionate exponent of new music, Mr. Blanco has commissioned and premiered work by composers such as J. Magrané, D. Cantalejo, and Y. Chen. His collaboration with living composers and incorporation of multimedia visuals and theatrical elements in his performances reflects his commitment to the cultural landscape of contemporary art-forms.
Blanco earned a Bachelor of Music with Honors from the Superior School of Music of Catalonia in the class of Pierre Réach and has recently obtained a Masters in Contemporary Performance from the Manhattan School of Music under the mentorship of Margaret Kampmeier, Anthony de Mare, Christopher Oldfather, and Lucy Shelton.
About Einojuhani Rautavaara
Einojuhani Rautavaara was born in Helsinki in 1928 and studied with Merikanto at the Helsinki Academy (1948-52), with Persichetti at the Juilliard School in New York (1955-56), and with Sessions and Copland at Tanglewood (1955). He first came to international attention in 1955 when the neo-classical A Requiem in Our Time for brass and percussion won the Thor Johnson Composer’s Competition in Cincinnati. He studied serialism and soon integrated twelve note techniques, without displacing his essential Romanticism. For instance, Symphony No.3 (1961) may be the first totally serial Finnish work, yet it is also a tribute to the symphonies of Bruckner, complete with Wagner tubas.
In the late 1960s Rautavaara distanced himself from serialism and his mystical character came more to the fore in music of rich colour and sweeping melodic profile, at once accessible and evocative. His operas have often explored issues of creativity and madness, such as Vincent (1986-87), Aleksis Kivi (1995-96) and Rasputin (2001-03), and his symphonies and concerti have increasingly been commissioned by orchestras outside his native Finland, including Symphony No.8 ‘The Journey’ (1999) for the Philadelphia Orchestra, a Harp Concerto (1999-2000) for the Minnesota Orchestra and a Clarinet Concerto (2001-02) for Richard Stoltzman and the National Symphony in Washington.
Works by Rautavaara over the past decade include the orchestral work Tapestry of Life (2007), the concertos Incantations for percussionist Colin Currie (2008), Towards the Horizon for cellist Truls Mork (2008-09), and Summer Thoughts (2008) toured by violinist Midori. His Missa a cappella (2010-11) received first performances in the Netherlands, Australia, the U.K., Sweden, and Germany and Into the heart of light (2011), composed for the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, was toured by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 2012. Balada for choir and orchestra, setting texts by Lorca, was premiered in Madrid in 2015.
Rautavaara’s music has been recorded on the Ondine, Finlandia, and Naxos labels and DVDs have been released of his operas The Gift of the Magi, Alexis Kivi, and Rasputin.
WED—5-17-2017—7:30 PM, free