National Sawdust group-in-residence 1B1 partners up with the NYU Contemporary Music Ensemble for the performance of two iconic pieces of Northern European music: Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s Graal Theatre, and Arvo Pärt’s renowned Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten. While Cantus is an early example of Pärt’s typical tintinnabulli style, Graal Theatre, on the other hand, is an exception in Kaja Saariaho’s long body of work combining acoustic instruments with some kind of electronic extentions. Graal Theatre is a concerto for solo violin and orchestra and takes the delicate sound of the violin and its interaction with an orchestra as its starting point. The concert will also feature an audio visual performance of Norwegian artist Per Fronth’s “Ode to a Hunter”.
Kaija Saariaho is a prominent member of a group of Finnish composers and performers who are now, in mid-career, making a worldwide impact. She studied composition in Helsinki, Freiburg and Paris, where she has lived since 1982. Her studies and research at IRCAM have had a major influence on her music and her characteristically luxuriant and mysterious textures are often created by combining live music and electronics.
Virtuoso timpanist Jonathan Haas has raised the status of the timpani to that of a solo instrument throughout his unique career that has spanned more than twenty years. From classical concertos to jazz and rock & roll, from symphonic masterpieces to the most experimental compositions of living composers, Haas has championed, commissioned, unearthed and celebrated music for his instrument, becoming, as Ovation magazine hailed him, “The Paganini of the timpani.”
Award winning Violinist Peter Herresthal is known for his intepretations of contemporary concertos with orchestras and ensembles worldwide. Working closely with composers Per Nørgård , Thomas Ades ,Kaija Saariaho , Henri Dutilleux and Arne Nordheim he has recorded 12 concertos for BIS and Simax and his Nørgård recording was nominated for Grammophone award.
Herresthal has performed with leading conductors including Sakari Oramo , Thomas Ades, Ilan Volkov , Anu Tali and Andrew Manze with orchestras from Melbourne SO at Melbourne festival to Vienna Radio Sympony in Konzerhaus and with the major Scandinavian orchestras including Oslo and Stockholm Phil.
He is Professor at the Oslo academy, visiting Professor at Royal College of Music London and at NYU, Steinhard School New York.
He performs on a 1753 GB Guadagnini from Milan.