Mannes School of Music presents Kaija Saariaho's La Passion de Simone


Mannes School of Music presents two performances of Kaija Saariaho's cornerstone oratorio La Passion de Simone. This "musical path in 15 stations" is a major work crafted by composer Kaija Saariaho and writer Amin Maalouf, and is a contemporary Passion play on the 'luminous trajectory' of philosopher and activist Simone Weil, who devoted her life to the oppressed and met an untimely death in 1943. It will be performed in the critically-acclaimed production of the French music theater company La Chambre aux échos which has successfully toured in Europe

Mannes Composer-in-Residence Kaija Saariaho, whose first opera L'Amour de loin will be performed at the Metropolitan Opera in December, will be featured in a variety of events in NYC this season, including performances at the Park Avenue Armory with the New York Philharmonic and at the Juilliard School.

Music: Kaija Saariaho
Libretto: Amin Maalouf
Director: Aleksi Barrière
Conductor: Clément Mao-Takacs
Solo soprano: Sayuri Araida

Orchestra: Mannes Orchestra and International Contemporary Ensemble
Production by La Chambre aux échos

Presented by Mannes School of Music in collaboration with La Chambre aux échos and International Contemporary Ensemble. With special thanks to the Rolex Institute and with the support of the Finlandia Foundation National.


Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 7PM

Sunday November 20, 2016 at 5PM

The Gerald W Lynch Theatre

524 West 59th Street

New York, New York 10019

Across a crowded contemporary musical landscape, renowned Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho stands apart with her sensual, expansive soundscapes. A composer of immense imagination, her spellbinding scores evoke luminous color and emotional depth while being full of new instrumental techniques that often blend acoustic instruments with subliminal electronic manipulation. Kaija Saariaho, born in Helsinki in 1952, studied at the Sibelius Academy with the pioneering modernist Paavo Heininen and, with Magnus Lindberg and others, founded the progressive "Ears Open" group. She continued her studies in Freiburg with Brian Ferneyhough and Klaus Huber at the Darmstadt summer courses and from 1982 at the IRCAM research institute in Paris, the city in which she lives.

Celebrating its centennial this year, the Mannes School of Music is an iconic music conservatory, internationally recognized for its musical and pedagogical excellence while being deeply committed to developing citizen artists who make the world a better place. Today, Mannes is developing a new reputation as one of the most progressive schools of its kind, thanks to the rapid evolution of its overall curriculum to address the demands of what musicians need to know, understand, and be able to do in the 21st century.

Founded in 1916 by America's first great violin recitalist and noted educator, David Mannes, The Mannes School of Music's distinguished alumni include the 20th century song writing legend Burt Bacharach; the great pianists Richard Goode, Murray Perahia, and Bill Evans; acclaimed conductors Semyon Bychkov, Myung Whun Chung, JoAnn Falletta, and Julius Rudel; music theorist and educator Carl Schachter; path-breaking jazz fusion guitarist Larry Coryell; beloved mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade as well as the newest opera stars of today,YongHoon Lee, Danielle De Niese, and Nadine Sierra; and Pulitzer Prize winning arts journalist, Tim Page.

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced. As performer, curator, and educator, ICE explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. The ensemble's 35 members are featured as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners, and collaborators with the foremost musical artists of our time. Emerging composers have anchored ICE's programming since its founding in 2001, and the group's recordings and digital platforms highlight the many voices that weave music's present. Read more at


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