Latest publications & news

Transcription by Matti Rantanen for accordion of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s early piano composition Icons (1955) which shows great variety in the young composer’s style.
55011-707-5, 16,00 € Buy now

Read more

New edition of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s first string quartet is based on the composer's manuscript, incorporating corrections and comments by composer's hand in various sources.
Score & parts...

Read more

A completely new edition of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Divertimento is based on the composer's manuscript, incorporating corrections and comments by the composer's in various sources. Written in 1953,...

Read more

Rautavaara's First Symphony was written in 1955 in the United States. The composer revised the symphony first in 1988 and second time in 2003 when the movement Poetico was added.
Study score...

Read more

Rautavaara made his major breakthrough with Angel of Light (1995). To mark the 25th anniversary of the work’s premiere we are publishing an entirely new edition of the symphony including the...

Read more

for cello and piano
Einojuhani Rautavaara reworked his touching song from the opera Aleksis Kivi for cello and piano in 2000. The melody is solemn and calm, in the style of chanson sans paroles - fit...

Read more

Duet for Birds and Piano op. 61
Arr. for piano by Peter Lönnqvist
Rautavaara's Cantus arcticus (Concerto for birds and orchestra) is his most popular orchestral work. This idiomatic, ear-opening...

Read more

 Violin Concerto (II Energico)
BIS CD 1315 Lahti Symphony Orchestra, cond. Osmo Vänskä, sol. Jaakko Kuusisto
(BIS Records CD-1315)

 Symphony No. 1 (I Andante)
National Orchestra of Belgium, cond. Mikko Franck
(Ondine Records CD-1064-5)

 Symphony 7 Angel of Light (I Tranquillo)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Leif Segerstam
(Ondine Records CD- 869-2)

 Cantus arcticus, Concerto for Birds and Orchestra (I The Bog)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Leif Segerstam
(Ondine Records CD-1041-2)

 All-Night Vigil (Vigilia) (Final Blessing)
Finnish Radio Chamber Choir, cond. Timo Nuoranne
(Ondine Records CD-910-2)

Einojuhani Rautavaara

Einojuhani Rautavaara (9. October 1928 - 27. July 2016) is internationally one of the best known and most frequently performed Finnish composers. He was by nature a romantic, even a mystic, as is often apparent from the titles of his works: for example Angels and Visitations for orchestra or his double-bass concerto Angel of Dusk. Despite Rautavaara’s label of “mysticism” he was a complex and contradictory figure whose works cannot be categorized in stylistic terms. 

At the age of seventeen Rautavaara began studying the piano and later went on to study musicology at Helsinki University and composition at the Sibelius Academy. From 1951-53 he was a pupil of Aarre Merikanto receiving his diploma in composition in 1957. In 1955 the Koussewitzky Foundation awarded Jean Sibelius a scholarship in honour of his 90th birthday to enable a young Finnish composer of his choice to study in the United States. Sibelius selected Rautavaara who spent two years studying with Vincent Persichetti at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and also took part in the summer courses at Tanglewood given by Roger Sessions and Aaron Copland. In 1957 Rautavaara continued his studies with Wladimir Vogel in Ascona, Switzerland and a year later with Rudolf Petzold in Cologne. Rautavaara has taught and lectured at the Sibelius Academy as the professor of composition. Since 1988 he made his living as a composer in Helsinki. 

Rautavaara’s earliest works revealed close ties to tradition but also his desire to renew it. They were followed by an extreme constructivist and avant-garde phase (as in the serially organized fourth symphony “Arabescata”, 1962) after which Rautavaara turned to hyper-romanticism and finally mysticism. Since the early 1980s Rautavaara has adopted a sort of post-modern musical language in which modern and traditional elements of varying degrees of constructivism or freedom are combined with one another. 

Rautavaara composed eight symphonies, the most frequently performed of them being the Angel of Light, his seventh symphony. Symphony No. 8 “The Journey” was premiered in April 2000 by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Wolfgang Sawallisch. Other important groups of works include concertos for different solo instruments, among them the three piano concertos, the popular Violin Concerto (1977), the Harp Concerto (2000) and the Clarinet Concerto (2001-02). Rautavaara has also written a large body of chamber music as well as choral and vocal works including All-Night Vigil for a cappella chorus. Rautavaara’s most popular orchestral work  is Cantus arcticus, concerto for birds and orchestra, in which the orchestral part is juxtaposed with the sounds of birds recorded by the composer himself. Rautavaara’s latest orchestral works include Tapestry of LifeIncantations (Concerto for Percussion Solo and Orchestra) and Towards the Horizon (Concerto No. 2 for Cello and Orchestra). 

Apart form his symphonies the central pillars of Rautavaara's extensive oeuvre are his operas. With Vincent (1985-87) and The House of the Sun (1990) Rautavaara has scored a notable international success. Aleksis Kivi was premiered at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in 1997 and it has been performed in Cosenza, Italy and Minneapolis, U.S.A since then. The last stage work Rautavaara wrote is Rasputin (2001-2003), an opera about the life of mystic and healer Grigory Rasputin.

Browse the publications in our web shop at Kirjavalitys.