The Workshop, Competition and Prize are named in honour of Einojuhani Rautavaara, one of the leading composers of choral music in recent decades. Rautavaara was born in Helsinki in 1928 and studied at the Helsinki Academy, the Juilliard School and at Tanglewood. He first came to international attention in 1955 when the neo-classical A Requiem in Our Time won the Thor Johnson Composer's Competition in Cincinnati. He studied serialism and soon integrated twelve note techniques, without displacing his essential Romanticism. In the late 1960s his mystical character came more to the fore in music of rich colour and sweeping melodic profile, at once accessible and evocative. His symphonies and concerti have increasingly been commissioned by orchestras outside his native Finland, including works for the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra and the National Symphony in Washington.
Reproduced by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes
Ondřej Adámek was born in 1979 in Prague. He has received commissions for orchestral, choir, ensemble, and vocal works, as well as music for instruments and electronics from prestigious ensembles and festivals of contemporary music in Europe (for example, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Klangforum Wien, Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, Diotima string quartet, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Agora festival, Donaueschingen festival, Witten festival, Warsaw Automn, Les Musiques festival – Marseille…).
Adámek seeks out special playing techniques for classical instruments, creates new original instruments, and develops new systems combining video and electroacoustic sound with instrumental ensembles.
Adámek, with his vast knowledge of new possibilities for classical instruments, obtains a very specific sound colour that, together with a powerful rhythmic and solid formal architecture, creates very personal music with strong dramatic aspect.
Adámek graduated from the composition department of the Academy of Music in Prague in 2004 and from the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris in 2007.
His music was awarded the Synthèse Prize (Bourges 2002), Metamorphose (Brussels 2002, 2004), First Prize of Hungarian Radio, the Brandenburg Biennale prize (2006), the Prix Hervé-Dugardin – SACEM (2009), the Grand Prix Tansman (Lodz 2010), the Prix George Enesco 2011, and others. In 2014-2015 is Adámek resident in Villa Medici Rome.
Jukka Tiensuu (b. 1948) is a Finnish composer, harpsichordist, pianist and conductor. His repertoire ranges from baroque music to John Cage and free improvisation and he has given masterclasses in baroque performance practice and free improvisation. He has written electroacoustic music, works for jazz ensemble, period instruments, symphony orchestra, ensemble and solo instruments, such as the Finnish kantele. Tiensuu's works have been performed by the Arditti Quartet, Kari Kriikku, Ensemble Intercontemporain and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, amongst others. He has also worked at IRCAM. Jukka Tiensuu studied in Freiburg, Helsinki, and New York.
The Helsinki Chamber Choir is Finland's only professional chamber choir. It was founded as the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir in 1962 and assumed its current name in 2005. The choir has a strong record of commissioning and performing new music. Alongside its regular concerts in the Finnish capital, the Helsinki Chamber Choir appears frequently at festivals in Finland and abroad and collaborates regularly with Finnish orchestras and ensembles. It has released recordings on the Ondine and Alba labels.
The Time of Music festival was founded in 1982 by Jukka Tiensuu and quickly established itself as one of the most daring of international contemporary music festivals. It is organised annually in July in Viitasaari, Central Finland. Guest composers have included John Cage, Heinz Holliger, Jonathan Harvey and Marco Stroppa, to name but a few. In 2009, Time of Music was named Festival of the Year by Finland Festivals. The current Artistic Director of the festival is Johan Tallgren.