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Finnish Composer Olli Kortekangas’s ‘Seven Songs for Planet Earth,’ a new choral work about the environment, has its West Coast Premiere this weekend in San Francisco

Finnish composer Olli Kortekangas unveils “Seven Songs for Planet Earth,” a sweeping choral work about the environment, this weekend in San Francisco at the Calvary Presbyterian Church.

Olli Kortekangas is one of Finland’s leading composers and this weekend he will be in San Francisco for the West Coast premiere of his “Seven Songs for Planet Earth,” a vivid and compelling new choral work about the environment and man’s relationship with nature.  “Seven Songs” is centered on four poems by American agrarian poet and farmer Wendell Berry and draws on texts by Saint Francis of Assisi and texts by members of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir.  Kortekangas worked on the “green” piece for three years striving to celebrate man’s relatonship with nature as well as convey a message about our obligations for living on the planet Earth.  “Seven Songs” will be performed by the San Francisco Choral Society, the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, soloists and California Chamber Symphony, conducted by Robert Geary.  The Choral Arts Society of Washington recently gave the world premiere of this 40-minute work at the Kennedy Center to rave reviews.   The program also includes Mozart’s Grand Mass in C minor.   Stay tuned to ARThound for an interview with Olli Kortekangas about “Seven Songs.”  

One of the most popular Finnish composers of today, Kortekangas studied music theory and composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki under the direction of Einojuhani Rautavaara and Eero Hämeenniemi, and continued his studies in West Berlin with Dieter Schnebel.  His oeuvre consists of more than 100 works from solo pieces and chamber music to orchestral works and operas.  His latest opera, Daddy’s Girl, commissioned jointly by the Savonlinna Opera Festival and the Finnish Parliament, was premiered in Savonlinna in 2007, and a new production was staged by the Finnish National Opera in January 2009.

Details: Saturday, November 19, 2011 8:00pm and Sunday, November 20, 2011 4:00pm, at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 2515 Fillmore Street at Jackson Street, San Francisco.  Street Parking or California Pacific Medical Center Garage, Clay at Webster.  Tickets: $25 to $31.  (415) 392-4400

November 18, 2011 Posted by | Classical Music | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment