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Einojuhani Rautavaara (b. 1928). Isle of Bliss. Piano Concerto No. 3 ('Gift
of Dreams'), Piano Concerto No. 2. Naxos 8.557009.

Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra

Eri Klas, conductor

Laura Mikkola, artist

Einojuhani Rautavaara was born in Helsinki on 9th October, 1928. Graduating
from Helsinki University in 1952, he studied at the Sibelius Academy with Aarre
Merikanto and, after winning a Koussevitzky Foundation fellowship in 1955, with
Vincent Persichetti at the Juilliard School, and with Aaron Copland and Roger
Sessions at Tanglewood. He furthered his studies in Ascona with Vladimir Vogel
and in Cologne with Rudolf Petzold. A lecturer at the Sibelius Academy from
1966 to 1971, he was then appointed to the state position of Professor
in Arts.

Rautavaara's early pieces, typified by the prize-winning A Requiem in Our
Time (1953), drew on the Nordic classicism of Sibelius and Nielsen, as well as
the influences of Bartók, Shostakovich and folk-music. His Fourth Symphony
(1962) was among the first Finnish works to employ serial techniques, while the
subsequent widening of his stylistic range gave rise, in 1972, to two of his
most enduring works: Vigilia, drawing on Orthodox liturgical chant, and Cantus
Arcticus (Naxos 8.554147), employing taped birdsong alongside modal and
aleatoric (chance-derived) elements. Greater tonal orientation is evident in his
more recent music, such as the last four symphonies (Symphony No. 7, Naxos
8.555814) and the operas Thomas (1985), Vincent (1990) and Aleksis Kivi (1997).
Meanwhile the growing recognition accorded his

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