Kaija Saariaho
Photo: Priska Ketterer

Composer Kaija Saariaho (1952-2023) passes away

5 June 2023

Dutch National Opera mourns the passing of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. Saariaho was one of the most influential composers of our time who made a crucial contribution to the development of contemporary opera through the intimate sound world of her music and her theatrical sensitivity. Kaija Saariaho died peacefully at her home in Paris on 2 June. She was 70 years old.

Dutch National Opera had the privilege of presenting two of her operas: Émilie in 2010 and, more recently, Only the Sound Remains in 2016. In the new season 2023/2024, DNO has planned Saariaho’s latest opera Innocence which will premiere in October. DNO director Sophie de Lint: “With Innocence, Kaija Saariaho crafted one of her most haunting and poignant scores. We were eagerly anticipating her presence in Amsterdam for the Dutch premiere of this work and are deeply saddened to learn of her passing. We will pay tribute to this exceptional composer and hope to honour her appropriately with the premiere of Innocence in October. Her musical genius will endure through this production and through her legacy.”

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