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Time and Tides, a new violin concerto for Pekka Kuusisto, launches Anna Clyne’s residency with the Helsinki Philharmonic on 8 September. Further performances are planned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in St Andrews, Edinburgh and Glasgow next March.

Across a season rich in premieres and residencies, Anna Clyne makes a series of journeys to Finland as Composer-in-Residence with the Helsinki Philharmonic. Her new role is in a triumvirate alongside the orchestra’s Artistic Director Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Principal Guest and Artistic Co-Director Pekka Kuusisto, with all three collaborating on Clyne’s new violin concerto Time and Tides. The premiere on 8 September at the Musiikkitalo Concert Hall in Helsinki sees Kuusisto as violin soloist, and he will direct the first UK performances next spring with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on a tour visiting St Andrews (13 March), Edinburgh (14 March) and Glasgow (15 March). Further performances are planned by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Detroit Symphony in future seasons.

The new 25-minute concerto, scored for violin and chamber orchestra, draws on folk tunes from Finland, Scotland, England and America and explores themes of boating, the oceans and parting from loved ones. Clyne has been particularly active in creating music for string instruments, whether solo, ensemble or orchestral. She learnt cello as her principal instrument, and has been studying the possibilities of the violin, exploring the extended techniques that could be used to evoke sounds of nature. Cast in five movements, Time and Tides is described by the composer:

“Each movement begins with a statement of the folk tune in its original form and I then spin it out through my own lens - harmonizing, orchestrating and expanding upon the source material to create new narratives. The fifth and final movement, titled Farewell, weaves together elements of all four folk tunes heard in the previous movements. Time and Tides is dedicated to violinist Pekka Kuusisto. Special thanks to musicians Bruce Molsky and Aidan O’Rourke for sharing folk tunes from their native countries.”

> Read more about Time and Tides

Other performances within the Finnish residency include Sound and Fury (13/14 September), Within Her Arms (8 November), the cello concerto DANCE with Alisa Weilerstein (22 November), the Finnish premiere of the clarinet concerto Weathered (a work co-commissioned by the HPO) with Martin Fröst (6 March) and This Midnight Hour (15 May). Alongside the orchestral performances, Anna Clyne’s role will see her curating a week of orchestral concerts joining forces with some of Helsinki’s arts institutions and a diverse range of guest artists from the city and further afield.

> Visit the Helsinki Philharmonic website

In addition to her Helsinki residency, Anna Clyne will also serve this season as Artist-in-Residence with the Symphony Orchestra of Castilla y León. Performances in Valladolid include the Spanish premiere of her saxophone concerto Glasslands with Jess Gillam and conductor Elena Schwarz (2 November), This Midnight Hour with conductor Elim Chan (21 December), and the Spanish premiere of Weathered with clarinettist Martin Fröst and conductor Ryan Bancroft (23 February).

Other European highlights for Clyne in the 2023/24 season include UK premieres of Glasslands by Jess Gillam and the BBC Philharmonic in Nottingham (5 October) and of her new piano concerto ATLAS with Jeremy Denk and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1 May). Belgian and German premieres of Weathered are by the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra (15 December) and the NDR Elbephilharmonie Orchestra (13 June), both with Martin Fröst as soloist. The European premiere of Clyne's new concerto for string quartet and orchestra, Quarter Days, is given by the Meta4 Quartet and Jyväskylä Sinfonia (18 January).

>  Further information on Work: Time and Tides

Photo: Christina Kernohan

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