Event Information:

  • Tue

    Sebastian Hilli's Composer Portrait Concert

    7:00 pmHelsinki Music Centre, Camerata Hall

    An important Composer Portrait Concert of young Finnish talent Sebastian Hilli (b. 1990) is built around the three chamber pieces in his Paraphrase cycle, utilizing and overlapping elements of different musics, composers and performers such as John Coltrane, free jazz, acid house, Sibelius or Gesualdo.

    Despite of his young age, Sebastian Hilli has already garnered international acclaim and recognition. His first orchestral work Reachings (2014) won the 1st prize in the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award in 2015 as well as the ’Composers under 30 category’ at the 64th International Rostrum of Composers in 2017 and received worldwide broadcasting. Hilli has since then been nominated for the Gaudeamus Award 2018 and three of his chamber works, including a new commission, will be featured at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2018 on September in Utrecht, Netherlands. Hilli is also one of the three finalists in the Christoph Delz Foundation’s 7th Composition Competition and his new work for solo piano will be premiered by Nicolas Hodges at the Lucerne Piano Festival 2018 in Switzerland.

    Hilli’s works have in common the composer’s fascination with structure, dynamism and carefully crafted details. Throughout, his music is characterized by complex woven textures and nuanced sonorities, long-span processes and a flair for extra-musical topics. Fascinated by the intensity of music as the focal point of his musical thinking, his works always emerge from the question of how to achieve this in various ways. Hilli accomplishes this in both extremes – in energetic textures moving in fast pace and in quiet and concentrated moments. The wide range of characters in his works demonstrate the composer’s emotional and expressional versatility and speaks of his curiosity of always seeking for new ways of expression.

    Sebastian Hilli writes on his Paraphrase I–III cycle:  "I approach the concept of paraphrase as a way of self-reflection as well as a commentary on a specific historical style. My composing process begins from a place where I’m relatively close to the original music, until I gradually move farther away from it, leaving. During this process the musical material goes through a variety of filters resulting in an unexpected synthesis of elements I’ve extracted from the original work combined with ways of expression that are typical for myself."

    Our concert program includes Hilli's nine-movement string quartet Elogio de la sombra. The composer writes: "My inspiration was Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges’s poems of which dreamlike and mystical atmosphere and thematics I was intrigued by. Recurring themes in Borges’s poems are shadows, light and darkness, dreams and mirrors which serve as metaphors for solitude, longing, death, identity and existence."

    Sebastian Hilli's concerto for guitar and small ensemble confluence/divergence, also included in the program, features prominent Finnish guitarist Petri Kumela as soloist. Hilli writes on his concerto: "The composing process of confluence/divergence took two years and is so far the longest time I have taken to complete a single work. This is largely due to the intricate theoretical principals I developed while composing the piece. I worked with complex combinations of sound entities and instrumental techniques that demanded further studying and exploring of refined ways of notation."

    All the compositions in the program have been finished during 2015–16. Welcome to this major event not to be missed!

    Paraphrase I (2015) for clarinet, oboe, piano and double bass
    Elogio de la sombra (2015) for string quartet
    Paraphrase II – giant steps and eden acid (2016) for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello and piano
    – Intermission –
    confluence/divergence (2013–15) for guitar solo, flute, harp, percussion and violoncello
    Paraphrase III – Soave dolore (2016) for flute, clarinet, oboe, french horn and bassoon

    József Hárs, conductor
    Uusinta Ensemble
    (Malla Vivolin, flute, Saku Mattila, oboe, Angel Molinos Bosque, clarinet, Naoki Yasuda, percusssion, Emil Holmström, piano, Päivi Severeide, harp, Maria Puusaari and Aleksi Kotila, violin, Max Savikangas, viola, Pinja Laine, violoncello, Adrian Rigopulos, double bass)
    Arktinen Hysteria wind quintet
    Petri Kumela, guitar

    More information on the Helsinki Music Centre website.


More concerts for season 2019 TBA soon – please visit again!

List of All Past Concerts 1999-2019 (PDF)