Past Event

Biographical Film “Echoes of the Universe - The Music of Kaija Saariaho”:

November 14, 2023
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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East Gallery, Maison Française, Buell Hall

Due to a planned protest in the afternoon, campus security may be restricting campus access to CUID holders only. If this is still in effect and you do not have a Columbia ID, Columbia volunteers will meet with guests at the 116th/Broadway gate between 6:40-7:05 to escort non-affiliates to the Maison Francaise. Volunteers will have posters of the event to help you identify them and they will walk people over in batches. We thank you for your patience.

A Screening and Discussion moderated by Prof. Zosha Di Castri and Jean-Baptiste Barrière (Saariaho’s frequent collaborator and husband)

Echoes of the Universe – The Music of Kaija Saariaho is a documentary about the contemporary composer Kaija Saariaho who made her career in Paris. The documentary follows Saariaho’s growth from a shy Helsinki girl to the most respected contemporary composer in the world. Saariaho’s music is widely performed all over the world in concert halls, on opera stages, and at festivals. In the documentary, the initial ideas and the backgrounds of the works are explained by the composer herself as well as her colleagues and family members. During her career, Saariaho has received 24 international awards and recognitions. In 2020, in a poll by BBC, Kaija Saariaho was voted the most important living contemporary composer. The New York Times also called Saariaho the most important contemporary composer of 2021. 

Parisian composer Jean-Baptiste Barrière is known for his multimedia work which focuses on the interaction between music and image. He has been involved in the creation of many interdisciplinary shows such as 100 Objects to Represent the World (Salzburg Festival 1997), and has composed music for virtual reality and interactive installations including Worldskin (Prix Ars Electronica 1998). In the late 1990s, he taught and directed the Musical Research, Education and Production program at Ircam in Paris. He has also taught computer music composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki (1997-98), has served as a visiting professor at Columbia University (2011-12), and was the first grantee of the David Wessel Music & Science Grant of the Center for New Music & Audio Technologies at the University of California Berkeley (2015). 

Zosha Di Castri is the Francis Goelet Associate Professor of Music at Columbia University and a 2023 American Academy of Arts and Letters Goddard Lieberson fellow. (