The New York Times recently referred to Kaija Saariaho as “the world’s longest-toiling overnight success.”  The article by Cori Ellison, makes the reference in regard to the success of Saariaho’s first opera “L’Amour de Loin” at the 2000 Salzburg Festival – a “masterly work [that] seemed to have sprouted like Athena from Zeus’s head.”  Few knew of Saariaho’s previous work.

This includes the ballet “Maa”, unperformed since its 1991 premiere – but will be soon staged again by The Miller Theater at Columbia University.  The American premiere of the work will be heard Wednesday September 22, with repeat performances on the 24th and 25th.  The score will be performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble.

“Certainly I don’t make efforts to be mysterious,” she said. “But music itself is a big mystery. We cannot really explain why music affects us so strongly. For me, music is as important as love, as powerful and inexplicable.”