Kaija Saariaho

Behind the Beat | Episode 07

Kaija Saariaho is one of the most widely respected composers in classical music today. Her works, spanning from chamber and orchestral music to electronic music and opera, have been performed worldwide and earned her the Grawemeyer Award and the Polar Music Prize, among many others. Saariaho’s large orchestra work Orion has a unique link to the Cleveland Museum of Art—not publicly known until now. 

She talks with Tom Welsh from Helsinki, Finland. 

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A Bridal Couple, 1470s. CMA, 1932.179

Learn more about A Bridal Couple and watch related videos on the CMA’s Collection Online.


Listen to music selections by Kaija Saariaho on Spotify.

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Read a collection highlight article by Amanda Mikolic about A Bridal Couple in CMA Thinker.


Watch excerpts of a staged performance of Graal théâtre by Peter Herresthal and La Chambre aux échos.

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About the Series

Behind the Beat is a series featuring composers and performers in the time of isolation. While the twin pillars of performing arts—global travel and gathering together for a shared experience—are impossible, artists are reflecting on their work, both past and future. Of particular interest are those artists with direct connections to the Cleveland Museum of Art. This series celebrates the legacy of music at the museum and uniquely illuminates aspects of the museum’s collection.