(Commissioned by violinist Patrick T.S. Yim)
About the Composer
Ilari Kaila is a Finnish-American composer who has written chamber, orchestral, vocal, and stage music. He received his PhD in Music Composition in 2011 from Stony Brook University, New York, having previously studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Between 2011 and 2014, he taught at Columbia University and as a teaching artist with the New York Philharmonic, before moving to Hong Kong where he currently works as Composer-in-Residence on the humanities faculty of HKUST.
Kaila’s music has been described as “haunting”, “intriguing”, “engaging … soulful” (The New York Times), “melodically euphoric” (Rondo Classic), and “powerfully resonating” (Helsingin Sanomat). Most recently, his work has been presented in a MATA composer portrait concert, as the inaugural event of the “MATA Continued” series (“offering return engagements by some of its brightest discoveries” — Steve Smith, The New Yorker); as the Composer-in-Residence of the 2015 Chelsea Music Festival in New York and Taipei; and as a Composer Fellow at the Intimacy of Creativity 2014 festival in Hong Kong. His works have been performed at the 2014 Metropolis Festival in Australia by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Olli Mustonen; the 2014 Banff Centre Summer Arts Festival in Canada; the 2014 Music at the Anthology (MATA) Festival in New York City; the New York International Fringe Festival 2014; and on the Avanti Chamber Orchestra’s tour of Japan. Other artists and ensembles Kaila has worked with include the Escher String Quartet, Tanglewood New Fromm Players, Kamus Quartet, Uusinta Ensemble, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Joensuu Symphony Orchestra, Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s chamber ensembles. An album of Kaila’s chamber music, recorded by the Aizuri Quartet and Adrienne Kim, was released on the Innova Recordings label in March 2020.
In addition to music, Kaila works as a freelance journalist and writer, and has contributed to various publications and other media outlets in the US and Europe.