Aulis Sallinen (b. 1935) — Adagio II, op. 102, no. 2 (2013) for organ
Aulis Sallinen (b. 1935) is widely regarded as one of the most significant Finnish composers of his generation. Born in Salmi, he was educated at the Sibelius Academy with Aarre Merikanto and Joonas Kokkonen, and he held several administrative positions in Finnish musical life including administrator of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and various positions within the Finnish Composers’ Society and TEOSTO (copyright society). In 1981, the Finnish government appointed him a state Professor of the Arts, allowing him to spend the rest of his life exclusively focused on composition. His large catalog of works contains music in every genre, including eight symphonies, numerous concerti, as well as chamber and solo music. Sallinen is perhaps best known for his six operas, which have been acclaimed as among the finest written in the 20th century and have been performed frequently around the world. After brief experimentation with more avant-garde styles, Sallinen’s mature idiom has a strong sense of national identity; it is clear and direct, with largely modal and tonal structures, and a consistently imaginative integration and development of its musical materials.