In this epic programme, the BBC Symphony Orchestra returns to Snape Maltings Concert Hall to perform Mahler’s Symphony No.1, the UK premiere of Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s AIŌN, and a tribute to composer Kaija Saariaho.

An incredible chance to experience the first UK performance of Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s AIŌN, a symphonic-scale orchestral work in three movements: Morphosis, Transcension, and Entropia.

Thorvalsdottir explains: “AIŌN is inspired by the abstract metaphor of being able to move freely in time, of being able to explore time as a space that you inhabit rather than experiencing it as a one-directional journey through a single dimension. It is a reflection on how we relate to our lives, to the ecosystem, and to our place in the broader scheme of things. Characterized by an embracing and resilient energy, combining strength, tenderness and hope, AIŌN evokes both the ancient and things to come, seeking refuge in the possibilities of resurrection, of rebuilding ourselves.”

AIŌN is paired with Mahler’s sprawling Symphony No.1. Using a huge canvas, the composer examines creation and the beginnings of time, juxtaposing heaven and hell.

The concert opens with Kaija Saariaho's Ciel d'hiver ("winter sky") performed in memory of the Finnish composer, who died on 2 June.

Kaija Saariaho:
Ciel d'hiver (10')
Anna Thorvaldsdottir:
AIŌN (UK premiere) (38’)
Symphony No.1 in D (55’)

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Hannu Lintu

An extraordinary three-movement work ... a soundworld that could be massively placid, deafeningly chaotic, weirdly unearthly, or awesome with oceanic majesty

Classical Voice North America on AIŌN

With thanks to The Pollard Family for their kind support.

This performance is being broadcast live by BBC radio 3.