Kaija Saariaho & Vasco Mendonça

Mentor & Protégé, Music

Composer Kaija Saariaho will help Portugal’s Vasco Mendonça to develop his musical personality, technique and understanding, giving him the right ingredients to advance his artistic expression.

Kaija Saariaho

The mentor

Acknowledged as one of the leading and most original composers of recent times, Kaija Saariaho is known for her brilliant creations that often blend traditional instruments with electronics for chamber music, orchestral works and operas, which she produces in collaboration with artists such as Amin Maalouf, Peter Sellars and Esa-Pekka Salonen. The Finnish composer was awarded Sweden’s prestigious 2013 Polar Music Prize.

Vasco Mendonça

The protégé

Portuguese composer Vasco Mendonça, 36, has begun to attract international attention for such works as his recently completed chamber music piece, The Boys of Summer (2012), and an hour-long chamber opera, The House Taken Over (2013). Both were co-commissioned by the Aix-en-Provence International Opera Festival, which has premiered several of his compositions. Mendonça premiered Ping (2013) in the UK. He also teaches Analysis and Composition at Lisbon’s Lusiada University.