US Premier of Isola by Sebastian Fagerlund

Finnish composer Sebastian Fagerlund gave the US premier of Isola in Buffalo thanks to CAI’s Artist-in-Residence program in partnership with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Fagerlund’s Isola was first performed for US audiences on Oct. 3, 2015 as part of the BPO’s concert Northern Lights. The concert also featured Sibelius's Fifth Symphony and Grieg's famous Piano Concerto. 

Isola is a 15-minute portrait of an island in the Turku archipelago formerly used to segregate lepers and the mentally ill from the rest of society - an “isle of the dead” which today is an idyllic holiday location. A similar alternation of darkness and light, of movement and motionlessness, of violence and sensitivity, permeates Fagerlund's tone poem. Fagerlund makes use of ominous and riveting orchestral effects, mixing brisk counterpoint with frantic fanfares, booms of percussion, a lyrical descending line on the cello, and blasts of stately harmony.

Thanks to the CAI Artist-in-Residence program, Fagerlund was in attendance at the US premier of his work. He gave a preconcert talk and in the days following the concerts gave a talk to UB music students. CAI was thrilled to be able to help introduce both Buffalo and UB to this outstanding young composer.