Finnish composer writes a carol for King's


The Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara has written the commissioned carol for this year's Christmas Eve service at King's. Rautavaara himself has written the words for the carol, which is simply called 'Christmas Carol'.

Einojuhani Rautavaara (b. 1928) is the leading Finnish composer of his generation. His first major work was A Requiem in Our Time (1954), and since then has been a prolific composer. He has written symphonies, operas, chamber music, and numerous choral pieces.

One of his most popular works is Cantus arcticus, a concerto for birds and orchestra, in which the orchestra is accompanied by recordings of bird song. He has experimented with various styles but his late style combines modernism with mystical romanticism.

Rautavaara's carol is part of a tradition of commissioned carols at King's. Each year a composer is asked to write a carol for the Christmas Eve service, A Festival and Nine Lessons. Last year Gabriel Jackson used GK Chesterton's 'The Christ Child Sat On Mary's Lap' as the text for his carol.

For more information about the Christmas service, see A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

17 November 2010