In tribute to the great Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho (1952-2023), Institut finlandais and the Embassy of Finland in France are organising a series of screenings retracing Saariaho’s life and work. The first screening in this series will be accompanied by a musical performance, a round-table discussion and a cocktail at our Café Maa. 



14 February 2024 from 6:30pm to 10pm at Institut finlandais 

Screening Kaija Saariaho ou l’amour de loin (2001)
Directed by Serge Steyer, Written by Anne Grange & Serge Steyer
With French subtitles
55 minutes 

This documentary film follows the composer during the staging of her first opera, Love from Afar. As the camera films the rehearsals, Saariaho and her collaborators tell the story of this opera and its characters. The film authentically captures Saariaho’s personality, sensitivity and philosophy.

Performance Sept Papillons, Kaija Saariaho (2000)
Anssi Karttunen, violoncello. 

Violoncellist Anssi Karttunen will perform Sept papillons, which Saariaho composed for him after finishing her opera Love from Afar. 

Round-table discussion 

Discussion moderated by director Anne Grange, with Susanna Mälkki, conductor; Aleksi Barrière, author, stage director and son of the composer; Anssi Karttunen, violoncellist; Peter Sellars, theatre director; Clément Mao-Takacs, conductor and composer.

Cocktail at Café Maa.

Book your tickets on our online shop or directly in our gallery.


22 February 2024 at 7pm at Institut finlandais
Echoes of the Universe – The Music of Kaija Saariaho (2023)
Directed by Riitta Rask
With French subtitles
80 minutes 

Filmed between 2019 and 2022, the documentary focuses on the life and music of the composer. Through a series of interviews with Kaija Saariaho, her colleagues and her family, it provides a unique insight into her career and her work.

Book your tickets on our online shop or directly in our gallery. 


29 February 2024 at 7pm at Institut finlandais
The Helsinki Organ Story (2024)
Directed by Riitta Rask
With English subtitles
57 minutes 

The documentary follows the creation of one of Europe’s largest organs, to which Kaija Saariaho contributed with a large donation. Built for the Helsinki Music Center, the project took six years to complete and the instrument weighs around 40 tonnes. The film reveals the secrets of this mysterious instrument that combines modernity with an ancient art. 


Book your tickets on our online shop or directly in our gallery.