Zimmermann Trio

Zimmermann Trio is yet another example of the choreographer Tero Saarinen’s insightful ability to weave together live music, dance and visual design in a compelling way. The creation was commissioned by the LA Phil and its world premiere took place at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Co-commission partner Helsinki Festival presented the Finnish premiere on 30 August, 2018 at The Helsinki Music Centre.

Conductor Susanna Mälkki directs Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s cello concerto En forme de pas de trois, now interpreted by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Tero Saarinen Company dance soloists Jenna Broas, Misa Lommi and David Scarantino share the stage with cellist Oren Shevlin.

“Wistful – Fluid – Affecting”
27 minutes
19 January 2018, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles, USA
Commissioned by the LA Phil (USA) and Helsinki Festival (Finland). Supported by Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation (Finland). With thanks to Trasparenze Festival, Teatro dei Venti and ATER – Associazione Teatrale Emilia Romagna (Italy).

Choreographer's note

I was instantly inspired by the complexity, the multifaceted colors and textures, of Zimmermann’s cello concerto. It evoked my  imagination and woke up the desire to add another layer via dance – as originally planned  by the composer.

I did not, however, set out to illustrate the work in exact accordance with the composer’s instructions or the traditionalpas de trois. Only the composer’s indication of the protagonists’ gender seemed justified. In my choreography, the composer’s alter ego – the solo cellist – traces the encounter of the three strong characters represented by the dancers.

The music has a narrative, almost cinematic feel. The score is an intriguing mix of elements, ranging from echoes of Stravinsky to intricate jazzy moments. The unique soundscape is further enhanced by an eclectic and quite extraordinary range of instruments, seldom highlighted in orchestral works – such as the cimbalon, harp and a wide selection of percussions.

The composer’s troubled life story – and tragic end – further fueled my choreography. I was very touched by how the composer’s deep loneliness can be heard in the music. Themes of departure and loss became  strongly present in my choreography.

– Tero Saarinen

Zimmermann Trio

Choreography Tero Saarinen
Music Bernd Alois Zimmermann; Cello Concerto en forme de pas de trois (1966)
Lighting and set design Mikki Kunttu
Costume design, Construction of elements Erika Turunen
Choreographer’s Assistant Sini Länsivuori

Rehearsal Director Satu Halttunen
Dance Tero Saarinen Company

World premiere season 19–21 Jan 2018: Performed with the LA Phil, Music direction: Susanna Mälkki, Soloist Cellists: Ben Hong, Eric Byers, Timothy Loo

Finnish premiere season 30–31 Aug 2018: Performed with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Music direction: Susanna Mälkki, Soloist Cellist: Oren Shevlin

Production: Commissioned by the LA Phil (USA) and Helsinki Festival (Finland). Supported by Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation (Finland). With thanks to Trasparenze Festival, Teatro dei Venti and ATER – Associazione Teatrale Emilia Romagna (Italy).

``--- a sensory multimedia experience --- The three virtuoso dancers were from Finland’s Tero Saarinen Company, and created mesmerizing synergistic physical counterpart to the music.``

- Classical Voice, Truman C. Wang, 21 January 2018 (USA)

``a frenetic energy that, along with the staging and dance, kept the audience enraptured from beginning to end.”

- New Classic LA, Brandon Rolle, 22 January 2018 (USA)

``--- the sense of camaraderie among the players, the orchestra, the dancers and Mälkki added an unexpected endearing aspect --- Saarinen’s movements often followed the musical lines, creating a feeling more wistful than nightmarish. --- Departure and loss became the affecting inevitables.``

- Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed, 21 January 2018 (USA)

``I was fortunate to attend the Sunday performance and it was fantastic!``

- Facebook comment, 22 January 2018

``Saw this today. The staging was spectacular.``

- Facebook comment, 22 January 2018

``This was an amazing performance, beginning to end!``

- Facebook comment, 22 January 2018