Lasse Thoresen (b. 1949) is one of Norway’s most important post-war composers. His new choral symphony ΩN: Det værende (The Being) was written for the orchestra’s centenary in 2020. ΩN: Det værendeexpresses a strong spiritual dimension that is partly inspired by the pan-global Bahá’í faith. Postponed due to the pandemic, it finally receives its long awaited world premiere at Ultima.
Valentin Silvestrov (b. 1937) is possibly Ukraine’s greatest and best known living composer. Born in Kyiv under Stalin’s regime, the formerly avant garde composer’s music has developed into a contemplative, mournful and nostalgic elegy for lost time. It takes on new emotional depth and power in the state of war in Ukraine in 2022 – Silvestrov himself fled from Kyiv to Berlin in early March, after the Russian invasion. The single-movement Symphony no. 7 opens in a fearful atmosphere but gradually softens until it almost melts away into thin air.