The Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects (ACNMP) and Canadian Music Centre are excited to announce that Edmonton-based composer Sointu Aalto has won the 2020 Louise MacPherson Memorial Award as well as the $400 CAD prize!

Aalto submitted her piece Yösinfonia, 1 for soprano and piano. The piece features a range of colours and contrasting textures as it sets the text to Kirsi Kunnas’ existential poem of the same name which explores peace, agony, and what it means to let go.

Composer Bekah Simms, adjudicator for the national composition class, identified Aalto, one of the youngest participants in the program this year, as being highly deserving. “Especially considering the applicant’s age,” Simms commented, “the writing is nuanced with a compositional identity beginning to emerge. There are exceptionally lovely moments in the work, which is expressive with a tasteful amount of variety.”

Congratulations, Sointu!

About Sointu Aalto // Described as a delightful musician with flair, Sointu Aalto (b.2004 in Helsinki, now based in Edmonton) is a passionate cellist and composer. Her original music is characterised by intense atmospheres and disturbing beauty. 

Aalto studies cello with Josephine van Lier, and composition with Heather Hindman. She is a member of the Edmonton Youth Orchestra and the Jams string quartet. She also loves philosophy and science.

Aalto’s passion motivates her to work hard and face new challenges. As an artist, her objectives are to spread love for contemporary music, to stretch the boundaries of art to maximize expression, and to reduce prejudice through music.