Virtaperko’s second organ work, the sixteen-minute Dawkins was commissioned and premiered by Susanne Kujala. Dawkins consists of three attacca movements, opening with Replicators which explores aspects of echo. The second movement, Towards Polymorphism, presents a large variety of contrasting musical material, eventually leading to the finale. The third movement, Immortal Coils, concentrates on a melodic flow upon a stable bass drone. The finale builds up to an elegy-like, tranquil section with numerous independent melodic lines which are combined, juxtaposed and overlapped. Towards the end, the piece calms down and through a modulation from an E-drone to E flat, Dawkins ends in quietness and peace.

Dawkins is dedicated to Charles Darwin, whose epochal book On the Origin of Species celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008. The composition was named after British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, the most important populizer of Darwin’s ideas. The naming of the three movements was inspired by Dawkins’s book The Selfish Gene, which the composer studied whilst composing the music.


for three-manual organ



Zappa spielt... Questa storia

Zappa spielt für Bach (S-T-J-Edition Nr. 5)



Dawkins Score





I Replicators
II Towards Multiplicity
III Immortal Coils

Duration 16’

First performance

10 April 2008
Susanne Kujala, organ
Kallio Church, Helsinki, Finland

Commissioned by

Susanne Kujala

Published by

Music Finland


Last performance

10 May 2014 Susanne Kujala
Neuköllner Originaltöne Festival, Berlin, Germany

Upcoming performances

All past performances of Dawkins:

10 April 2008 Susanne Kujala, Kallio Church, Helsinki, Finland
18 August 2009 Susanne Kujala, Turku Cathedral, Turku, Finland
20 August 2009 Susanne Kujala Fagerborg Church, Oslo, Norway
8 August 2010 Susanne Kujala, St. Catharine’s Church, Hamburg, Germany
22 May 2011 Susanne Kujala, Helsinki, Finland
12 April 2014 Susanne Kujala, Tampere Cathedral, Tampere Biennale, Finland
10 May 2014 Susanne Kujala, Neuköllner Originaltöne Festival, Germany