Composer. Born in Nykarleby, Finland, he is considered by many to be a pioneer of modern Finnish music and ranks along with Sibelius as one of the most famous Finnish composers of the 20th century. Studied at the Sibelius-Academy in Helsinki. His career encompassed the romantic era of the 1960s when he was regarded as the "enfant terrible" of Finnish music to the 1990s when he was hailed as the grand old man of modernism. His travels took him to Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bali, Marocco und Uzbekistan to learn non-European music techniques which he incorporated into his own personal style; as a result he rose to become one of the most important Finnish avantgarde composers. Beginning in 1963 he taught composing at the Sibelius Academy; in addition he was the chorus director until 1978. He composed over 150 numbered opus works, including "Requiem for a Dead Poet" (1970) and "Colori ed improvisazioni" (1973)that brought him international recognition. His biggest success is considered to be his opera, "The Singing Tree" (1988) with improvisational elements; it was first performed in 1995 in Finland and then at the Berlin Opera in 1999. Died in Helsinki, Finland.
Bio by: Fred Beisser
Solveig von Schoultz