Outi Tarkiainen - Säveltäjä



Outi Tarkiainen signs to Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Published on June 21, 2017

Saxophone concerto commissioned by the Tapiola Sinfonietta

Published on April 13, 2017

Outi Tarkiainen is the Norrbotten Big Band 2017 composer in residence

Published on January 3, 2017

The Earth, Spring’s Daughter premiered by mezzo soprano Virpi Räisänen

Published on September 1, 2016

Outi Tarkiainen is artist-in-residence in Skibotn, Norway

Published on April 8, 2016

The Earth, Spring’s Daughter co-commissioned by the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, the Arctic Philharmonic and the Norrbotten Chamber Orchestra

Published on December 10, 2015

Nordic Music Days presents Tarkiainen’s Into the Woodland Silence in Copenhagen

Published on July 8, 2015

Outi Tarkiainen is the Festival de Musique Classique d’Uzerche 2015 guest composer

Published on April 25, 2015

Outi Tarkiainen’s orchestra and chamber music is published by Uusinta

Published on April 13, 2015


Outi Tarkiainen is one of a new generation of composers whose work bears intense witness to the world around it and whose music engages audiences while advancing the art form without compromise. ‘I see music as a force of nature’, Outi has said, ‘that can flood over a person and even change entire destinies.’

Outi was born in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland, a place that has proved a constant source of inspiration for her. She studied composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with Eero Hämeenniemi and Veli-Matti Puumala, at the University of Miami with Ron Miller and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with Malcolm Singer. Since 2017, her music has been published by Edition Wilhelm Hansen in Copenhagen which has represented the finest Nordic composers since the nineteenth century.

Since her student days, Outi has been drawn to the expressive power and natural truths of the human voice. After making her name as a composer-conductor with some of Europe’s leading jazz orchestras, Outi collaborated with the Finnish vocalist Aili Ikonen on a series of jazz orchestra works including Into the Woodland Silence (2013), a score that uncannily combined the composer’s sense of natural mysticism with the distinctive textures of the jazz orchestra tradition, and was recorded for Fredriksson Music. More recently, her saxophone concerto Saivo (2016), written for the saxophonist Jukka Perko, explores ideas of duality and illusion – in both the saxophone and in concerto form itself.

Outi has composed vocal, chamber and solo instrumental works as well as works for orchestra and soloist. In September 2016, the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, conductor John Storgårds and mezzo Virpi Räisänen gave the first performance of her biggest work to date, an orchestral song cycle to texts by Sami poets entitled The Earth, Spring’s Daughter (2015). The work’s structural finesse underlined the composer’s handling of large-scale forms while its pained lyricism revealed both her strong feelings about Sami emancipation and her love for the music of Alban Berg.

Outi has worked with ensembles including the Norrbotten Chamber Orchestra, the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, the Arctic Philharmonic, the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, the Uusinta Ensemble, the Zagros Ensemble, the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Henry Mancini Institute Chamber Orchestra, the Slovenian Radio Big Band, the Norrbotten Big Band, the Umo Jazz Orchestra and the Metropole Orchestra. She won First Prize in the International Jazzverk Big Band Composition Competition in Sweden in 2008 with her piece Oglütz.

Outi has also worked with some of the most distinguished conductors and musicians in the Nordic region and beyond. She has collaborated with jazz legends David Liebman, Randy Brecker, Conrad Herwig, Peter Erskine and Dick Oatts. Her music has been heard in cities from Tallinn to Tokyo. In 2015 Outi was composer-in-residence at the Festival de Musique Classique d’Uzerche in France.

Outi’s heart, however, remains in the north. ‘I have a fundamental longing for the northernmost regions within me’, she has said. That longing is partly satisfied by her co-artistic directorship of the annual Silence Festival in Lapland. But perhaps even more, it finds expression in her music’s increasingly fascinating mix of beauty and brutality, of richness and sparseness.

Andrew Mellor, 2016

"[Into the Woodland Silence] is simply a haunting piece of music, where emotions stand in the front. Disharmonious and strong, difficult to resist." (Norrbottens-Kuriren 23.3.2015)

“In the premiere of Obsession II, Outi Tarkiainen showed her talents as a musical narrator.” (Helsingin Sanomat 14.3.2013)

“Outi Tarkiainen's wind quintet revealed her incisively playful sense of rhythm.” (Helsingin Sanomat 16.6.2013)

[In orchestral work Liebklinge] there was a beautiful gesture to free a trio of violins and the clarinet duo to explore the concert hall while playing.” (Helsingin Sanomat 6.2.2012)

Photograph by Saara Salmi