Olli Kortekangas: Biography

Olli Kortekangas (1955-) is one of the most popular Finnish composers of today. He studied music theory and composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki under the direction of Einojuhani Rautavaara and Eero Hämeenniemi, and continued his studies in West Berlin with Dieter Schnebel. Subsequently Kortekangas has worked as a teacher, including periods at the National Theatre Academy and the Sibelius Academy, and has taken part in a number of educational projects with children and youth, both in Finland and abroad. Throughout his career, Kortekangas has been interested in collaboration with other arts and artists.

Kortekangas has received commissions from ten countries. His music has been featured in concerts and at festivals around the world, and his works are included in the repertoires of many leading orchestras, choirs, and soloists. He has received numerous scholarships and awards in Finland and abroad.

Olli Kortekangas’s oeuvre consists of more than 100 works, from solo pieces and chamber music to orchestral works and operas. His latest opera, Daddy’s Girl, commissioned jointly by the Savonlinna Opera Festival and the Finnish Parliament, was premiered in Savonlinna in 2007, and a new production was staged by the Finnish National Opera in January 2009. Of his earlier operas, Grand Hotel and Messenius and Lucia are also available on CD (Ondine Records).

Kortekangas’s collaboration with some of the best Finnish choirs, the Tapiola Choir and Candomino in particular, has resulted in such popular works as MAA, A, Ikikaiku, Verbum, and Three Romances. His most recent choral works include Välimeri (“Mediterranean Sea”), Shadows, The Way to the Woods, and De profundis. A selection of his works for mixed choir is available on a CD by Candomino (Alba Records).

Kortekangas has also composed several song cycles and chamber works with voice, most recently Pietà for soprano, viola da gamba and harpsichord. Kortekangas’s instrumental works include Stargazer (Organ Sonata No. 2), Divertimento for solo cello, and Crossing the Five Rivers for viola da gamba and organ.  At present, Kortekangas is working on a piano concerto, commissioned by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Olli Kortekangas’s music is published by Fennica Gehrman and represented worldwide by Boosey & Hawkes.