On this new album Susanne Kujala plays modern organ music. The compositions of Veli Kujala, Maija Hynninen, Minna Leinonen, Olli Virtaperko and Antti Auvinen do justice to the sound mass, rhythmic vibrations and airy texture of the organ. To give contemporary composers the opportunity to explore these possibilities of sounds even further, to present the features of the organ to composers and to premiere their new works are essential goals of Kujala’s artistic work.
Veli Kujala (b. 1976) studied concert accordion and composition at the Sibelius-Academy receiving his Doctor of Music -degree with distinction in 2010. Kujala’s versatile compositional output includes solo, chamber and electro-acoustic works and concertos for solo instrument(s) and orchestra. He has performed as a soloist of many ensembles and premiered over 60 works including nine concertos.
Maija Hynninen (b. 1977) – composer and sound artist – is working in the areas of concert music, electronic instrument design and multidisciplinary performances. Hynninen is currently PhD student at UC Berkeley, with Franck Bedrossian, Edmund Campion, Cindy Cox and Ken Ueno as her professors. She is also earning a PhD inelectro-acoustic music in Sibelius Academy.
Works of Minna Leinonen (b. 1977) are often inspired by everyday, extra-musical phenomena such as Finnish environment and folklore or daily objects and sounds. Leinonen is a board member of the Society of Finnish Composers and is doing her doctoral studies at The University of Arts Sibelius Academy DocMus department.
Olli Virtaperko (b. 1973) has enjoyed a multi-faced career. He studied composition, the Baroque cello and early music performance practice at the University of Edinburgh and composition and music theory at Sibelius Academy, from where he graduated 2005. Virtaperko’s vast musical background feeds directly into his work as a composer, which includes heavy-duty solo concertos and orchestral & chamber works along with a number of works for Baroque and Renaissance period instruments.
In the music of Antti Auvinen (b. 1974), a modernist compositional language is fused with a powerful sense of drama and a charged intensity generated through the explosive clash of conflicting tensions. The titles of recent orchestral works like Junker Twist (2015), Himmel Punk (2016) and Turbo Aria (2017) conjure up strong images and suggest associations that are perhaps uncommon in the world of ‘classical’ concert music. Auvinen’s opera Bliss (2015) was awarded the acclaimed Teosto Prize.
Susanne Kujala (b. 1976 in Berlin) performs as a concert organist, chamber musician and improviser. The collaboration with composers and numerous premieres are an essential part of her musical career. She is an accomplished interpreter of contemporary music, who has premiered over 50 solo and chamber music works, three concertos and five works for the microtonal Fokker organ at the Muziekgebouw aan t’IJ in Amsterdam with 31 tone system. Kujala gained her artistic Doctor of Music degree in 2013 at the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts on the topic “Organ as an Instrument for Contemporary Music”.