Paavo Heininen

Paavo Heininen

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Paavo Heininen (1938) is a composer, essayist, pianist and teacher. A highly revered figure in Finnish musical circles, he is known as a prolific composer of symphonies and other orchestral works, chamber music, vocal music and piano pieces. He also guided a generation of young composers at the Sibelius Academy during a teaching career of more than forty years. His natural starting point was from the beginning modernism. According to him, there is no need to change direction since to him, modernism means being open to all the possibilities that exist.  Vocal music is, however, perhaps closest to Heininen's heart because of his passion for texts: the marriage of word and music is, in his opinion, something unique, allowing the composer and the poet to express more together than they could ever do alone. Heininen has composed two operas during the 1980s: Veitsi (The Knife, 1985-88) and Silkkirumpu (The Damask Drum, 1981-83). In addition to the six symphonies, Paavo Heininen has also produced a wealth of instrumental and chamber music, among them string quartets, Discantus I for alto flute, Poesia squillante ed incandescente – Sonata per pianoforte, Piano Trio Op. 91 and Variations for organ. He has also composed duos for every orchestral instrument and piano, sonatas for various instruments and several solo pieces for piano and organ. Some of his works cover an entire concert program, such as Mazurki for piano, the Finnish Song Book, Opus sylvanum (Palmgren Variations) and the Piano Etudes. 




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