Hakola, Kimmo


Kimmo Hakola (born 27 July 1958) studied at the Sibelius Academy under Einojuhani Rautavaara and Eero Hämeenniemi. He entered the limelight at the end of the 1980s after his success at the Unesco Composers’ Rostrum. In 1987 he won the Rostrum with his String Quartet and in 1991 with his Capriole for cello and clarinet.

Hakola’s music has been performed at several major music events and festivals, and portrait concerts of his works have been held e.g. in Los Angeles (Monday Evening Concerts) and New York (Miller Theatre, Broadway). His music was also broadly presented at the Stockholm International Composer’s Festival in 2008.

Hakola’s new works are always awaited with exceptional interest. His music is known for its exciting dramaturgy and imagination since he views the world with an endlessly curious attitude. There are sudden and unexpected shifts in his musical landscape as well as occasional surprises which act as additional dimension for raising the music as an experience to a new unpredictable level. Connections to musicians whose art has deeply spoken to Hakola have resulted in several works which are examples of his communicative style.

Hakola has composed six operas: The Mastersingers of Mars (a delightful cartoon opera including elements unusual for an opera, 2000), The Mustard Seed (Sinapinsiemen, 2000), The Rolling Stone (Vierivä kivi, 2008), Mara and Katti (a family opera, 2011), La Fenice (commissioned by the Savonlinna Opera Festival, 2011) and Akseli (a monologue opera, 2012). His work list also includes orchestral works and concertos for different instruments. The Piano Concerto premiered at the Helsinki Festival in 1996 was an unprecedented work in new Finnish music in its expressive range, variety of styles and massive scope. The Clarinet Concerto has been a roaring success and it has been performed several times since the premiere in 2001. The Chamber Concerto commissioned by Present Music was premiered in Milwaukee, USA in March 2002. Hakola has also composed concertos for oboe, flute, electric kantele and guitar.  The Violin Concerto (2012) was a co-commission between the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic and John Storgårds. Another addition to the list is the Double Concerto for Violin and Viola commissioned by the Tapiola Sinfonietta and premiered on 22 September 2017 with Minna Pensola and Antti Tikkanen as the soloists.

His other orchestral works include Sinfonietta (1999), Verdoyances crepuscules (2003), Maro (commissioned by the Swedish Radio and Berwald Hall for a performance at the Baltic Sea Festival in August 2006) and KIMM (commissioned by the Stockholm International Composer’s Festival in 2008). Hakola was also commissioned to write music to the Finnish silent film Tukkijoella, a project that was completed in 2013 and premiered by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.  Fidl Op. 99 for violin and orchestra was the commissioned work for the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2019. The 17-minute work radiates light and humour and combines everything Hakola always dreamt of when imagining music for the violin, its textural and expressive potential. Wake! is part of the Helsinki Variations series commissioned by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and premiered in 2021. It refers to Jean Sibelius’s Finlandia, an early version was called Finland Awakes. It is also a strong proclamation for our time, awakening humanity to live more responsibly. Kimmo Hakola’s Symphony No. 1 was commissioned by the Finnish RSO and premiered in December 2018.

His large-scale works include also two oratorios. Le Sacrifice is tied in closely with the film of Andrei Tarkovsky. It was commissioned by Ircam for a performance in Paris in November 2002, and a new, revised version was heard in Helsinki in 2005. Le Sacrifice was one of the three winners of the first Teosto Prize awarded by the Finnish Composers’ Copyright Society in 2003. Hakola’s other oratorio Song of Songs was premiered on 20 October 2006 at the International Choral Espoo festival. Hakola has also written works for mixed choir, and his recent addition to the genre is a 60-minute fantasia De kaspiska tigrarnas Gud (2013) to a text by Stella Parland.

Kimmo Hakola has also written vocal and choral music as well as chamber works, the weightiest of them being his four string quartets, the Clarinet Quintet (1998) and the Wind Quintet ‘Compressions’ (2017). His chamber works include the Kivi Songs (Kivi-laulut, 2007), Leonardo Etudes for guitar (2007), Kal for electric harp, electronics and chamber ensemble (2008) and Appassionato for cello and piano (2009). Apart from composing he has also turned towards conducting and acting as a performing artist. Hakola has been the Artistic Director of the Musica nova festival in 1999-2006, the Helsinki Chamber Choir in 2005-2007 and the Lux musicae festival. In addition he has also served in several administrative capacities, e.g. at the board of Teosto, the Finnish copyright bureau.  Kimmo Hakola’s works have been recorded by Ondine and Innova Records.

Akseli. Monologiooppera


for baritone and instrumental ensemble


Duration: 70

An Johannes


pf(4mani), 2 vl, vla, 2 vc, cb

Duration: 0

Arara for Orchestra


for orchestra

1110-0000-01(adlib.)-str Percussione (ad lib.): Turkish drum

Duration: 6

Arara zagrara


for ensemble

flute, oboe, clarinet, percussion and string quintet

Duration: 6

Chamber Concerto


for eleven players / for chamber orchestra

11(+ca)1(+asax)0-0100-01-pf-str(11111 or str.orch)

Duration: 32

Clarinet Concerto


for clarinet and orchestra

222(I+ebcl,II+bcl)2-2221-1(+perc)1-hp-str Percussion: Drum, Bass drum, Tamtam, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Tubular bells, 2 Triangles (high & low), Tamburino

Duration: 40

Double Concerto

for Violin, Viola and Orchestra (2017)

2(II+picc/afl)2(II+ca)2(II+bcl)2-2200-02-str Percussion: Timpani, Snare drum, Field Drum, 5 Tom-toms, Bass drum, Bass Drum with pedal, Tam-tam, Tubular bells, Glockenspiel, Marimba, Vibraphone, Whip, Sand Block, Triangle, Crystal Glasses

Duration: 30

Fanfare Farara

Festival Fanfare (2001)

for brass and percussion

0000-2321-perc(Bass drum)

Duration: 12


for violin and orchestra (2018)


Duration: 18

Guitar Concerto


for guitar and orchestra

2222-2220-12-hp-str Percussion: Bass drum, Tam-tam, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Marimba, Tubular bells, 2 Triangles (high, low), Tamburino, Castanuelas, Cajón, Maracas

Duration: 35

Ikh Red

for orchestra (2018)

222(II+bcl)2-2210-12-str Percussion: Snare drum, 5 Tom-toms, 5 Roto-toms, Marimba, Vibraphone

Duration: 13


Fanfare I (1997)

for wind orchestra


Duration: 5



for electric harp, electronics and chamber ensemble


Duration: 23

KAL (Second Version)

for electronic harp, electronics and chamber ensemble

electric harp, flute, violin, viola, cello & electronics

Duration: 23



for orchestra

3333(III+cfg)-4331-13-2hp-cel-str Percussion 1: Snare drum, Cymbals, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Triangle (high) Percussion 2: Field drum, Tamtam, Marimba, 2 Triangles (high and low) Percussion 3: Snare drum, Tenor drum, Bass drum, Cymbals, Glockenspiel, Tubular bells

Duration: 25

Kivi-laulut [sinfonietta version]

Seven songs to texts of Aleksis Kivi (2007, orch. 2011)

2(II+picc)2(II+ca)2(II+bcl)2-2210-02-hp-pf(+cel)-str Percussion 1: Timpani, Bass drum, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Tubular bells Percussion 2: Glockenspiel, Marimba, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Tubular bells, Triangolo, Mark Tree

Duration: 23

Kivi-laulut [symphony orchestra version]

Seven songs to texts of Aleksis Kivi (2007, orch. 2011)

for baritone and orchestra

3(III+picc)3(III+ca)3(III+bcl)3(III=cfg)-4331-12-hp-pf(+cel)-str Percussion 1: Marimba, Vibraphone, Tubular bells Percussion 2: Glockenspiel

Duration: 23

Kivi-laulut [version for harp and string orch.]]

Seven songs to texts by Aleksis Kivi (2007, orch. 2011)

for string orchestra

hp, str (min.44332 [divisi])

Duration: 23

Kivi-laulut. Metsämiehen laulu (v. for wind band)


Duration: 4

Kivi-laulut. Metsämiehen laulu [Fi]

for high voice and orchestra

voice and orchestra

3(III+picc)33(III=bcl)3(III=cfg)-4331-12-pf-hp-str Percussion 1: Marimba, Vibraphone, Tubular bells Percussion 2: Glockenspiel

Duration: 4

Le nuage d'Oort


for orchestra

3(II+afl)3(III=ca)3(III=bcl)3(III=cfg)-4331-13-pf-hp-str Percussion 1: Tam-tam, Glockenspiel, Crystal Glasses, Thunder Sheet Percussion 2: Bass drum, Crotales, Xylophone, Crystal Glasses Percussion 3: Marimba, Vibraphone

Duration: 5

Le Sacrifice

Oratorio d'après Andreï Tarkovski (2002 rev 2005)

for coloratura soprano, solo violin, electronics and orchestra

Original version: 2222-2221-03-hp-pf-cel-2vl-2vla-2vc-db-electronics Version 2005: 2222-4331-03-hp-pf-cel-str-electronics

Duration: 80

L'or de l'azur

Flute Concerto (2007)

for flute and orchestra

2222-2200-01-hp-pf-str Percussion: Timpani, Glockenspiel, Marimba, Vibraphone, Tubular bells, Triangolo

Duration: 35

Mara ja Katti. Lastenooppera

Mara and Katti. Children's Opera (2011)

children's opera for soloists, discant choir and instrument ensemble

clarinet, harp, piano, accordeon, viola

Duration: 0

Maro [original version for symphony orchestra]


for orchestra

3(III+picc)3(III=ca)3(III=bcl)3(III=cfg)-4331-12-hp-pf-str Percussion: Snare drum, Field drum, 5 Drums, Bass drum, Tam-tam, Glockenspiel, Marimba, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Tubular bells, 2 Triangles (high & medium), Thunder sheet

Duration: 15

Maro [Version for Chamber Orchestra]


for orchestra


Duration: 15

Marsin mestarilaulajat. Sarjakuvaooppera

The Mastersingers of Mars. A Comics Opera (1999-2000)

A Comics Opera

Soloists: 2 sopranos, tenor, bass Available in two versions: for soloists, ensemble (fl, cl, vl, vc) + electronics (CD) or for soloists, chamber orchestra + electronics

Duration: 70

Music to the film Tukkijoella


for symphony orchestra


Duration: 120

Oboe Concerto


for oboe and orchestra


Duration: 26

Ouvert 2001


for brass ensemble

for brass ensemble

Duration: 20

Piano Concerto


for piano and orchestra

3(II+picc,III+altfl)2(II+c.ing)2(II+cl.b)2(II+c.fag)-2220-12-synth-str Percussione: Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Marimba, Tubular bells, 10 Triangles, Triangolo, Snare Drum, Field Drum, Tam tam, Thunder Sheet, Gran Cassa, 5 Drums (ad lib.) & Bass Drum with pedal

Duration: 55

Riite (Crust Ice)

Concerto for Electric Kantele and Orchestra (2003)

for electric kantele and orchestra


Duration: 15



for orchestra


Duration: 20

Sinfonische Elegien


for soprano and orchestra


Duration: 90


Fanfare III (1999)

for orchestra


Duration: 15

Song of Songs


for solo baritone, vocal ensemble (3 sopr, 4 alt), mixed chorus and orchestra

22(II+c.ing)2(II+cl.b)2(II+c.fag)-2200-01-hp-pf+cel-str Percussione: Timpani, (Roto-tom, if needed), Tubular Bells, Vibraphone, Marimba, Glockenspiel, Triangolo (medium, low), Musical Saw

Duration: 50



for orchestra

3(II+afl/tgl[alto].III+picc/tgl[alto]).3(I+tgl[medio].II+tgl[medio].III+c.ing/tgl[medio]).3(I+tgl[alto].II+tgl[medio].III+bcl/tgl[basso]).3(I+tgl[basso].II+tgl[basso].III+cfg/tgl[basso])- 1: Tamburo basco, Tamburo piccolo, Silofono, Glockenspiel, Thunder sheet, Tam-tam, Crystal Glasses, Field Drum, Sand Block, Vibrafono, Triangolo (alto, medio, basso), 5 Drums & Bass Drum, Snare Drum 2: Vibrafono, Campane tubolari, Marimba, Xilofono, Crotales col arco, Sand Block, Field Drum, Triangolo (medio), Glockenspiel, Gran cassa, Hammer 3: Hammer, Gran cassa, Fied Drum, Triangolo (basso), Vibrafono col arco, Campane tubolari, Marimba, Glockenspiel, Tam-tam, Silofono

Duration: 43


Fanfare II (1997)

for wind orchestra


Duration: 7

Tuskan saleissa

In the Halls of Pain (2001)

for soprano, tenor and instrumental early music ensemble

instrumental early music ensemble

Duration: 15

Valoa reunat


for mezzo-soprano, harp and string orchestra

hp, str

Duration: 15

Verdoyances crépuscules


for orchestra

2(II+picc)2(II+c.ing)2(II=cl.b)2(II+c.fag)-4331-12-hp-pf-str Perc. I: Marimba, Gr. cassa Perc. II: Vibrafono, Tub. bells´, Tam-tam

Duration: 12

Violin Concerto


3(III+picc).3(III+c.ing).3(III+clb).3(III=cfg)- Perc. I: Vibraphone, Marimba, 2 Triangles, Glockenspiel, Tamburo piccolo II: Glockenspiel, Marimba, Campane, Gran cassa, Fiel Drum, Triangle III: Gran cassa, 2 Triangles, Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, Cajon

Duration: 35



for orchestra


Duration: 13

Wind quintet no. 1 "Compressions"

Duration: 0

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/Susanna Mälkki

Symphony No. 1
Finnish RSO/Hannu Lintu

Piano Concerto (IX Lux)
Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. John Storgårds, sol. Henri Sigfridsson
(Ondine Records CD-1127-2)

Clarinet Concerto (IV Khasene)
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Sakari Oramo, sol. Kari Kriikku
(Ondine Records CD-1063-2)

Chamber Concerto (II Tempestoso)
Present Music, cond. Kimmo Hakola
(Innova Recordings CD 590)

Kivi-laulut (Kivi Songs) (I Metsämiehen laulu)
Ostrobothian Ch.Orch., cond. Juha Kangas, sol. Jorma Hynninen
(Alba Records ABCD 348)

Guitar Concerto (extract)
Lahti Symphony Orchestra, sol. Timo Korhonen (YouTube)