Kortekangas, Olli


Olli Kortekangas (born on 16 May 1955) studied music theory and composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki from 1974-1981 under the direction of Einojuhani Rautavaara and Eero Hämeenniemi. He continued his studies in West Berlin with Dieter Schnebel in 1981-1982. Kortekangas has also 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 young people, both in Finland and abroad.

Kortekangas’ music has been featured in concerts and at festivals around the world, and his works his works are being commissioned at an increasing rate. He has received numerous scholarships and awards in Finland and abroad, including the Special Prize of the Prix Italia Competition and the City of Salzburg Opera Prize, the prestigious Teosto Prize and the Espoo Medal in 2008. He has been granted a 5-year-scholarship of the Arts Council of Finland three times.

Kortekangas’ oeuvre consists of more than 100 works from solo pieces and chamber music to orchestral works and operas. Since his early days as a choral singer, Kortekangas has been attracted to the human voice. He has written several operas including Messenius and Lucia (2004), Isän tyttö (Daddy’s Girl, 2006), commissioned jointly by the Savonlinna Opera Festival and the Finnish Parliament) and Yhden yön juttu (One Night Stand, 2011). His opera Veljeni vartija (My Brother’s Keeper, 2017) was a commission from the Tampere Hall. The church opera Elämänkuvat (Pictures of Life) by Kortekangas was premiered at the Korsholm Music Festival in 2019 and commissioned by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Other stage works include the church opera Ende und Beginn and the monologue opera Koria täti.

His collaboration with some of the best Finnish choirs, particularly the Tapiola Choir, has resulted in many popular a cappella choral works which have become repertoire of professional choirs all over the world. A special mention should be made of the Mass for the Jubilee Year (1999), commissioned by the parishes of Espoo, and covering the complete music for a Lutheran divine service. Many of his works for mixed choir are available on a CD by Candomino (“O mare mio” by Alba Records), released in 2005. Olli Kortekangas has also written several works for chorus and orchestra such as Seven Songs for Planet Earth premiered and commissioned by the Choral Arts Society of Washington on 22 May 2011. It was also performed twice by the San Francisco Choral Society and Piedmont Choirs in October 2011. Migrations for male chorus, soloists and orchestra commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra and premiered in Minneapolis in February 2016. It has also been recorded on the BIS label.

During his residency with the Oulu Symphony Orchestra in 1997-2007 Kortekangas turned his attention to orchestral composition. His orchestral works include Konzertstück for clarinet, cello and orchestra (1993), Charms, concerto for piano trio and orchestra (1998) and Clarinet Concerto premiered by the Oulu Symphony Orchestra in 2014. His Partita Concertante for cello and orchestra was commissioned by the Naantali Music Festival and premiered in 2022. The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra commission, Songs of Meena, received its first performance in November 2022. The impressive texts to this work for soprano and orchestra are by Meena Alexander, an Americanised poet of Indian descent.

Kortekangas’ output also includes also a number of chamber and instrumental solo works as well as chamber music with voice. Throughout his career, Kortekangas has been interested in collaboration with other arts and artists. Among his most important partners are the painters Raija Malka and Kuutti Lavonen, the choreographer Päivi Järvinen, and the playwright-director Michael Baran.

Aika, hetken kaiku

Time, Echo of the Moment (2002-03)

for SSAA chorus and orchestra


Duration: 15


Three Songs to Poems by D. H. Lawrence (Eng) (1989)

for mezzo-soprano and orchestra

22(II+ca)22-4220-12-hp-str Percussione: 3 Tom-toms, Gran cassa, Piatti, 3 Piatto sospeso (piccolo, medio & grande), Tamtam (grande), Gong (F), Campanelli, Campane tubolari, Triangolo, Tamburino, Congas, Maracas

Duration: 13

Axelin monologi (Yö on pitkä)

oopperasta Isän tyttö

voice and orchestra

2222-2221-12-hp-str Percussione: Tamburo piccolo, Gran cassa, 2 Tom-toms (alto & medio), Tam-tam (medio), Sizzle cymbal

Duration: 5

Cello Concerto [under revision]


for violoncello and orchestra


Duration: 22


Concerto for piano trio and orchestra (1996-98 / 2010)

Solo trio: pf-vl-vc 1111-2110-02-hp-str Perc. 1: Cassa rullante, 3 Piatti sospesi, 3 Tamtams, Gongs, Campane tubolari, Bell tree Perc. 2: Timpani, 5 Tomtoms, Gran cassa, 3 Piatti sospesi, 3 Tamtams

Duration: 18

Clarinet Concerto


clarinet and orchestra

2(I&II+picc)222-2221-02(I+timp)-str Percussione I: Timpani, Tamburo piccolo, Gran cassa, 2 Piatti sospesi (medio & basso), Gong Percussione II: 3 Piatti sospesi (alto, medio & basso), Sizzle cymbal, Tamtam, Campanelli, Campani tubolari, Triangolo, Mark tree

Duration: 30

Concerto for flute, violin, harpsichord & strings


Solo flute, violin and harpsichord str

Duration: 0

Concerto for Organ, Timpani and Strings



Duration: 25

De virtute in virtutem

Pyhiinvaeltajan lauluja - Songs of a Pilgrim (2011)

for soprano, contralto, tenor, bass and 12 period instruments


Duration: 25

Ecrit sur le vent et l'eau


for soprano, mezzo-soprano and instrumental ensemble


Duration: 14


Kirkko-ooppera (2018)

Church opera for soprano, baritone, choir and orchestra

2(II+picc)1(+ca)2(II+bcl)1-2110-11-cemb-str Percussion: Tamburo piccolo, Gran cassa, 3 Piatti sospesi (alto, medio, basso), Sizzle symbal, Tam-tam, Crotali, Campane tubolari, Triangolo, Woodblock

Duration: 55

Ende und Beginn [SALES MATERIAL]

Monologue Church Opera (2020-21)

for baritone, dancer and instrumental ensemble


Duration: 60

Herra siunaa meit' ja auta


for baritone, oboe and string orchestra

oboe, str

Duration: 2


With Songs of Gladness (2000)

for baritone, boys' choir and orchestra


Duration: 20

Intermezzo ja lasten lyhtykulkue

from the opera Maria's Love (1996-99)

opera excerpt for orchestra


Duration: 5

Isä meidän


for baritone, cor anglais and string orchestra


Duration: 2

Isän tyttö

Kaksinäytöksinen ooppera (2004-2006)

Opera in two acts

Singing roles: 3 sopranos, 2 mezzos, tenor, 2 barytons, bass-baritone, mixed and children's choir 2(II+picc)2(II+ca)2(II+bcl)2(II+cfg)-2221-12-hp-pf/cel/keyb-elbas-str

Duration: 0



for clarinet, cello and orchestra

2(II+picc)111-2200-02-str Percussione (2 esecutori): 3 Tom-toms, Gran cassa, 4 Piatti sospesi (alto, 2 medii, basso), 2 Tamtams (medio & basso), Gong (F#), Crotali, Campanelli, Campani tubolari, 2 Triangoli, Temple blocks, Chimes

Duration: 14

Koria täti

monologue opera (libretto: Tommi Kinnunen) (2021)

soprano and ensemble

cl(+bcl), perc(1), pf Percussione: Timpani, Triangolo, Tamtam, Vibrafono, Piatti sospesi, Gran cassa, Wood block, Temple blocks

Duration: 0

Les Nuits Blanches


for orchestra


Duration: 4

Maa, meri ja taivas

Earth, Sea and Heaven (2006-07)

Cantata for boys’ choir (SATB), trumpet, percussion, organ and string orchestra


Duration: 35

Marian rakkaus

Maria's Love. Opera (1996-99)

Second part of the opera trilogy Aika ja uni (The Age of Dreams)

Singing roles: soprano, mezzosoprano, alto, 3 tenors, 2 barytons, bass-baryton, bass, mimic, mixed and children's choirs 33(III=ca)3(III=bcl)3(III=cfg)-4331-13-hp-cel+pf-str

Duration: 78

Me uskom'

We believe (2001)

for string orchestra


Duration: 8

Meren kivet, rannan kivet

Sea Stones, Shore Stones (2002)

for youth choir (SATB) and string orchestra


Duration: 12

Messenius ja Lucia [complete opera]

Messenius and Lucia (2002-05)

for 8 singing roles, 3 actors, mixed chorus and orchestra

2222-2221-02-hp-cemb-str Percussione: 5 Timpani, Tamburo piccolo, Cassa rullante, 3 Tom-toms, Gran cassa, 3 Piatti sospesi (basso, medio & alto), Tamtam (basso & medio), 4 Gongs (C#,D,G,A), Campanelli, Marimba, Silofono, Vibrafono, Campani tubolari, Triangolo, Maracas, Wood block, Temple blocks, Chimes, Flexaton, Frusta

Duration: 115


for Mezzo-soprano, Male Voice Choir and Orchestra (2014)

mezzo-soprano, TTBB and orchestra

3(III+picc)3(III+ca)3(III+bcl+cbcl)3(III+cfg)-4331-12-hp-str Percussione 1: Tamburo piccolo, Cassa rullante, 2 Piatti sospesi (medio & basso), Sizzle cymbal, Tamtam grande, Crotali, Marimba, Campane tubolari Percussione 2: Gran cassa, 3 Piatti sospesi (basso, medio & alto), Gongs, Tamtam, Triangolo, Maracas, Mark tree

Duration: 30



for orchestra


Duration: 9

Mukka Suite

Mukka-sarja (1996)

for chamber orchestra


Duration: 11

Partita concertante

for violoncello and ensemble (2020-21)

1111-1000-01-hp Percussion: 5 Timpani, Snare drum, 3 Tom-toms, Bass drum, 3 Suspended cymbals, Sizzle Cymbal, Tamtam, 3 Gongs (C, B, Bb), Wind gong, Vibraphone (with motor), Triangle, Wood block, 5 Temple blocks

Duration: 20

Piano Concerto [under revision]


for piano and orchestra

2(II+picc)2(II+ca)2(II+bcl)2(II+cfg)-2221-12-hp-str Perc. 1: Tamburo piccolo, Piatti sospesi (alto, medio, basso), Tamtam, Temple blocks Perc. 2: Gran cassa, Campanelli, Marimba, Vibrafono, Triangolo, Wood block, Mark tree

Duration: 27

Piazza del Duomo


for orchestra

2(II+picc)22(II+bcl)2-2220-11-str Percussione: Tamburo piccolo, 5 Tom-toms, 3 Piatti sospesi, Tamtam medio, Campane tubolari, Triangolo, Chimes

Duration: 9

Psalm arrangements for symphony orchestra

Virsisovituksia sinfoniaorkesterille (2001-02)

for orchestra

Jo varhain, Herra, annoit (Psalm/Virsi 517) 3333-4331-12-hp-str (3’) Kiitos Sulle, Jumalani (Psalm/Virsi 341) 2+picc.333-4331-12-hp-str (4’) Kuule, Isä taivaan (Psalm/Virsi 501) 3332+cbn-4331-12-hp-str (3’) Oi Pyhä Henki, Herramme (Psalm/Virsi 111) 3333-4331-12-hp-str (3’) Ystävä sä lapsien (Psalm/Virsi 492) 2222-2220-str (3’)

Duration: 0



for clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano

Duration: 8

Seven Songs for Planet Earth


for mezzosoprano and baritone, mixed & children's choruses and orchestra

Mezzosoprano & Baritone solo, Mixed choir, Children's choir 2(II+picc)2(II+ca)2(II+bcl)2(II+cfg)-2221-12-hp-str Percussion 1: Snare drum, Frame drum, Bass drum, Crotales, Glockenspiel, Marimba, Triangle, Wood block Percussion 2: Tom-tom, Cymbals, 3 susp.cymbals (high, medium, low), Sizzle cymbal, Tamtam, Large tamtam, Triangle, Mark tree

Duration: 40

Songs of Meena

Song Cycle to the lyrics by Meena Alexander

for soprano and orchestra

2(II+picc)2(II+oa+ca)2(II+bcl)2(II+bcl)-2221-12-hp-pf(+cel)-str Percussione: ): Tamburo piccolo, Cassa rullante, Gran cassa, 3 Piatti sospesi (alto, medio, basso), Crash Cymbal, Sizzle Cymbal, Tam-tam, Gong (Bb), Campanelli, Silofono, Campane tubolari, Triangolo, Wood block

Duration: 20

Suite concertante

Meditazioni sul Cantico dei cantici (2007)

for oboe, violoncello and orchestra


Duration: 15

Triptych for Seven

Triptyykki seitsemälle (2008)

for instrumental ensemble


Duration: 12

Veljeni vartija (My Brother's Keeper)

Opera (libretto: Tuomas Parkkinen) (2017)


2(II+picc.).2(II+c.ing).2(II+clb).2(II+cfg)- Perc: 3 Piatti sosp. (alto, medio, basso), Tam-tam, Triangolo, Sizzle Cymbal (with brushes), Campane tubolari (shared with 2.), Mark Tree, Marimba, Tamburo piccolo, Claves, Xilofono, 3 Tom-toms, Wood block, Thunder plate, Gran cassa, Cassa rullante, 3 Piatti sosp. (alto, medio, basso), Campanelli, Tam-tam grande, Claves, Crotali, 3 Tom-toms, Tamburo piccolo (with wire brushes), Wood block, Frusta, Campane tubolari (shared with 1.), Triangolo, Maracas, Tamburello basco, Gong (d, A, Bb, F#)

Duration: 135

Winter Music

Talvimusiikki (1999)

for orchestra


Duration: 10

Yhden yön juttu. Opera



Duration: 0

Mediterranean Sea (Välimeri) (I Sea Picture)
Candomino Choir, cond. Tauno Satomaa
(Alba Records NCD 27)

Three Romances (III Old Song)
Candomino Choir, cond. Tauno Satomaa
(Alba Records NCD 27)

Messenius and Lucia, Opera in Two Acts (Scene 2)
Oulu SO and soloists, cond. Arvo Volmer
(Ondine ODE 1073-2D)

Stargazer, Sonata for Organ No. 2  
sol. Jan Lehtola
(YLE/Finnish Broadcasting Company)