Pohjola, Seppo


Seppo Pohjola (born May 4, 1965) studied composition at the Sibelius Academy in 1990–94 under Paavo Heininen and Erkki Jokinen. In 1991 Pohjola debuted with his String Quartet No. 1 and in 1995 he held a composition concert together with Jukka Koskinen at the Helsinki Festival.

Pohjola began his career as a composer in a strict modernist spirit. The first signs of his softer style were heard in the String Quartet No. 2 (1995) and Game Over (1996) for chamber ensemble.

String Quartet No. 3 (2000) was a significant turning point for Seppo Pohjola who at the time felt trapped under the pressure of absolute demands. He decided that the quartet would be created in a more leisurely manner and the 15-minute piece emerged painlessly in a couple of months. His monumental String Quartet No. 4 was completed in 2006. It is the first example of Pohjola’s compositional canon technique, which is important to him. The critics hailed it as a landmark in Finnish quartet literature. It was followed by a long gap, after which String Quartets Nos. 5–7 were created at a swift pace. The first four string quartets have been recorded by the Kamus Quartet and the CD has received high acclaim.

Seppo Pohjola has also composed symphonies, concertos for piano, violin and cello as well as operas. An important commission was Juuret (Roots) premiered by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in the Helsinki Variation work series.

Alba Records has released several discs of Pohjola’s music.


Helsinki Variations (2020)

for orchestra

2222-4231-12-str Percussion: Snare drum, Cymbal, Tamtam, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Tubular bells Commissioned by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra fp. 24 November 2021 Helsinki Music Centre Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra c. Nils Schweckendiek

Duration: 13

Juuret (Roots) for orchestra