His first instruments were violin and piano. He would play both jazz and classical music. He was known to be extremely creative, and spent much time during his teenage years improvising. After a while, he began writing his ideas down on paper, and began to do serious composition. He attended the Sibelius Academy of Music, and studied with a number of prestigious teachers.
After graduating, Sallinen took a position as composition teacher at the Sibelius Academy, and continued composing. In his mid 20’s, he was put on the board of directors of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He became chairman of the board of Finnish Composers ten years after. Year 1981 he was nominated Professor of Arts for Life by the Finnish government so he could focus more on composition.
After receiving that award, Sallinen devoted great amounts of time to his composing. He has revived standard forms and harmonies, but puts them together in very contemporary ways. He has received a number of commissions from some very renowned groups like Kronos Quartet and has composed eight symphonies, including one using material from a proposed ballet on The Lord of the Rings and containing two mediaeval Finnish tunes from the Piae Cantiones. He has written six operas.
For example he is the composer of the title track (( Winter Was Hard )) of the Kronos Quartet’s album Winter Was Hard.
Edited by [deleted user] on 28 Dec 2007, 12:51
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