Eero Hämeenniemi (born in 1951) studied with Paavo Heininen at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He continued his studies with Boguslaw Schäffer in Kraków and Franco Donatoni in Siena, before spending a year in the USA at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Joseph Schwantner.
In 1977 Hämeeniemi was one of the founding members of the Ears Open Society, but he soon distanced himself from its starting-point, which was the mainstream of Central European Modernism. Since travelling to India, his interests have been at the carnatic music of South India as well as improvisation (often with Indian musicians and dancers) and jazz. He has also taught music theory and composition at the Sibelius Academy.
Hämeenniemi is primarily a composer of orchestral and chamber music in a freely chromatic, lyrical style. In the 1990s he began to adopt elements from outside Western art music, and they became an organic part of his musical language. The blending of European and South Indian traditions increased in the 1990s and reached its peak in Lintu ja tuuli (‘The Bird and the Wind’, 1994) for soprano, strings, and Indian classical dancers. Hämeeniemi has also composed symphonies, a Violin Concerto (1991), works for soloist and orchestra (such as Efisaes for piano and 12 solo strings and Dialogue for piano and orchestra) as well as jazz works for big band. His choral piece Nattuvanar won the Unesco Rostrum in 1994.