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Pekka Jalkanen


Pekka Jalkanen (born in 1945) is one of the few minimalists in Finland. He studied composition under Erkki Salmenhaara and first became known as a composer of children’s music for radio and TV. Since then he has composed a wealth of works for ranging from string music and chamber pieces to vocal music.

He has been interested in the music of the Romani people and folk music, and many his works have a certain affinity with primitivism and folk music, e.g. The Serf of Viro (Viron orja, for two solo violins and orchestra, 1980) which is one of the best-known examples of Finnish minimalism. His works for children include The Trip to Panama (Oi ihana Panama, 1989), a charming musical fable for narrator and ensemble, based on the text by Janosch.

Jalkanen is also an accomplished musicologists, having earned Ph.D. in the subject. He is docent of musicology at the University of Tampere.

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