Jyrki Linjama (born 23 April 1962) studied composition at the Sibelius Academy with Einojuhani Rautavaara and Paavo Heininen obtaining an artistic doctorate in 2003. He also studied at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, where his teacher was Witold Szalonek, and took private lessons in Budapest with Zsolt Durkó. Jyrki Linjama has taught at the Helsinki Conservatory and the Sibelius Academy, and lectured in musicology at the University of Turku in 1993-2008. He has also written about music and been active in several organizations, e.g. as Chairman of the association for Finnish composers of church music and on the board of the Madetoja Foundation, for example. He has also taught in educational projects, such as workshops in schools.
His opus list has grown as a result of commissions and consists equally of sacred and more profane music. Having recently resigned from his position at the University of Turku, Linjama is now a freelance composer. Church music has gradually become more and more dominant in his work. Linjama has composed a wealth of chamber, vocal and instrumental works including several pieces for organ. His large-scale works include three concertos for violin, his main instrument, the Liturgical Concerto for Organ and Strings (2005) and pas de deux commissioned by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1994. More recent works include Suomalainen Stabat Mater (Finnish Stabat Mater, 2012) and Vanitas for mixed chorus and orchestra (2013). Linjama has also composed a church opera Das Geburt des Täufers which was premiered in Austria in 2010 when Linjama was the Composer-in-Residence at the Carinthischer Sommer music festival.
When describing his music Linjama mentions its general sensitivity and obvious mimosa-like quality. He feels it is important to defend the right to intimacy, to richness of nuance and protection amid today’s increasingly widespread obscenity. On the other hand, he points out that the core of musical culture is a fruitful tension between counterforces: sensitivity and aggressiveness.