Esa Pietilä (born in 1964) is a well-known saxophonist operating with different musical genres in a creative way that recognizes no stylistic borders. As a composer, he has broadened the image of contemporary music with jazz. He has been commissioned to write works for the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Zagros Ensemble, UMO Jazz Orchestra and others, and has also written music for solo instruments, instrumental groups, dance projects and films. Apart from composing and being an active performer he has also given master courses on improvisation and tenor saxophone e.g. in the USA, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.
Pietilä’s compositions include often a mixed combination of instruments and styles incorporating also a saxophone soloist. His aim has been to create new repertoire for the tenor saxophone – his own instrument. Examples of these are his works Graffiti Play for chamber orchestra and contemporary jazz trio (2012, premiered by Avanti! and the Esa Pietilä trio), and Hunt! for saxophone and percussion quintet premiered by the Osuma Ensemble in 2016. Combining improvisation and composed music has also always been an interest for Pietilä.
The agreement with Fennica Gehrman covers a dozen or so works including also Asterion for 8 players (2014, commissioned by the Zagros Ensemble), Hyperhelium, for chamber sextet and tenor saxophone (2016), Brisk, for cello & marimba, Uirapuru (2017) for male choir and tenor saxophone as well as Pulses, Waves & Dialoques (2017) for tenor saxophone and string orchestra. Among the most recent compositions by Esa Pietilä are Seven in Amazonas for recorder quartet, The Wind Wants for woodwind quintet and Three Strides of Light for piano solo.