Composer, musician Timo Alakotila (b. 1959) is a distinguished, active and versatile talent in the Finnish music scene whose long career working with different genres of music – folk music in particular – has been ground-breaking. Alakotila graduated from the Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory in 1992, majoring in composition. He plays the piano and the harmonium, and has previously been a member of JPP, a fiddle group originating from Kaustinen that became famous for its innovative style. Alakotila is a teacher at the Sibelius Academy of Uniarts Helsinki and at the Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory and also works as a visiting teacher in Finland and abroad.
Alakotila’s works showcase his versatility. He has produced highly acclaimed classical music compositions and arrangements for Pekka and Jaakko Kuusisto, the Meta4 quartet, the Kamus and Tempera quartets, Eeva Oksala, Dalia Stasevska and Jorma Hynninen, among others. His orchestral pieces published by Fennica Gehrman include Sketches from Folk Scenes for solo violin, string orchestra and harmonium, Concerto grosso for string orchestra, Between Three Worlds (Concerto for violin and brass band) and Forsman. Recently released choral pieces include Koivu ja tähti and Valo, both for an SSAA choir. Alakotila has also devoted a significant part of his career to jazz music compositions and collaborations with various orchestras, such as UMO Jazz Orchestra.
Timo Alakotila has worked with several musicians and groups in Finland and around the world (Maria Kalaniemi, JPP, Nordik Tree, Karen Tweed, Kristine Heebøll, Tango Orchestra Unto, T for Three, Johanna Juhola). His list of recordings is impressive: he has worked on more than 250 releases in different roles. He has been the Artistic Director of the Kaukas EloFolk festival since 2017 and has also developed a method for folk music improvisation. Timo Alakotila was awarded the title of Artist Professor in 2011.