Antti Auvinen (b. 1974) is an exciting name on the Finnish classical music scene. He studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory, with composition as his main subject. Rhythm, timbre, the potential of multimedia, and unconventional combinations of instruments and ways of playing them are his particular interests. His bold style has won attention and acclaim both at home in Finland and abroad.
Rhythm is a focal feature of Auvinen’s works: a means of creating and releasing musical tensions. His music is marked by a dynamic energy charge and surprise. A number of his compositions work with videos or sampler-enhanced sound worlds as a musical element. An example is Turbo Aria (2017), premiered by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, in which an unrestrained playfulness liberally combines the sounds of toys and computer games with old recordings of star sopranos.
Despite its modern approaches, the music of Auvinen slips with ease into the centuries-old classical-music continuum, and the emotional charges generated by music occupy an important role. Art, he says, affects people deepest down, in the realm of emotion.
The works of Auvinen are keenly in keeping with the times. The contemporary composer can, according to him, express views on the world around him in his music. The theme of Junker Twist (2015), premiered by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, was concern about extreme, right-wing, populist phenomena. Other orchestral works by him include Himmel Punk (2016), commissioned by the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. Another is Digital Madrigal ((3028) for video and orchestra commissioned by the Tapiola Sinfonietta, in which he combines orchestral timbres with manipulated films and video installations. His chamber opera Autuus (Bliss) won the Finnish Teosto Prize in 2016.