Latest publications & news

Mikko Heiniö is celebrating his 75th anniversary this year. One of his most exciting premieres this year is Koraaleja (Chorales) by the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra on 11 February 2023 at the Katedraali soi Festival in Turku. Chorales consists of an introduction and two overlapping works: a Concerto for Kantele, Violin and String Orchestra, and settings of three poems by Lassi Nummi for baritone, violin, kantele and string orchestra. The soloists will be Eija Kankaanranta (kantele), Antti Tikkanen (violin) and Kristian Lindroos (baritone).

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Mikko Heiniö's violin concerto Alla madre (2007) abandons the traditional virtuoso concerto concept: here a large orchestra engages in dialogue with a solo violin. The first movement is called Arrivo, “Arrival”: the soloist literally arrives later, and by degrees, playing his/her first two solos offstage.

Solo part & piano reduction Buy now

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Mikko Heiniö's April evenings for black twins (2015) is a sonata in five movements. This 15-minute virtuoso piece for pianos is inspired by evenings in the month of April. The twins here are identical, so in addition of being individuals they also form an orchestral super instrument. Buy now

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These seven variations and theme based on a Finnish folk song were composed in 2016. The folk song in question begins with the phrase "When the boys went singing around the village / the girls believed somebody was playing the organ." Buy now

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Jouluaamun hämärässä sekakuorolle on kaunis, kansanlaulumainen sekakuoroballadi säveltäjän omaan tekstiin. Buy now

Täällä, kaikkialla on Juha Vakkurin koskettaviin runoihin sävelletty teos mieskuorolle. Buy now

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Mot natten (Towards night, 2018) found its inspiration and name in Finnish poet Bo Carpelan’s (1926-2011) posthumous poetry collection though the movements are not tied to specific poems. Duration ca. 11’30.
55011-685-6, € 24,00 Buy now

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Mikko Heiniö composed his Sonata for Guitar (2019) with the instrument on his lap. The inspiring cooperation with the guitarist Patrik Kleemola can be heard throughout the four-movement sonata. The overall duration is ca. 14 minutes.
55011-605-4, € 23,30 Buy now

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for guitar
A solo work made up of four contrasting movements (Allegro intenso-Pesante-Sostenuto-Energico), which are played attacca. The composer says of the title: " like the nature, fragile and clear as glass, as light filtered by certain frequences of chromium oxide".
55011-465-4, € 18,90 Buy now

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for male choir and tubular bell
Mikko Heiniö's Amen for male choir and tubular bell (only one tube Db/C# is needed) contains only the word "Amen", which is explored and displayed in various colours and situations.
55011-299-5, € 9,90 Buy now

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 Symphony No. 2 (Songs of Night and Love)
(II Silence of the Sea)

Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Petri Sakari, sol. Tommi Hakala
(Sony Music 88697 630212)

 Alla madre, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
(II Aura)

Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Petri Sakari, sol. Kurt Nikkanen
(Sony Music 88697 630212)

 The Knight and the Dragon (Act 2, Scene 4)
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Turku Opera Chorus, cond. Ulf Söderblom, sol. Charlotte Hellekant, Helena Juntunen, Curt Appelgren, Rúni Brattaberg etc.
(BIS Records CD-1246)

 Possible Worlds (IV Mobile e sonore)
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Jacques Mercier
(Finlandia Records CD-3984-23404-2)

 Vuelo de alambre (IV Fué anoche)
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Jacques Mercier, sol. Karita Mattila
(Finlandia Records CD-3984-23404-2)

Ilta - Evening (XIV Aftonbön (Evening Prayer)
Key Ensemble/Teemu Honkanen (Fuga-9409)

Tomumieli (Mind of Dust)
for TTBB choir and djebe drum
YL Male Voice Choir, cond. Matti Hyökki
(Finlandia Records CD-3984-23404-2)

Fennica Gehrman has published a handsome brochure about Mikko Heiniö and his works. Included are articles about his music, a work list as well as a sampler CD. If you are looking for repertoire, please order your copy from info(at)

You can download the brochure here.

Mikko Heiniö

Mikko Heiniö (born on 18 May 1948) studied composition with Joonas Kokkonen in Finland and Witold Szalonek in West Berlin, gaining his composition diploma from the Sibelius Academy in 1977. He also studied musicology and in 1984 earned a doctorate in the subject from the University of Helsinki, where worked as an assistant 1977-1985. He was Professor of musicology at the University of Turku 1986-2005 and Chairman of the Society of Finnish Composers 1992-2010. He was also Deputy Chairman of the Finnish Composers' Copyright Society Teosto. Heiniö is composer-in-residence of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra.

The main items in Heiniö’s oeuvre are his four operas, the nine piano concertos and three symphonies (Possible Worlds (1987), Songs of Night and Love (1997) and Sinfonia Concertante for Percussion and Orchestra (2017). Other orchestral works include the song cycle Vuelo de alambre (1983), Wind Pictures for choir and orchestra (1991), Envelope for trumpet and orchestra (2002, intended to be performed before and after the Haydn Trumpet Concerto in Eb), Sonata da chiesa (2005) scored for brass, celesta and percussion, Alla madre (2007) for violin and orchestra, Syyskesän laulu (Late Summer Song, 2009) for soloist and orchestra (or piano) and Event Horizon (2012) for wind orchestra.

He has also written a wealth of solo pieces and chamber works for a variety of instruments such as Framtidens skugga (The Shadow of the Future) for soprano and brass ensemble (1980), Piano Trio (1988), Piano Quintet (1993), Sextet (2000) for baritone and ensemble,  Treno della notte (2000) for clarinet, cello and piano, Café au lait (2006) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano and Canzona (2006) for string trio. His work list also includes solo pieces for the guitar.

Heiniö’s series of piano concertos explore the worlds of choral music, dance, opera and jazz with a disregard for artistic borders. They are hybrids with unconventional instrumentations as the composer feels that “every work should succeed in conjuring up something unique”. The fourth piano concerto Genom kvällen (Through the Evening) is also a choral work. The sixth and seventh piano concertos Hermes (1994) and Khora (2001) were composed as dance works in close partnership with the ERI Dance Theatre. Hermes is scored for piano, soprano and string orchestra, while Khora has five percussion players instead of an orchestra. Both concertos can also be performed as concert versions. Moon Concerto (Piano Concerto No. 7 for mezzo-soprano, piano and orchestra) was commissioned by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Nonno (Piano Concerto No. 9 for amplified piano and big band) by the UMO Jazz Orchestra.

Mikko Heiniö is also a composer of choral music, such as Three Folk Songs (1977), Landet som icke är (The Land that is Not, 1980) and Luceat (1992). His large-scale choral works Maria Suite and Ilta (The Evening) have both been recorded by the Key Ensemble - a choir which has often pefromed and premiered Heiniö's works. One of the latest choral pieces is Täällä, kaikkialla (Here, Everywhere) commissioned by the Polytech Choir and premiered in Helsinki in 2021.

Heiniö has composed four operas. The church opera Riddaren och draken (The Knight and the Dragon, 2000) was written for Turku Cathedral’s 700th anniversary celebrations and it has been recorded on the BIS label. His second opera Käärmeen hetki (The Hour of the Serpent) was commissioned by the Finnish National Opera and premiered in 2006. Erik XIV was a commission from the City of Turku, and it tells about the Swedish King Eric XIV (1533-1577) and his wife, Karin Månsdotter. In Heiniö's latest opera Johanna the libretto by Pirkko Saisio weaves together the stories of 15th-century Joan of Arc and Johanna, a 21st-century drama-queen entertainer. On the surface, the story is about two provocative, charismatic women – but also their abuse and exploitation

Heiniö’s music has been described as sensual, rhythmic and easily accessible. Basic features of his style are its colourful, impressionistic sonority and energetic rhythms displaying the influence of Latin-American music, jazz and rock. In the 1980s, particularly, he went in for marked contrasts of style within one and the same work (as in Possible Worlds). In the Concerto for Organ and Orchestra (2012-13) the organ at times dances to the beat of an old Italian Saltarello, while at others it engages in sustained, intense dialogue with the orchestra creating an impressive, sublime atmosphere steeped in colour. Heiniö's 3rd symphony, Symphony Concertante for Percussion and Orchestra (2017) was a commission by the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra for a premiere in May 2018. A Turku University commission was the cantata Syvyyden yllä tuuli (Wind above the Depths) premiered in 2020.

Heiniö also has a reputation as a music scholar, as the author of several books and nearly two hundred articles. He specialises in new Finnish music, a subject on which he has written works focusing on the history of ideas (such as his doctoral dissertation The Idea of Innovation and Tradition, 1984) and the history of composition. His book Aikamme musiikki (1995) is volume 4 of the history of Finnish music that won the Finlandia Prize for non-fiction in 1997. Sanat sävelistä (1997) is a treatise on his own composition, his views on aesthetics and cultural policy, and his book Karvalakki kansakunnan kaapin päällä (1999) deals with the public image of Finnish opera.

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