Palomar (Flute Concerto) (I Crepuscolo)
sol. Patrick Gallois
Through Shadows I Can Hear Ancient Voices (Clarinet Concerto) (III Don’t Seek and Don’t Believe)
sol. Mikko Raasakka
Vicoli in ombra
Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä, cond. Patrick Gallois
Concert of chamber works on 9 August 2016
The Tale of Astolpho on the Moon
Julvers (Notturno II)
Poems of Stopped Time and Silence
Pan & Waves of Sorrow
The Smile of the Flamboyant Wings
Uccelli della notte
Erkki Palola, violin, Tuomas Mali, piano
String quartet no. 4 "Sogni del Mare" ("Meren unia", 2020)
Olli Hirvanen, guitar
Images of Fear
John Mills, guitar
Kai Nieminen (born 17 March 1953) studied the guitar at the Conservatory of Central Finland and the Sibelius Academy and musicology at the University of Jyväskylä. He has also studied composition with Stepán Rak and Pekka Kostiainen and attended master classes with George Crumb, Paavo Heininen, Jukka Tiensuu and Theo Lowendie. As a guitarist Kai Nieminen has given recitals and appeared as soloist with several orchestras and acted as a member of the jury of the Fernando Sor Guitar Competition.
Nieminen has composed a number of orchestral works. He is especially known for his concertos, e.g. for the flute (Palomar, 2001), clarinet (Through Shadows I Can Hear Ancient Voices, 2002), violin (‘Il viaggio del cavaliere... (inexistente)’, 2005), piano (Reflections… In the Enchanted Waves of Time, 2005), oboe (Somni de Gaudi, 2008), guitar (‘If on a Winter's Night a Traveller’, 2009) as well as cello and accordion (Marcovaldo, 2012). His list of works also includes vocal music, a wealth of chamber music and works for solo instruments – especially the guitar, his own instrument.
Nieminen has composed three symphonies. The first, ‘La Selva’, which was commissioned by the Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä and premiered on 13 November 2013 under the baton of Patrick Gallois. Symphony No. 2 'Nello specchio della notte' was premiered in 2015 at the Sääksmäki Soi Festival. The third symphony will have its premiere by the Joensuu Orchestra on 22 October 2020.
Nieminen does not fill his score to the brim but instead allows the instruments room to breathe. The delicate, fragile and airy texture of his orchestral works is often more in the nature of intimate chamber music allowing the various instruments to express their intrinsic characteristics and timbres. Kai Nieminen is inspired by cultural and temporal planes and linking the past with the present. He regards himself as a tone painter of fantasies from the life around him and finds his sources of inspiration often in literature, but also in the visual arts and nature. However, he has no desire to confine the listener to any programme. The aim of the extra-musical stimuli is at most to fire the listeners’ imagination and to make them savour musical visions with an open mind.
Naxos and Pilfink Records have released Kai Nieminen's works on CD.