Composer Esa Pietilä

“Esa Pietilä is known as a fearless musical visionary. His repertory is extremely versatile, including collaborations with classical orchestras.  – Finnish Jazz Federation

Compositions for different instrument set-ups varying from solo instrument recital pieces up to works for larger groups and orchestras. Pietilä has always been interested in writing music for mixed combination of instruments and genres. There is music for symphony orchestra, chamber groups, jazz groups, for big band, saxophone quartet, solo pieces, experimental pieces for live-electronics & tape with soloist. etc.  Mixing improvisation and composed music has always been also an interest of his.

One of Pietilä´s largest works is a 40 minute concerto “Graffiti Play” for Avanti! chamber orchesta and contemporary jazz trio. The premiere was in 2014 with conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and Esa Pietilä Trio.

Few other latest premieres are e.g. Pulses, Waves & Dialoques, a piece for Tenor Saxophone & string orchestra (premiered with St. Mikkeli strings & Pietilä). Blazing Flames for tenor saxophone & string quartet (premiered  by string quartet KAMUS & Pietilä), 2018. In 2016/17 saw light pieces as HUNT! for saxophone & percussion quintet (premiered by Pietilä & Osuma percussion ensemble), Hyperhelium, for chamber sextet & Tenor Saxophone (premiered by Tampere Raw & Pietilä), Brisk, for cello & marimba (premiered by cellist Eeva Rysä & percussionist Kazutata Morita), Uirapuru, for male choir and Tenor saxophone (premiered by Akademiska Sångföreningen & Pietilä), Asterion (2014), performed & commissioned by Zagros ensamble with Pietilä, a solo piano piece Three Strides of Light (premiered by Risto-Matti Marin).

2019 & 2020 presented premieres of SaturnFantasy for tenor saxophone & church organ (premiered by Pétur Sakari & Pietilä) and Fata Morgana for harpsichord solo (premiered by Assi Karttunen)

Scores available from Fennica Gehrman & Musicfinland

List of works:

For orchestra:

  • Kairos- Double concerto for violin, tenor saxophone ja chamber orchestra, 35 min (2018). Fennica Gehrman F.P. TBA with Pekka Kuusisto,  Pietilä, & Jyväskylä Sinfonia

  • Pulses, Waves & Dialoques, for tenor saxophone & string orchestra (min. 4-3-2-2-1), 18 min (2017) Fennica Gehrman, F.P 2017 by St. Michel Strings & Pietilä

  • Graffiti Play, for contemporary jazz-trio (ts, bs, drs) & chamber orchestra (fl, picc, ob, cl, cl/bcl, bsn/cbsn, trp in Bb, 2 hn in F, trb, perc, strings (min. 4-4-4-2-1), 40 min. (2013)  Fennica Gehrman, F.P. 2014 by Avanti! chamber orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Esa Pietilä Trio. Listen samples from the premiere


For chamber ensemble:

  • Blazing Flames for tenor saxophone & string quartet, 28 min. (2018). Fennica Gehrman, F.P. 2018 with KAMUS String quartet & Pietilä

  • Asterion (Pietilä), 18 min., for tenor saxophone & 8-piece chamber group (fl, cl/bscl, vl, vla, vlc, cb, hn in F, piano), 18 min. (2014) Fennica Gehrman, F.P. 2014 with Pietilä & Zagros Ensemble

  • Glow for tenor saxophone, acc., perc & live-electronics, 16min. (2018). Fennica Gehrman, F.P. 2018 with Veli Kujaja (acc), Janne Tuomi (drs & perc.) & Pietilä

  • Hyperhelium, for 6-piece chamber group (fl, cl, vl, vlc, cb, piano) & tenor saxophone, 18 min. (2016) Fennica Gehrman, F.P. 2016 by Tampere Raw & Pietilä

  • HUNT!, for tenor saxophone & percussion quintet (bass dr/FX sampler, crot, tam-tam, tenor dr, vib, w.b., t.b., doundoun, met pan, marimba 4.3. oct, marimba 5 oct, drum-set) 20 min. (2016)  Fennica Gehrman, F.P. 2016 by Osuma percussion ensemble & Pietilä

  • The Wind Wants, Woodwind Quintet, (fl, ob, cl, bsn, hn in F) 16 min (2017) Fennica Gehrman, F.P. TBA

  • Seven In Amazonas, for recorder quartet (sopr./F bass, tenor, tenor, Sub Bass) 18 min. (2018) Fennica Gehrman, F.P. TBA by Bravade Quartet

  • Lake of Clang, for saxophone quartet (s-a-t/rec, brs) 12 min. (2010) Musicfinland, F.P. 2010

  • Seppo´s Hammer, for chamber strings (vl 1&2, vla, vc 1&2) & jazz quintet (ts & tp or as & voc, pno, ac bass, drs) , 20 min. (2010) Musicfinland, F.P. 2011

  • People People, for voc. (with lyrics), chamber strings (vl 1&2, vla, vlc) and jazz trio (pno, ac. bass, drs), 11 min. (2010) Musicfinland, F.P. 2011

  • Mirage, for string quartet (vl 1&2, vla, vlc), 12 min. (2006) Musicfinland, F.P. 2006 by Zagros string Quartet


For duo:

  • Zephyros flute sonata, F.P TBA with Sami Junnonen (fl) & Tuomas Turriago (p), Fennica Gehrman, F.P. TBA

  • Brisk, for cello and marimba,12 min. (2016) Fennica Gehrman, F.P. 2016 by Eeva Rysä, vlc & Kazutata Morita, perc.


For solo:

  • Three Strides of Light, for solo piano, 14 min. (2009) Fennica Gehrman, F.P. 2018 by Risto-Matti Marin

  • Fire! for tenor saxophone solo 12 min. (2018). Fennica Gehrman, F.P. 2018 by Pietilä

  • Fata Morgana, for solo harpsichord, F.P. 2019 by Assi Karttunen

  • House Of Bells. for solo piano, 9 min. (2006) Musicfinland, F.P. 2006 by Mirka Viitala


For Choir:

  • Uirapuru, for tenor saxophone &  male choir (40 voices and up), 11 min. (2017) Fennica Gehrman, F.P. 2017 by Akademiska Sångföreningen & Pietilä


For organ & saxophone:

  • Triptych for tenor saxophone & church organ, 18 min. Musicfinland, F.P. 2016

  • Saturn – Fantasy for tenor saxophone & church organ, 16 min, Fennica Gehrman, F.P. by 2012 by Pétur Sakari & Esa Pietilä


For Big Band:

  • Big Fun, for 12- piece jazz ensemble (any instruments), 30 min. (2014) Musicfinland F.P. 2014

  • Turms, for Big Band, 14 min (2000) Musicfinland F.P. in 2000

  • Labyrinth, for Big Band, 9 min. Musicfinland F.P. in 2000

  • Code Red, for Big Band, 7 min. Musicfinland F.P. in 1998

  • Before Moon, for Big Band, 7 min. (1998) Musicfinland F.P. In 1996

  • Tricks, for Big Band, 14 min. (1996) Musicfinland F.P. in 1996


  • various works for saxophone quartet