Esa Pietilä soloist with orchestra

”Pietilä´s performance of my concerto was sovereign” – Kalevi Aho

In 2014 Esa Pietilä performed his concerto Graffiti Play for saxophone, improvising contemporary jazz trio and chamber orchestra with one of the leading conductors in the world, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. In 2016 Pietilä premiered the Tenor Saxophone Concerto from famous Finnish composer Kalevi Aho, who composed and dedicated the concerto to Pietilä. In 2013 Pietilä  premiered a saxophone concerto “Grounds” by Eero Hämeenniemi. Concerto  was performed by Se ensemble with famous conductor Santtu Matias Rouvali. The piece was also composed and dedicated to Pietilä, taking advantage of Pietilä´s improvisational skills.

Pietilä has a mission to premiere new saxophone concertos and other larger scale works for saxophone & orchestra. On the next years, there will be more performances of such works from Finnish composers, from Pietilä himself and others. Alongside this, Pietilä is interested on receiving suggestions from composers and conductors to perform and premiere works on the field of contemporary music.

Available repertoire

with orchestra:

  • Kairos Ludus – Double concerto for violin, tenor saxophone and chamber orchestra, 35´ (final version 2022). Fennica Gehrman F.P. TBA 2022 with Pekka Kuusisto,  Pietilä, & Jyväskylä Sinfonia

  • Graffiti Play (Esa Pietilä), concerto for chamber orchestra, Tenor Saxophone & jazz trio, 35 min. (fl, picc, oboe, clar, bassclar, bassoon/contrabassoon, 2 horns, trpt, trb, perc, strings 66442 (min) & contemporary improvising jazz bass player & drummer. F.P. 2014 by Esa Pietilä, Esa-Pekka Salonen & Avanti! Chamber Orchestra  Listen samples

  • Pulses, Waves & Dialoques, concerto for tenor saxophone & string orchestra, 18. min. (min. 4-3-2-2-1)  F.P 2017 with St. St. Michel Strings, cond. Hossein Pishkar


with chamber groups:

Blazing Flames (Pietilä), for tenor saxophone & string quartet, 28 min. (2018). F.P. 2018 with Kamus String Quartet

Hyperhelium (Pietilä) 18 min., fl, vl, clar, vlc, ac. bs, pno & Tenor saxophone soloist. Premiered by Tampere Raw Sextet & Esa Pietilä, 2016

HUNT! (Pietilä), 27 min. for percussion Quintet & tenor Saxophone. Premiered by OSUMA percussion ensemble Ensemble & Esa Pietilä, 2016

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) F.P. 2014 with Zagros Ensemble


with various mixed setups:

Uirapuru, for male choir and Tenor saxophone (40 voices and up), 11 min.  F.P. 2017 with Akademiska Sångföreningen

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

Fantasy, for tenor saxophone & church organ16 min F.P. TBA

Glow, for saxophone, acc & perc. (alternatively, for any solo instrument, any harmony instrument & perc (Esa Pietilä)


solo saxophone pieces:

Ablauf (Magnus Lindberg)

FIRE! (Esa Pietilä)

Sphere (Esa Pietilä)

Colors of Liberation (Esa Pietilä)

Land – Sea – Air (Esa Pietilä)

Chaconne & improvisations (J.S. Bach)

Elegy Time (Esa Pietilä)

In the Spirit of Free Key (Esa Pietilä)

ask for more here