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Räihälä, Osmo Tapio


Osmo Tapio Räihälä is one of the most interesting contemporary Finnish composers. And he is not only a composer, but also well-known in his homeland from a large number of radio and television broadcasts. Unlike many of his composer colleagues of avant-garde music, Räihälä started out as a rock musician and turned to so-called serious music only at about the age of 20. He studied musicology at the Academies in Turku and Helsinki and composition with Harri Vuori. His works have meanwhile been regularly performed in over two dozen countries on five continents.

Räihälä‘s main area of focus is on instrumental music. The composer repeatedly refers to the influence of visual art on his works. He himself experiences music in a very visual way: colours, forms, lines, shadows, surfaces - all these visual associations are perceptible through stylistic change, motivic contrasts and clearly contoured melodic sequences.

Räihälä achieved his breakthrough as a composer with “Barlinnie Nine” (1999/2005), a homage to the Scottish football player Duncan Ferguson. This colourful work describes the numerous detours in the career of Ferguson, who became known as a “bad boy” of football.


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