Esa Pietilä is an internationally acclaimed saxophonist and composer. Though renowned for his extensive work in both contemporary classical and jazz, he transcends genre, creating music without limits.
Pietilä has composed extensively for – and performed with – orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists, and written music for film and dance projects.
Through his many compositions, he is dedicated to expanding the concerto repertoire of the saxophone. Major works include:
- Graffiti Play – for tenor saxophone, free-jazz trio and orchestra, premiered with Avanti! Chamber Orchestra in 2014.
- HUNT! – for tenor saxophone and percussion quintet, premiered with Osuma Percussion Ensemble in 2016.
- Pulses, Waves & Dialogues – for tenor saxophone and string orchestra, premiered with St. Michel Strings in 2017.
- Blazing Frames – for tenor saxophone and string quartet, premiered with Kamus Quartet in 2018.
- Saturn – for tenor saxophone and pipe organ, premiered with Pétur Sakari in 2020.
- His latest work is Kairos Ludus, a composition for violin, tenor saxophone and orchestra, to be premiered in January 2024 with violinist Pekka Kuusisto and Jyväskylä Sinfonia.
- Pietilä is currently writing a concert for two saxophone soloists and orchestra.
PRAISE FOR ESA PIETILÄ
“Esa Pietilä’s concerto Graffiti Play, which we premiered together, sounds like if Frank Zappa and György Ligeti got married and had a child together.”
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
“Pietilä’s performance of my concerto was sovereign.”
Kalevi Aho, composer
“Esa Pietilä… is working towards the establishment of a new library for the tenor saxophone… with a sovereign technical expertise and with elegant musicianship”.
Juha-Pekka Pelkonen, Satakunnan Kansa Magazine
“Pietilä is known as a fearless musical visionary. His repertory is extremely versatile, including collaborations with classical orchestras. Moreover, he has received glowing reviews from not only Finnish but also international critics.”
Finnish Jazz Federation
“Esa Pietilä ́s Trio and Kuopio Symphony intertwined stylishly together… Pietilä ́s piece Graffiti Play includes free jazz improvisation and symphony orchestra ́s colorful soundscapes… Pietilä ́s tenor saxophone sounded magnificently throughout the whole work.”
Martti Koljonen, Jazzrytmit
The music of Esa Pietilä is published by Fennica Gehrman