My music has a metaphorical relationship with the world – it emerges from the phenomena of the world around it, giving rise to its own secret universe.

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Tuomas Kettunen (b 1992) is a Finnish composer of contemporary classical and media music and co-artistic director of Uuden Musiikin Lokakuu -festival. He holds a Master of Music in music composition from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki where he has studied composition with Tapio Tuomela. Kettunen has  also studied in Los Angeles, California, at USC Thornton School of Music, where his teachers in composition and orchestration included Donald Crockett, Sean Friar and Frank Tichelli. He has has also attended many international masterclasses in composition taught by many notable composers of our time.

In his latest works and current projects, a key focus has been the use of repetition in musical composition: repetition of a singular note, rhythmic or melodic pattern, harmonic sequence, or structural element and how repetition can be either obvious or hidden. Some of the works have also been exploring the possibilities of including extra-musical material or performative elements into a musical composition. Titles of the works often have metaphorical dimension. Harmonic material in his music expands the 12-tone equal temperament with just intonation and quarter tones aiming for maximum resonance of the harmony while being intuitive for the musician to perform.

His works include pieces for full orchestra, chamber ensembles, voice, and solo instruments. In addition to concert music, he has worked with a number of directors and dramaturges and his works include music for film, theatre and radio, most recently he completed a 45 minute radio essay “Meissä on viha (2022)” commissioned by the National Broadcasting Company of Finland and documentary films “Liminaali & communitas (2018)” and”Goodbye Words (2022)” directed by Laura Rantanen.

His music has been performed by many notable musicians and ensembles, including ensemble recherche (GER), Helsinki Chamber Choir (FIN), Norrland’s Operan Symphony Orchestra (SWE), Avanti! Chamber orchestra (FIN), Ensemble Divertimento (IT), latenz ensemble (SUI), defunensemble (FIN), Ensemble POING (NOR) & Saxtronauts (FIN). Tuomas has written multiple songs for texts by Finnish poets and his piece Muukalainen (Stranger) to the text by Mika Waltari was featured at the final of the national Lied-composing competition. 

Photo: Emilia Anundi

His music has been performed by many notable contemporary music ensembles and performers including ensemble recherche, Helsinki Chamber Choir, Avanti! Chamber orchestra, defunensemble, Kymi Sinfonietta, Ensemble POING, Oulu Symphony Orchestra, Saxtronauts, Veli Kujala, Gustav Djupsjöbacka, Mirja Mäkelä and Kirill Kozlovski. He has received great reviews of his public performances and his music has been broadcasted multiple times by Finnish Broadcasting Company. He has also written a great number of arrangements for various ensembles and orchestras.

”Saatiin todistaa jotain ennenkuulumatonta ja ennennäkemätöntä.”
– Petteri Värtö (Etelä-Saimaa, 22.11.2019)

”Bäst lyckades Tuomas Kettunen (Ankomst till Hades), där ett fyndigt nyttjande av gongar i kombination med en nästintill pointillistisk pianosats resulterade i en smått magiskt vibrerande klangvärld.”

”Best succeeded Tuomas Kettunen (Arrival to Hades) where an insidious use of gongs in combination with pointillistic piano texture resulted in a magical and vibrating soundscape.”
– Mats Liljeroos (HBL, 17.06.2016)