Tapio Tuomela attended the Sibelius Academy, where he studied the piano with Tapani Valsta (diploma in 1982), conducting with Jorma Panula (diploma in 1987) and composition with Einar Englund, Eero Hämeenniemi, Magnus Lindberg and Paavo Heininen. He supplemented his piano and conducting studies at the Conservatorv o Lithuania in Vilnius from 1983 to 1985 and his studies of composition in 1988–1989 with Christopher Rouse and Joseph Schwantner at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. (taking the Master of Music degree there in 1990) and in 1989–1991 with Witold Szalonek at West Berlin's Hochschule der Künste. He has also attended courses by Witold Lutoslawski, George Crumb, Klaus Huber and Brian Ferneyhough.Tuomela's works have been performed in Finland, in several other European countries and in New York. In 1991 the Helsinki Festival summer concert series devoted a whole concert to Tuomela's music. Tuomela is also active as a conductor: he has conducted performances at the Finnish National Opera and, with the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra and other ensembles, has premiered a great deal of new music.He has composed his second opera for the Finnish National Opera. Äidit ja tyttäret (Mothers and Daughters) is based on the Finnish national epic the Kalevala and was premiered in November 6, 1999.