Synesthesia plays an important role in young Finnish composer Joel Järventausta’s (b. 1995) music, which is often inspired by extra-musical sources and other art forms. His works have been performed in venues and festivals in the UK, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Bulgaria, Canada and the USA. In 2016, Joel was granted a membership as one the youngest ever members of the Society of Finnish Composers (Suomen Säveltäjät ry).
Joel Järventausta holds a Masters in Composition with 1st class Distinction from the Royal College of Music, where he was a fully supported Scholar. He studied a Ph.D. in composition at King’s College London with Sir Prof. George Benjamin and Prof. Silvina Milstein.
“Clearly a composer who knows how to turn colour into sound” (The Times)
Synesthesia plays an important role in young Finnish composer Joel Järventausta’s (b. 1995) music, which is often inspired by extra-musical sources and other art forms. Further exploring these connections was partly the focus of his PhD in Composition at King’s College London, where he recently studied with Sir Prof. George Benjamin and Prof. Silvina Milstein, supported by the Arts & Humanities Scholarship.
In 2022, London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by François-Xavier Roth gave the world premiere of Sunfall, a 'truly gripping' (Hamburger Abendblatt) and an 'exceptionally assured piece of orchestral writing' (The Guardian) at the Barbican Centre, London. Sunfall was subsequently taken on tour by the orchestra receiving further performances at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Konzerthaus Dortmund and Musikkens Hus Aalborg. Other recent commissions include an orchestral work Naava for Jyväskylä Sinfonia, There will come soft rains for Helsinki Chamber Choir, a chamber work Pilgrim for Philharmonia Orchestra supported by Royal Philharmonic Society and commercially released by NMC Recordings in 2022, and a quintet Songs of Empty Landscapes for Uusinta Ensemble. Joel has also written many smaller chamber and solo works, including a song cycle for soprano and piano Autumn Songs for Armaan Madar and Maria Turunen, a solo accordion work Soliloquy for Vincent Gailly and Soi for violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved.
In 2019, Joel received 1st Prize in the 7th Edition of Île de Créations Composition Competition, with his work Ripped Tapestry, which was performed several times by Orchestre national d’Île de France, conducted by Antony Hermus, including at Philharmonie de Paris. Following this, a 30-minute Composer Portrait of Joel was broadcast on France Musique. Ripped Tapestry received its Finnish premiere by Jyväskylä Sinfonia, conducted by Ruut Kiiski in 2021. Joel also received 3rd Prize in the 2019 international Alexander Zemlinsky Composition Competition in Cincinnati, USA.
2018 saw the premiere Massahumu (co-written with four other Finnish composers) by the Finnish National Opera orchestra and chorus, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. The piece was commissioned for Salonen’s 60th birthday concert, opening Juhlaviikot/Helsinki Festival. In 2017 Stonewalls for chamber orchestra was premiered by Royal Northern Sinfonia, conducted by Lars Vogt and subsequently awarded 3rd prize in their Composition Competition.
During his studies, Joel participated in several composition courses: 2019-20 Philharmonia Orchestra’s Composer’s Academy, supported by the Royal Philharmonic Society; 2018-19 London Symphony Orchestra’s Panufnik Scheme; and 2017 Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme Composition Course.
His works so far have been performed in various venues and festivals in the UK, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Bulgaria, Canada and the USA. In 2016, Joel was granted a membership as one the youngest ever members of the Society of Finnish Composers (Suomen Säveltäjät ry). He holds a Masters in Composition with 1st class Distinction from the Royal College of Music, where he was a fully supported Scholar. He also holds a BA in Music with 1st class honours from the University of York. In 2017, Joel completed an Erasmus exchange at the Sibelius Academy in Finland, studying under Veli-Matti Puumala. In the past he has studied with Dai Fujikura, also receiving tuition from Colin Matthews, Christian Mason, Unsuk Chin and Oliver Knussen. Spending his childhood in Germany and Luxembourg, and studies in the UK, Joel now lives in Finland together with his wife, soprano Olivia Moss and their Hungarian Vizsla, Elvis.