Jouni Kaipainen 1956-2015

Jouni Kaipainen 1956-2015
One of Finland’s leading composers and an outstanding figure of contemporary music in the Nordic countries, Jouni Kaipainen, died on November 23 2015.

Kaipainen was from the same generation as among others Magnus Lindberg and "Kaija Saariaho and as students at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki in the 1970s they formed a diverse and progressive group of composers. He was also a member of the legendary Ears Open from the late 1970s a group which also comprised the aforementioned composers and Esa-Pekka Salonen and Eero Hämenieemi. Ears Open changed the art music scene in Finland and opened musical life in the country to the Central European modernism in a way that had not been done before.

At the Sibelius Academy Kaipainen studied composition with Aulis Sallinen and Paavo Heininen, and his works from the early years were labelled modernistic, but already then his music had the elegance of the lyricist alongside more expressionistic and darker shades.

In later years, from the 1990s and onwards Kaipainen’s works sounded less modern, but never really settled as neo-anything. His tireless imagination and his expressionism coupled with his craftmanship as a composer led to works which are always relevant, elegant and enjoyable.

In June 2015 Hannu Lintu conducted the World Premiere of Kaipainen’s Trombone Concerto, Life is … The title of each movement together forms the famous quote from Shakespeare’s Macbeth: ‘Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’

Kaipainen’s rich catalogue of works will ensure that his music will be heard for generations to come.

Jouni Ilari Kaipainen, November 24, 1956 – November 23, 2015

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