Kuva/ Photo: Kimmo Tähtinen
Before the composer Kirmo Lintinen’s (b. 1967) name was on everyone’s lips in the field of serious concert music, Lintinen had already created a career as a composer-arranger, pianist and conductor on the jazz circuit. As a contemporary music composer, he has broken – in a refreshing way – Finnish big band traditions and borders between music genres. The most visible side of Lintinen’s work as a musician has been his numerous performances as a soloist, band musician and conductor in Finnish jazz, symphony and chamber music line-ups.
As a teenager Lintinen studied both classical and jazz music, mainly taught by Dmitry Hinze. In 1986 he started his jazz music studies at Sibelius Academy where he graduated in 1997 majoring in composing and arraging.
Lintinen joined the UMO Jazz Orchestra as a pianist in 1989 but since 1994, has primarily focused on conducting and programme planning. By emphasising the musical flexibility of a big band line-up, and of UMO musicians in particular, he has developed relationships between UMO and composers of serious music. Although Lintinen has set his heart on increasing UMO’s Finnish music programming, he has also specialised in creating programmes that reflect the American history of the big band music.
Composing almost became Lintinen’s main occupation at the turn of the millennium. His repertoire of over a hundred compositions covers a wide selection of moods and forms from small-scale chamber music to opera, from pedagogic little songs to film scores, from dance music to dodecaphonic works, and from jazz to baroque music. He has written his broad big band repertoire exclusively for the UMO Jazz Orchestra.
Although Lintinen has made many jazz compositions and arrangements, most of his works are in the tradition of western serious music. His principal works, so far, are “Cantata Proverbiorum” (1999), written for a double choir and instrument ensemble; a children’s opera “Voi vietävä!” (2000–2001); “David ja Batseba” (2001), a performing madrigal composed for a vocalist and a baroque orchestra;“Duo Concertante” (2002) for clarinet, contrabass and orchestra; and “Mobile festivo” (2003), written for a large orchestra.
As a conductor, Lintinen has led UMO on nine albums and on several Finnish and international tours including in Stockholm, Brussels, New York, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Paris, London, Madrid, Dublin, Porto, and Utrecht. Over the last few years Lintinen has also worked as a conductor outside UMO conducting, for example, the AVANTI! chamber orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Oulu Symphony Orchestra, and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Besides his works as a composer, Lintinen has been the pianist, arranger and conductor in How Many Sisters, a successful Finnish vocal group, since 1994. In 2003 The Finnish Jazz Federation showed it's appreciation towards this versatile actor of Finnish music field by granting Lintinen with the Georgie award.