Biography Olli Virtaperko (1973), baroque cello, leading, composition

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Olli Virtaperko | Cello & Leading, Composition

Veli Kujala | Accordion

Eira Karlson | Violin

Eija Kankaanranta |

Ere Lievonen | Harpsichord

Susanne Kujala | Organ

Joni Leino | Percussion, Glockenspiel, Marimba

"I consider myself to be extremely lucky to have been able to do a vast variety of activities within the field of music. As an instrumentalist I have played both modern and Baroque cello in several chamber music groups, orchestras and even in a jazz big band. With Ensemble Ambrosius I have produced our three cd’s and composed, transcribed and arranged a great deal of various kind of music for it. As a intriguing detail, I also used to be a sort of a rock star in Finland in the 90’s, being a singer in a rock group Ultra Bra, which was the most succesful rock group in Finland at the time of the turn of the millenium. Currently, I'm the working as an artistic director of the Tampere Biennale, the festival, which is the most important showcase of contemporary domestic music in Finland. Since 2007 I have also made over 100 radio programs for Yle Broadcasting Company. I'm the member of the board of The Society of the Finnish Composers and an active cultural debater.

However, in spite of all above I consider myself foremost a composer. For me, composing music is the most satisfying way of entertaining and expressing myself. Unlike some of my classical colleagues, I don't overlook popular music, but try to express myself within many different musical styles. With Ensemble Ambrosius I mainly concentrate on composing ethno-jazz-folk-based instrumental music, but I spent most of my time nowadays composing music for ”contemporary classical” medium.

Recently I have concentrated on writing large-scale orhcestral works. The Finnish media considered the orchestral work Kuru (Raven, 2009 for Symphony orchestra) my "breakthrough", which was soon followed by Double Concerto Five Words Of Calvino (for Cello, Accordeon and Symphony orchestra). After these large works I have reently been focusing on chamber music and refreshing the repertoire of Ensemble Ambrosius. Compositionally, my next major project will be writing a 30-minute orchestral work for Finnish Baroque Orchestra."

Helsinki, August 2011

Links and additional information:

Olli Virtaperko at Finnish Music Information Centre (includes cv, list of works, photos and articles): 

Ambrosius & Zappa-related:
interview with Peder of


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