Short Introduction and Performances

J-T Vesikkala Wittmacher (by international stage name), or Juhani Topias Vesikkala (by official Finnish name), is a composer, choral baritone singer, teacher, multi-instrumentalist, PhD, and academic writer on music, born in Helsinki in 1990.

During 2018-2022, Vesikkala studied a PhD in composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (HAMU), supervised by H.Bartoň and M.Rataj. The September 13, 2022 academic defense was approved on the compositions and the written dissertation “The Noise-Pitch Continuum in Timbral Music” (June 2022) , downloadable here.
In early 2016, Vesikkala obtained a master’s degree of composition at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, having studied with Tapio Nevanlinna and later with prof. Veli-Matti Puumala.
Mark Andre and Giovanni Verrando have provided occasional periods of study in Helsinki.

For the academic year 2012 – 2013 Vesikkala deepened their composition studies in Graz, Austria, with Prof. Beat Furrer and Pierluigi Billone.

Their recent academic work has included investigating the multiphonic inharmonic flageolets on the piano, also from a compositional point of view. The study has been published as their masters’ thesis at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki. The results have reached the acclaim of fellow composers and given notational suggestions, for flexible use in compositions.
From inharmonic sounds, Vesikkala’s recent research has continued into free or “nomadic” microtonality as well as into doctoral dissertation research on the sounds balanced between pitch and noise (noise with frequency cores, or “Froise”, a term given by Vesikkala in 2018).

Also composing electroacoustic music, Daniel Mayer and Klaus Hollinetz count among Vesikkala’s teachers in Kunstuniversität Graz and Institut für Elektronische Musik (IEM).

Vesikkala’s compositions have been performed in Europe, Asia, and North America since 2003. A recording of an ensemble piece has been released on the label Stradivarius in early 2021.

An early composition by Vesikkala, Me-Di-Tres for string orchestra and wind soloists was awarded 1st prize in the Youth category in Uuno Klami competition for Children and Youth in 2007. The work, among many of Vesikkala’s youth works was composed while studying in the Keski-Helsingin musiikkiopisto Institute under the supervision of Jovanka Trbojević. Recent competition victories include Discovering Young Composers of Europe (DYCE 2019).

Apart from composing, Vesikkala pursues an active professional career as a freelance singer for various choirs and their projects. This growing discography of choral music by living composers has garnered international awards.
Vesikkala has founded and led two festivals with a microtonal focus, MikroFest Helsinki 2018 and Prague MicroFest 2020 / Institut mikrointervalové hudby 2020 within the Czech Institute for Microtonal Music. Vesikkala’s creative flow draws influences from travel, queer feminism, genetics, and Engaged Buddhism.

Go to the Work Catalog
Bio and Performances Last Updated: 2023/Nov/11

  vesikkala-2019-3-official   Upcoming composition, singing, speaking highlights

November 18, 2023 at 19:45
The stakes that we left burning (2023), large work on witch trials, for trio and electronics
rainy days festival, Luxembourg

Trio WAS:
Anna-Sofia Anttonen, saxophones
Aida Salakka, double bass
Frin Wolter, accordion
Tuukka Tervo, electronics and sound engineer

Past public speaking:
October 19, 2023
Thessaloniki Aristotle University Visitor Lecture
‘Pitch and Timbre Space in Composition’ / Φθογγικός και ηχοχρωματικός χώρος στη σύνθεση

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Next singing performances:
December 19 (Turku) & 20 (Helsinki), 2023
Christmas vocal ensembles and solos

December 8 (Nurmes FI) & 9 (Joensuu FI), 2023
G.F.Handel: Messiah
Helsinki Chamber Choir and Joensuu City Orchestra

November 12, 2023
Tapiola Chamber Choir 40 Years Anniversary Concert
Olari church, Espoo

Past activity:

October 7, 2023
Uuden Musiikin Lokakuu, Oulu

The stakes that we left burning (2023), large work on witch trials, for trio and electronics
Trio WAS:
Anna-Sofia Anttonen, saxophones
Aida Salakka, double bass
Frin Wolter, accordion
Tuukka Tervo, electronics and sound engineer
Recorded and later broadcast by the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE

August 31, 2023 and Sep 2
Benjamin Britten: church opera Curlew River (1964),
Urkuyö ja Aaria, Espoo
pilgrim (baritone)

August 9, 2023
Juhani Aho-sali, Järvenpää

The stakes that we left burning (2023, FP.), large work on witch trials, for trio and electronics
Trio WAS:
Anna-Sofia Anttonen, saxophones
Aida Salakka, double bass
Frin Wolter, accordion
Tuukka Tervo, electronics and sound engineer

June 1–3, 2023: Nordic Choir Expedition

April 28-29, 2023
Festival for microinterval music MicroFest Prague 2023 (co-organiser and lecturer)

April 2023
Residence artist at Outokumpu Old Mine Residency, Finland

Mar 4, 2023: premiere and recent works by H.Tulve & S.Klemola
Musica Nova Helsinki

Nov 18 & 19: Einojuhani Rautavaara’s opera Aleksis Kivi
The role of Siivo, baritone

Lux musicae festival, Siuntio

Oct 26, 2022 at 19.30
Miniatures for Orchestra (2022, FP.)
1. Faultlines, 2. Prompting ground, 3. Barred and barren displays, 4. Sacrificial wisdom.
North Czech Philharmonic Teplice
Jan Bubák, conductor
Martinů Hall, Prague

Sep-Oct-Nov 2022
Soloistic singing performances in Finland, including Heinz-Juhani Hofmann: Aukio / Square

Sep 13, 2022
Academic dissertation defense “The Noise-Pitch Continuum in Timbral Music”
Opponents dr. Anders Flodin and MgA. Luboš Mrkvička, PhD.
HAMU, Prague

During the year 2022
Singing performances with Helsinki Chamber Choir

November 14, 2021
nekudim (2021, FP.) for ensemble
Divertimento Ensemble
Sandro Gorli, cond.
at the Rondò Smart Festival, Sala Donatoni, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan, IT.

Oct 29, 2021
Riss (2021, FP.) for ensemble and solo clarinet
Martin Adámek, clar.
Ensemble Terrible
Divadlo X10, Prague, CZ

Nov 12, 2021
Singing performance with Chamber Choir Ireland at All Hallows Chapel, Dublin
Other singing performances during 2021 with Male Choir Manifestum and Helsinki Chamber Choir.

Nov 30 to Dec 12, 2020 concerts online:
into these worldless houses (2020, FP.) for sextet, commission by the DYCE competition finals
Performed in online performances by live ensembles broadcast from Milan, Oslo, Seville, and Tallinn followingly:
Taller Sonoro, Nov 30
Cikada Ensemble, Dec 4
Ensemble U, Dec 8
Divertimento Ensemble, Dec 12
Rescheduled from April-May 2020.

October 14, 2020
Plainte (2020, FP.) for 12 vocalists
Helsinki Chamber Choir
Jutta Seppinen, cond.
Helsinki Music Centre
Klang concert series

January 15th, 2020
}woes… to die with thee again{ (2013) for quadraphonic electronics
In the “Negotiating Noise” seminar concert
University of Nottingham Malaysia, Semenyih, Selangor.

November 21st, 2019
In Oversight of Allegory (2019, FP.), for dectet
Petr Louženský, cond.
Martinů Hall, HAMU, Prague, CZ

November 12th, 2019
Wahnsinnspfeiff (2019, FP.) for organ with half-drawn registrations
Hiski Wallenius, meantone organ
Helsinki Cathedral, FIN

November 22nd, 2019
Insulae (2019), movement “hönkä”
Departamento de Música, Universidade de Brasília (UnB), BRZ

November 8th, 2019
Versa est (2019, FP.) for orchestra
Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra (Zlín)
Petr Louženský, cond.
Martinů Hall, HAMU, Prague, CZ

October 30th, 2019
Mind Crimes (2018-2019, FP.) for kantele and electronics
Juulia Pölönen, concert kantele
Concert “Most Praha-Helsinky”, Galerie HAMU, Prague, CZ

August 28th, 2019
Leevi RÄSÄNEN: Ajassa (world first performance)
J-T Vesikkala Wittmacher, vocalist
Astrid le Clercq, bass clarinet
At festival Ung Nordisk Musik 2019
Piteå, SWE

June 7th, 2019
}woes… to die with thee again{ (2013)
Festival Crosscurrent Nodes
Örebro, SWE

May 25th, 2019
Lecture on The microtonal scene in Finland
EUROMicroFest 2019
Freiburg im Breisgau, DE

May 21st, 2019
Third miniature from Insulae (2019, FP.), version for 4 instruments
Nikola Prokopcová, guitar
Mariana Jouzová, harp
Bruno Cunha, clarinet
J-T Vesikkala Wittmacher, voice
Galerie HAMU, Prague, CZ

May 3rd, 2019
Lecture in the spectral music series, at invitation by Prof. Fekete.
The Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music / Zeneakadémia Budapest
Budapest, HU.

May 1st, 2019
Miniatures from Insulae (2019, FP.), version for six instruments
Ensemble Terrible
David Danel, violin
Stepan Drtina, cello
Tomáš Novák, double bass
Michael Jermář, saxophones
Yanina Aliakhnovich, flute
Petr Michalec, bass clarinet
at Festival Echofluxx
Paralelní Polis, Prague 7, CZ

April 28th, 2019
Chosen families (2019, FP.) for ensemble
Awarded composition of the Discovering Young Composers of Europe (DYCE) competition
Ensemble U
Tarmo Johannes – flute, Helena Tuuling – clarinets, Merje Roomere – violin, Levi-Danel Mägila – violoncello, Vambola Krigul, percussion, Taavi Kerikmäe – piano.
Tallinn, EST and streamed live to concert venues in Oslo, Milan, and Seville.

February 27th, 2019
Lecture on the topic of “The underlying microtonality and spectrality in listening to trichords”.
1st Microtonal Symposium Brussels
Koninklijk Conservatorium, Brussels, BE.
As part of Polyphonic Performance Spaces organized by Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel and

February 7th, 2019
Exorcist for the perplexed mind (2015) for hichiriki and fixed media electronics
Yukari Misawa, hichiriki
Nippori Sunny Hall of Hotel Lungwood, Tokyo, JP.

December 11th, 2018
Readings. Kawara (2014) for piano and mobile preparations, FP.
J-T Vesikkala Wittmacher, piano
Galerie HAMU, Prague, CZ, at 7:30 p.m.
Event information.

October 19th, 2018
Proxies for totems of belonging (2018) for glissando-flute and objects
Erik Drescher, glissando flute and objects
MikroFest Helsinki 2018
Myymälä2, Helsinki, FIN, at 7 p.m.
The commission was subsidized by MES.

October 17th, 2018
Study of set aside moments, solo improvisation for objects and voice
J-T Vesikkala
MikroFest Helsinki 2018
Space for Free Arts, Helsinki, FIN, at 6 p.m.

August 29th, 2018
Zweier Lasterkatalog / Catalog of mutual vices (2017)
Morten Norheim, saxophone
Jostein Stalheim, accordion
Ung Nordisk Musik Bergen 2018
The Grieg Academy (KMD), Bergen, Norway.

August 22nd, 2018
in which the low-hanging fruit is casually derailed (2018), comprovisation for kantele and cello, FP.
Juulia Pölönen, concert kantele
Aino-Maija Riutamaa de Mata, cello
Helsinki Music Centre, Camerata Hall
The commission was subsidized by Suomen Kulttuurirahasto.

May 13th, 2018
náníshkad (2014) for the Fokker organ in 31-tone equal temperament
Ere Lievonen, Fokker organ
Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ – Kleine Zaal, Amsterdam, NL. At 11 a.m.
In a concert “Laboratonium 3” organised by the Stichting Huygens-Fokker.

May 12th, 2018
Lecturing in Finnish about the MicroFest New York 2018 and the American Festival of Microtonal Music.
Helsinki Music Centre, at 4 p.m.
The lecture is held as one of five lectures (Finnish & English) during the Microtonal Forum.
The event is curated by J.T.Vesikkala and Juuso Kunttu and kindly financed by the Sibelius Academy Composition department and Ears Open Society.

April 18th, 2018
Togetherness (2017-2018) for four onstage musicians, electronics, and video
Ensemble Garage
Alte Feuerwache, Cologne, DE, at 7 p.m.
supported by Goethe Institute Helsinki and Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln.

April 16th, 2018
Togetherness (2017-2018) for four onstage musicians, electronics, and video
Ensemble Garage
Vapaan taiteen tila, Helsinki FIN, at 7 p.m.

April 13th, 2018
Togetherness (2017-2018) for four onstage musicians, electronics, and video, FP.
Ensemble Garage
Tullikamari Pakkahuone, Tampere FIN, at 5 p.m.
The premiere is part of Tampere Biennale.

March 18th, 2018
Kyrie och Gloria (2018) for two choirs and soloists to Swedish liturgical texts, FP.
Olaus Petrikören. In Olaus Petri kyrka, Helsinki.
Eira Karlson, alto
Juha-Pekka Mitjonen, baritone
Heikki Seppänen, cond.
Commissioned by Olaus Petri församling

February 25th, 2018
Avalokiteśvara (2017)
Johnny Reinhard, bassoon
American Festival of Microtonal Music
At 3 p.m., Museum at Eldridge Street, New York City, U.S.
Concert practicalities are subsidized by Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

November 14th, 2017
Each trail for a realm (2017) for quintet, FP.
ICon Arts Ensemble: Adrian Buciu, flute; Alexandru Anastasiu, vibraphone; Raluca Stratulat, violin; Andreea Ţimiraş, cello; Mihai Murariu, piano UNMB MEDIATECA Hall, Bucharest, Romania

November 11th, 2017
utterly uninvited and temperamental (2017) for vocalist-reciter with objects, FP.
Juhani Vesikkala
Helsinki FIN

September 19th, 2017, at 7 p.m.
Zweier Lasterkatalog / Catalog of mutual vices for soprano saxophone and accordion (2017, FP.)
Harri Sjöström, soprano saxophone
Veli Kujala, accordion
Laulumiehet Restaurant, Helsinki FIN.

August 25th, 2017
Avalokiteśvara for bassoon solo (2017, FP.)
Johnny Reinhard, bassoon
Space for Free Arts Helsinki, FIN

July 26th, 2017
Rubatosis (2017, FP.) for quintet
Alexandru Anastasiu, vibraphone
RTÉ ConTempo Quartet
Thalia Hall, Sibiu, Romania
as Composer in Residence for the ICon Arts Festival 2017.

June 17th, 2017 at 9 p.m.
Exorcist for the perplexed mind (2015) for hichiriki and fixed media electronics
Yukari Misawa, hichiriki
As part of “next_generation 7.0 SENSORIK: Konzert VIII”
ZKM Kubus, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Germany
Link to event

Apr 1st, 2017
improvisations on the Tallinn Music Week with Ears Open Ensemble.
Mustpeade Maja, Tallinn, EST

Mar 15th, 2017 at 8 p.m.
consensus (2016, FP.), comprovisation for quintet
Antonina Pozdnyakova, violin
Aleksandr Astafyev, cello
Yuliya Kravchenko, voice
Mark Kommer, piano
Serafim Sinotov, guitar
alongside works for electronics:
}woes… to die with thee again{ (2013, FP.)
atem><metall – Meantime Interlude (2013, FP.)
Très fuyant (2014, FP.)
Experimental Sound Gallery ESG-21, St. Petersburg, RUS
Link to event

Feb 4th, 2017
improvisations on music by Jan St. Werner with Ears Open Ensemble.
G Livelab, Helsinki
As part of the Musica Nova Helsinki program

upcoming: new work for cello and 4-channel electronics Montreal, CAN
Variations on Commitment (2016, FP.) on the Shakespeare anniversary
Via Nova choir
Daniel Galbreath, cond.
Birmingham region, UK

May 30th 2016 at 7:30 pm.
boxes, open/close (2014/2016, FP) for alto flute, piano and loudspeaker media
defun ensemble
Helsinki Music Centre, Camerata Hall

Apr 5th 2016
flashbacklash (mvt. III from Delusional Occidents, work in progress)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Jaan Ots, cond.
workshopping session
Helsinki Music Centre, FIN

Feb 29th 2016 at 7 pm.
Aria di baule (2014) for cello and loudspeaker media
Émilie Girard-Charest, cello
Space for Free Arts, Helsinki FIN

Feb 15th 2016 at 8 pm.
Lecture and workshop for the St.Petersburg Improvisers Orchestra, Dmitry Shubin, and the Свободная Культура (Svobodnaya Kultura).
Lecture: “Comprovising with the concert setting – uncertainties and etiquette as open form”
WS: “Shortcuts to improvisation: open form and comprovisation”
Juhani T. Vesikkala, composer, improviser, vocalist
Experimental Sound Gallery ESG-21, St. Petersburg, RUS

Feb 13th 2016 at 8 pm.
Remote desires worth missing out (2016), a work with improvisational elements, FP.
Tatiana Bogomolova, voice; Christine Kazarian, e-harp; Olga Krukovskaya, double bass.
Experimental Sound Gallery ESG-21, St. Petersburg, RUS.
Alongside a vocal improvisation by the composer.

Oct 16th-17th 2015
Delusional Occidents for orchestra (work in progress)
Workshopping session with the Sibelius Academy Kapubändi
Lauri Ahokas, conductor
Helsinki Music Centre, FIN

exorcist cover
Aug 23rd (Sun) 2015, 2 PM (NB! changed time!)
Exorcist for the perplexed mind (困惑した思考のためのエクソシスト, 2015) for hichiriki and electronics, FP.
Yukari MISAWA 見澤ゆかり, hichiriki
Ryogoku Monten Hall 両国門天ホール, Tokyo, JP
see for details

Jun 26th (Fri) 2015, 4 PM
Marginalia (2015) for string orchestra, waterphone, and voice FP.
Avanti! chamber orchestra
Magnus LINDBERG, cond.
Grand Porvoo, Porvoo, FIN
see for more info

Apr 12th (Sun) 2015, 5 PM
Taklamakan (2015), FP.
Sibelius Academy Wind Ensemble
Juuso WALLIN, cond.
Helsinki Music Centre, Helsinki, FIN

Feb 8th (Sun) 2015
Helsinki, Finland (Vapaan taiteen tila)
Musica Nova Festival
Walkthrough (2014-2015, FP.) for lighting, video, performers & electronics
In collaboration with Mateus Manninen, lighting design.
Lauri Supponen, Tomas Takolander, Hiski Wallenius, performers
performance photos

Dec 27th (Sat) 2014
Seia, Portugal
Dias de Música Electroacústica
}woes… to die with thee again{ (2013)

Dec 17th (Wed) 2014
Helsinki, Finland
ColoCordatura (2011; 2014 version)
Emilia Karjunen, violin
Mikael Rechardt, guitar

July 11th (Fri), 2014, 1 PM
St. Francis Auditorium, Santa Fe, New Mexico USA
Seven takes on Eliot (2014, FP. Movements I, II, III, interlude, VI performed)
Grace Youn, violin
Molly Goldman, viola
Henry Myers, cello
Meeri Pulakka, sopr.
Sinéad White, sopr.
Anssi Karttunen, cond.
Composed during the Creative Dialogue VI Workshop

April 29th (Tue), 2014:
Aria di baule (2014, FP, 2′) for cello and loudspeaker media
Performed and presented in an open workshop by Markus Hohti in Centre for Music & Technology @ Helsinki Music Centre.

March 29th (Sat), 2014, 10 am – 2 pm:
náníshkad (2014) for the Fokker organ in 31-tone equal temperament presented in an open workshop
Helsinki Music Centre (Black Box), free entrance.
The Helsinki Microfest concert

January 24th (Thu), 2013:
}woes… to die with thee again{  for quadraphonic electronics (2013, FP).
Cube, IEM Graz, AUT

View the above Curriculum and events log

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