The young Finn, in his mid-twenties, is clearly a composer who knows how to turn colour into sound.Rebecca Franks – The Times (2022)
Joel Järventausta (b. 1995) is a Finnish composer based in Finland and the United Kingdom. He has recently submitted his PhD in Composition at King’s College London, where he studied with Sir Prof. George Benjamin and Prof. Silvina Milstein, supported by the Arts & Humanities Scholarship. Joel is currently writing an orchestral work Bacchanale, commissioned by Orchestre national d’Île de France to celebrate the orchestra’s 50th anniversary, as well as a chamber opera with more details to be announced later this year.
In 2022, London Symphony Orchestra conducted by François-Xavier Roth premiered Sunfall at the Barbican in London and took the work on tour to Konzerthaus Dortmund, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Musikkens Hus Aalborg. Sunfall receives its Finland premiere in November 2023, performed by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by George Benjamin at Musiikkitalo in Helsinki. This concert will also be broadcast on Yle, the national TV and radio.
Recent commissions include: There will come soft rains for Helsinki Chamber Choir; an orchestral work Naava for Jyväskylä Sinfonia; a piano trio Bells & Echoes for Kamarikesä-festival; a brass and percussion work Bourrée for City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; a song cycle Autumn Songs for Maria Turunen and Armaan Madar; a solo piano work Snowscapes for Allison Wang; a chamber work Pilgrim for Philharmonia Orchestra supported by Royal Philharmonic Society and commercially released by NMC Recordings in 2022; a quintet Songs of Empty Landscapes for Uusinta Ensemble; and a string quartet On Blue for Kreutzer Quartet.
In February 2019, Joel received 1st Prize in the 7th Edition of Île de Créations Composition Competition, with his piece Ripped Tapestry, which was subsequently 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 September 2021.
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 the 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 2017 Composition Competition. Cantus for orchestra received its premiere by the RCM Philharmonic under the baton of Martin André, as the winner of the RCM Concerto Competition. Cantus also received a second performance by Bergen Philharmonic Youth Orchestra conducted by Kjell Seim at UNM Festival 2018 at Grieghallen in Bergen. Joel participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme Composition Course 2017 which culminated into a performance of Tumma at Aldeburgh Festival 2018.
His works so far have been performed in various venues and festivals across Europe and USA. 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. Joel has completed an Erasmus exchange at the Sibelius Academy in Finland, studying with Prof. Veli-Matti Puumala. In the past he has studied with Dr. Dai Fujikura, also receiving tuition from Unsuk Chin, Colin Matthews, Michael Gandolfi 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.
A full CV and translations of bio into Finnish, French and German are available on request. Click here for contact information.
Photo by © Maarit Kytöharju