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Mikko Heiniö

Mikko Kyösti Heiniö
Born May 18, 1948, Tampere

BA 1972, licentiate 1978, PhD 1984 (musicology), University of Helsinki

Freelance composer 2005–
Musicology Professor 1986–2005, University of Turku
Musicology assistant / Acting assistant professor 1977–1985, University of Helsinki

Key positions of trust
Vice chair of the Finnish Music Foundation (MES) 2013–15
Vice chair of the Finnish Composers’ Copyright Society Teosto 1999–2014
Chair of the Society of Finnish Composers 1992–2010
Vice chair for the Foundation for Creative Art Composition 1989–1997
Chair of the Sibelius Fund 1988–1992

Significant Honours
Tieto-Finlandia Award for Suomen musiikin historia I-IV (‘The history of Finnish music I–IV’) 1997 (with Fabian Dahström and Erkki Salmenhaara)
Finland Prize 2006
Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music 2004
Honorary member of the Society of Finnish Composers 2010
Honorary member of the Finnish Composers’ Copyright Society Teosto 2014

Photo: Elke Albrecht
Written by Mikko Heiniö (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta, ed.)
Translated by Joe McVeigh

Finnish music and talk about music

My dissertation, entitled Innovaation ja tradition idea (‘The idea of innovation and tradition’), was on the philosophy of music. It had two mottos: on the one hand, Paavo Heininen’s idea that his research on Finnish composers was ‘extended narcissism: an interest in what happens in this country to a person who composes’, and on the other, Noam Chomsky’s idea that ‘[a] central problem of interpreting the world is determining how, in fact, human beings proceed to do so’.

From the start, I was interested in the historical and analytic study of the art music of our own time, and in addition I focused on the discourses on music in my works that concentrated on the history of ideas and reception. These were the core areas of my teaching as well, all the way to the end of my academic career.

In 1985, the University of Turku established a chair of Musicology, and I came to be its acting holder after professor Irmeli Niemi persuaded me to. The following year I was appointed on a permanent basis and in 1987 I even moved to Turku to live there. It was exciting to be able to develop the contents and structure of a new subject, to create contacts with Åbo Akademi University and the Turku Conservatory, and to try to prepare our students’ for the various practical tasks they would undertake in the world of Finnish music. My largest research projects had to do with the history of Finnish music (together with professors Fabian Dahlström and Erkki Salmenhaara), and music and cultural identity.

The 75th anniversary party of the University of Turku, in 1995. Photo: Joyce Suokas.​​​
The 75th anniversary party of the University of Turku, in 1995. Photo: Joyce Suokas.​​​


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