Teppo Hauta-aho

Composer Information: Teppo Hauta-aho

Finnish composer and bassist Teppo Hauta-aho, is the most prolific bass composer of our time and since the 1970s has composed almost 300 works for double bass - spanning the entire range of standards from beginner to virtuoso.

Teppo Hauta-aho was born in 1941 and studied double bass with Orvo Hyle and Oiva Nummelin in Finland, and Frantisek Posta in Prague. He played with the Helsinki Philharmonic between 1965 and 1972, and the Finnish Opera Orchestra from 1975 to 2000. He is an active recitalist, both classical and jazz, has given more than 300 recitals with his duo partner, Carita Holmström, and is at the cutting edge of modern improvisation - performing with leading improvisers throughout the world.

Finnish composer Harry Wessman writes: "As a composer, Teppo Hauta-aho has always been his own teacher, basing his technical knowledge on his wide practical musicianship as an orchestral player, chamber and jazz musician. It would not be an exaggeration to claim that he was the jazz bassist most in demand in Finland in the 1970s, and a few of his works are pure jazz compositions. But the compositional techniques and musical means used in the majority of his works originate in an unusual openness for any devices. Along with modern techniques, his source of inspiration include all the previous stylistic periods in European music, impulses from Oriental music and, of course, jazz. His own instrument, the double bass, has profited especially from his rich inventiveness in finding new means to conjure forth unusual sounds from the instrument, and in applying them in an artistically meaningful and striking way."

Hauta-aho's music has been performed extensively in Finland and abroad, notably in America, Britain, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Soviet Union, Australia and Switzerland. His most famous work Kadenza (1978) has achieved cult-like status, is recognised universally as a 20th-century classic, and is the most performed contemporary work for double bass.

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