Sampo Haapamäki (b. 1979) has composed chamber music, vocal music, electronic music, ensemble works, concertos and orchestral music. He has been commissioned compositions by the Time of Music festival, Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), Avanti!, Finnish Broadcasting Company/Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Helsinki Chamber Choir, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Heikki Nikula, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Klangspuren festival, Hanna Kinnunen, Susanne Kujala and Kaustinen Chamber Music Week. Haapamäki has received the Gaudeamus International Composers Award 2004 in Amsterdam, and the International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM) - Young Composer Award 2005 in Zagreb. In 2006 he was granted the Teosto prize by Copyright Society Teosto in Helsinki. Haapamäki had composition recitals in the Musica nova Helsinki festival in 2006 and at Scandinavia House in New York City organized by Finlandia Foundation New York Metropolitan Chapter in 2015. He was the Tapiola Sinfonietta's Composer-in-Residence for the season 2011-12.


Haapamäki lived his childhood in Toholampi and graduated from Kaustinen College of Music in 1998. He studied composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with Tapio Nevanlinna (1998-2002) and Veli-Matti Puumala (2002-05), graduating with a Master of Music in 2005. In the winter semester of 2006-07 he studied with Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig. Haapamäki studied composition with Tristan Murail (2005-06, 2007-09) at Columbia University in New York City, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts in 2012. Haapamäki’s dissertation advisor was Fred Lerdahl in 2010-12. Haapamäki took part in a composition and music technology course, Cursus, at IRCAM in Paris, with Grégoire Lorieux as his tutor, during the academic year 2012-13. Currently Haapamäki works as a free artist and lives in Helsinki.


Sampo Haapamäki’s compositions have been premiered by International Contemporary Ensemble conducted by Christian Karlsen, Serge Lemouton (computer music designer), Luca Bagnoli (sound engineer), Elisa Järvi (quarter-tone piano), Avanti! Chamber Orchestra conducted by Tomas Djupsjöbacka, Ensemble Musikfabrik conducted by Christian Eggen, Paul Jeukendrup (sound design), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dima Slobodeniouk, Eun Joo Lee (violin), Clement Marie (sound design), Juuso Nieminen (quarter-tone guitar), Veli Kujala (quarter-tone accordion), Tapiola Sinfonietta conducted by Hannu Lintu, Helsinki Chamber Choir conducted by Nils Schweckendiek, Marko Myöhänen (sound design), Insomnio conducted by Ulrich Pöhl, Quatuor Diotima, Heikki Nikula (bass clarinet), Avanti! Chamber Orchestra conducted by Susanna Mälkki, Tapiola Sinfonietta conducted by Baldur Brönnimann, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne conducted by Lorraine Vaillancourt, NYYD Ensemble conducted by Olari Elts, Hanna Kinnunen (flute), Ensemble Nordlys, Susanne Kujala (accordion), The California Wind Orchestra conducted by Les Lehr, UMO Jazz Orchestra conducted by Kirmo Lintinen, Mikko Kauppinen (clarinet), Aleksi Haapaniemi (marimba), Ville Hiltula (accordion), Janne Ikonen (conductor), Pasi Hyökki (sopranist-baritone), George Kentros (violin), Hanna Korkeakoski (viola), Erkki Lahesmaa (cello), John-Edward Kelly (alto saxophone), Bob Versteegh (piano), Valtteri Malmivirta (trombone), and Miika Jämsä (tuba).


Haapamäki has been involved in the development of new quarter-tone instruments. These instruments are the quarter-tone accordion of Veli Kujala (invented by Kujala and made by Pigini), the quarter-tone guitar of Juuso Nieminen (made by Keijo Korelin), and the quarter-tone piano of Elisa Järvi and Sampo Haapamäki (made by Otso Haapamäki in Toholampi, invented by E.Järvi & S.Haapamäki, technical consulting: Libero Mureddu). These quarter-tone instruments aim to have as wide a quarter-tone register as possible (24 notes per octave) and to be ergonomic.

© Saara Vuorjoki / Fimic 2011