musicals

Lemmikki was the first musical manuscript I wrote. It told a story about a one-sided, impossible live through the eyes of animals living in a stable.

Watch in Finnish Explore
Musicals

My first musical score “Shadow of a Rose”

In 2005, I composed a musical called “The Shadow of the Rose” to the text of Antti Viitamäki. The musical was performed by the Jyväskylä University symphony orchestra Sinfis.

Listen to showreel Explore
Musicals

What happened to Gro Janovich?

My first fully written full-length musical will be completed in the spring of 2024. The musical themes include topics about recovering from exhaustion, growing old and accepting one’s past in the style of an adventure comedy.

Musical composer

Watch my musical (in Finnish)
  • Bachelor with commendation, Birmingham City University, UK (2008)
  • Master degree in film music composition, Stockholm Royal College of Music (2010)
  • Shadow of a Rose (2006), songs and orchestration
  • Lemmikki (2015), script, songs and orchestration
  • Mitä tapahtui Gro Janovichille? (2024), script, songs and orchestration

I composed my first musical Shadow of a Rose to the text of playwright Antti Viitamäki in 2006. This was also my first contact with orchestral arrangements and later led to my studies as a film composer. I wrote my first musical Lemmikki based on my own text in 2015. I am now composing my first full-length musical “What happened to Gro Janovich?

Musicals remind me of animation as a story form. They have something of the same fantasy quality. If the animation shows a box drawn with messy pencil lines with eyes and a mouth, the viewer is very quickly interested: who is this box and what is it up to?

In musicals, it’s as if the songs recreate this delicious and naive atmosphere from animations in the world of people: the characters sing on stage and tell about their feelings through the means of songs and music – way more directly than in real life! Because of this combination, I think musicals are a charming way to tell stories.

My first musical score – Shadow of a Rose

I was studying pop/jazz piano in Jyväskylä in 2005. My friend tipped me that the symphony orchestra of the University of Jyväskylä was looking for a composer for a new musical. I had never written a musical before, let alone arranged for a symphony orchestra.

I was chosen based on a demo I made and ended up composing over an hour of music to the text written by Antti Viitamäki. I sat in the school cafeteria from morning to night, reading orchestral arrangement guides and writing arrangements for musical compositions.

I enjoyed immeasurably arranging and studying it, but despite that, I was glued to my jazz piano studies at the time because of some stubborn thought that a composer is nothing but a failed musician. Encouraged by the musical’s conductor Satu Simola, I finally made the switch and dared to start studying composing professionally.

Shadow of the Rose was a big turning point for me and led me to pursue what brings me the most joy both as work and as a hobby. In addition, it spawned many friendships that have remained in life until now.

Listen to samples

A short overview to the songs. The showreel begins with an instrumental overture that contains themes from various songs throughout the musical. The most positive feedback I have received is the song “Tähtiin Taivaan” (“To the Star in the Sky”), which is a romantic duet between the two main characters. The song sample starts at 04:12.

Other work with musicals and theatre

Juhana Lehtiniemi’s composition work is beautiful and well arranged as a whole. The most memorable of the songs was Syyllinen (“Guilty”), whose fearsomeness was supported by the lyrics, music and dancers. Also the duet of the main characters Tähtiin Taivaan (“To the Stars in the Sky”) is simply great song. […] At the end of the premiere, the audience stood up. That says something already.

Source: Jyväskylän Ylioppilaslehti (7/2006), translated from Finnish

Work samples