Markku Klami, composer

"Klami writes rather delicate music that makes me think of Japan."
- Timo Korhonen, guitarist

"Composing is, says Markku Klami, an endless voyage of discovery beyond horizons."
- Musica nova Helsinki Festival (from the artist biography)

"Markku is an elegant composer whose harmonies blend gently from one to another [––] he paints in long, broad arcs."
- Nils Schweckendiek, conductor

"The scarce gestures in Klami's aava (for guitar and electronics) created imaginative electric soundscapes."
- Jukka Isopuro, Helsingin Sanomat

"Klami does not use any text in his night signal (for divided male choir): the succinct, clear and captivating miniature replaces words with vocal variations and changing overtones."
- Lauri Kilpiö, Suomen Kuvalehti

"Major part of contemporary art music is technically too advanced for educational use. This is something that Markku Klami also tried to remedy in his colorful and sensitive Värein (for string orchestra, four percussionists and piano), which offers a great deal of challenges that are still possible to meet."
- Mats Liljeroos, Hufvudstadsbladet

"Klami's red moon (string quartet) is characterized by abrupt sections mixed with atmospheric, motionless chords, but the dynamics and timbre results in an shimmering texture. There is momentary melodic phrases and figurative outbreak. A heavy, solemn passage sets in and transforms gradually into a lighter, lyrical character that ends up in an ethereal sound. [--] From the silent flickering of actions the piece ends in a crackling climax."
- Martin Nygaard Hansen-Chernetskiy, Seismograf

"Markku Klami's Cinque miniature (for solo guitar) presents itself as miniaturist musical genre paintings, as the name of the composition might suggest. The musical elements holding the miniatures together – pedal points, asymmetric rhythmics, extensive use of triplets, repetitive motifs – all these suggest that all these miniatures were painted in the same situation, as variations of the same atmosphere.  The cyclical unity of the composition is intensified further by the fact that each miniature opens with tones that end the preceding miniature, and also by the fact that the first and last tone of the composition are the same."
- Juha Torvinen (work commentary on Patrik Kleemola's debut album "Perchitarrasola")

Markku Klami's music has been described as delicate, elegant, fragile and powerful with strong emotions.


Born in Turku, Finland, Markku spent his early years singing in the boys choir of Turku Cathedral and later on around Europe on the choir’s tours abroad.


Markku has composed instrumental works ranging from solos to works for orchestra with soloists and vocal works including two operas. The use of electronics is a recurring feature in his instrumental works. While being a classically trained composer at Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Markku has a background in electronic music as well with his projects in the late 1990’s.


Commissioners and performers of Markku's music include Timo Korhonen, Shin-ichi Fukuda, Thomas Müller-Pering, Patrik Kleemola, Lauri Sallinen, Henrik Sandås, Lucy Abrams, International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble MISE-EN, Uusinta Ensemble, Avanti Chamber Orchestra, Pori Sinfonietta and conductors including Nils Schweckendiek, David Searle and Atso Almila.


His music has been heard in cities from New York to Taipei and Buenos Aires to Rome in festivals including MISE-EN MUSIC, Nordic Music Days, Musica nova Helsinki, Zagreb Music Biennale, Taiwan International Guitar Festival and Atlantic Music Festival.


Residing in Helsinki, Markku draws inspiration from both urban areas and nature. The arid sceneries, the vast seashores and forests serve as an important counterweight for him in our fast-paced culture.