Short CV

Minna Leinonen (b. 1977) is a Finnish composer of contemporary music.

Her works are inspired by everyday phenomena such as Finnish environment and folklore or daily objects and sounds. 

Her music has been performed by, among others, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, the ICE ensemble, defunensemble, CHANGEnsemble, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Norrbotten NEO, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Jousia ensemble, Oulu Sinfonia, Zagros, Tampere Raw, Tampere Chamber Opera and Uusinta Ensemble.

She has also been involved in projects in which the music communicates with other artistic genres such as acrobatics, documentary, video or installation. Her kinetic opera Alma! was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize 2022 and Teosto Prize 2022.

She hosts Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra´s monthly chamber music concert Afternoon of the Fauns and works as a part-time teacher in composition and composition pedagogy at the University of the Arts Sibelius Academy and Pirkanmaa Music institute. She is currently working on her doctorate at the Sibelius Academy of the University of Arts in Helsinki. She also writes columns about  music for Rondo Magazine and is the new artistic director of Tampere Biennale 2024–26.

At present she is working on a working grant from Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Links – read or hear more

Nordic Council Music Prize  podcast by Andrew Mellor 10/22

Art is not an escape from reality. It's for understanding the world more profoundly. And for me, opera is one of the best artforms for it, whether as a listener or a composer.

Column in FMQ 12/18

In Finnish:

Podcast by Teosto with Pasi Kostiainen 11/22

Säveltäminen on arjessa kohdattujen asioiden prosessointia

Säveltäminen inhimillisten kokemusten peilinä -blogikirjoitus (muokattu puheenvuoro Suomen Säveltäjien seminaarissa 8.4.2022):

Blogikirjoitus Alma!-liikeoopperasta: Alukseni on satamassa mutta vuotaa

Kulttuuritoimituksen Kikka Holmbergin haastattelu 2017:



Studies at the Sibelius Academy

Doctoral studies (ongoing)

Master of Music 2011.

Bachelor of Music 2007.

Studies with professor Veli-Matti Puumala 2005-2011.

Studies with senior lecturer Eero Hämeenniemi 2004-2005.


Diploma in Composition at Sibelius-Academy (excellent mark) 2011.

Degree in Composition at the Pirkanmaa University of Applied Sciences (excellent mark) 2008.

Music pedagogy (main subject: music theory) at the Pirkanmaa University of Applied Sciences (final thesis: excellent mark) 2002.

Other studies

Carnatic music studies at the Brhaddhvani Music Academy in Chennai, India 2006-2007.

Teacher Education Program 60 credits 2006.

Degree in Music pedagogy at the Pirkanmaa University of Applied Sciences, Tampere 2002.

Studies at the Napier University, Edinburgh 2000.

Masterclasses with e.g. Kaija Saariaho, Jose María Sánchez-Verdú, Adriana Hölzky, Magnus Lindberg, Esa-Pekka Salonen.


Album release: Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra with conductor Tomas Djupsjöbacka and accordionist Antti Leinonen: work Vyöry/Avalanche

Album release: Lohja City Orchestra with conductor Jukka Untamala: work Kaarne

Monodrama Loved ones for soprano Hanna Rantala´s doctoral concert 2024. Libretto Milka Luhtaniemi. Director Riikka Oksanen, pianist Fanny Söderström, sound designer Maija Turunen.

Piano fanfare Imagination is the true fire for Tiina Karakorpi 2023 


Teaching composition in Pirkanmaa Music Institute since 2017.

The University of the Art Sibelius Academy: Teaching composition and composition pedagogy since 2019.

Tampere Biennale: Artistic director 2024-26.

Uuno Klami Composition Competition for young people 2022, member of the jury

Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra: hosting Faunien iltapäivä concert series at Tampere-talo; working in program committee.

Composition projects for young people: Primus motor in Finding my voice (Ääneni äärelle) 2016-2021; Equity in Composing (Yhdenvertaisesti säveltäen) 2019-2021; creating Opus 1 composition material bank in Society of Finnish composer´s working group 2016-2017; planning composition curriculum for Finnish music institutes in working group 2016-2019.

Rondo Magazine: Writing columns about being a composer since 2021.

Chairperson in The Finnish Music Foundation education committee 2019-22.

Board member of the Society of the Finnish Composers 2015-19.