Composer, pianist and conductor Tuomas Turriago (b.1979) is known especially as an experienced chamber musician and chamber music composer. His work as a musician is characterised by his great versatility and love of music, which encompasses almost all genres. Tuomas feels at home playing or conducting anything from Piazzolla and movie scores to Schubert and from Chopin to the musical Hair, the performances of which he conducted at the Tampere Theatre Festival 2019, in a production called Hair 50 years After. Naturally, he is an active advocate of contemporary music, both as a composer and as a pianist, as well as a regular conductor of the contemporary music ensemble TampereRaw, which collaboration has lasted for 8 years. As a composer, his style is marked by a tasteful combination of different 20th century idioms, but his aim is to compose timeless and player-friendly music that is not too closely associated to any isms. Tuomas was named candidate for the Contemporary Composer Award of The Finnish Music Publishers Association in 2019.
Tuomas Turriago has been Senior Lecturer at Tampere Music Academy, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) since 2004 and Chamber Music Teacher at the Sibelius Academy since 2019.
Tuomas began playing the piano when he was 7 years old and composing when he was 9. His debut as a soloist for an orchestra was with Jyväskylä Sinfonia when he was 11, performing Mozart Piano Concerto in A major (K488). Tuomas won the Kil International Piano Competition in Sweden when he was 13 and when he was 22, he was awarded the second price at the national Jyväskylä Piano Competition in Finland. As a chamber pianist, his repertoire encompasses almost all essential string-and-piano and wind-and-piano chamber music from Viennese classics to contemporary music. In addition, Tuomas has performed as Lied pianist and with large chamber ensembles. During his active career, that spans over two decades, he has performed as a pianist with, for example, Sergei Nakariakov, Vilmos Szabadi, Antje Weithaas, Anatoli Melnikov, Ari Angervo, Laura Vikman, Petteri Iivonen, Rainer Moog, Lilli Maijala, Michael Sanderling, Tomas Nuñez-Garces, Tuomas Ylinen, Samuli Peltonen, Markus Hohti, Sami Junnonen, Karl Leister, Matthew Hunt, Jouko Harjanne, Pacho Flores, Harri Lidsle, Juha Uusitalo, Esa Ruuttunen, Teppo Lampela and Mari Palo. Tuomas has also performed piano quintets in collaboration with Uusi Helsinki Quartet and Tempera Quartet.
Tuomas Turriago is also a renowned solo pianist and has performed as a soloist of many orchestras, in Finland with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, TampereRaw, St. Michel Strings and Jyväskylä Sinfonia. He has also collaborated with conductors such as Eri Klas, Ari Rasilainen, Leon Spierer, Markus Lehtinen, Jan Söderblom, Shuntaro Sato, Ari Angervo, Luis Biava and Irving Hoffman.
Tuomas has performed at several Finnish music festivals, such as Mänttä Music Festival, Riihimäki Summer Concerts, Hetta Music Festival, Helsinki Festival, Espoo International Piano Festival, Katrina Concert Series, Kaakko Festival, Lieksa Brass Week, Tampere Biennale and Nykymusiikin Lokakuu Festival. He has also performed as a pianist in Estonia, Norway, Russia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, The United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Singapore, the United States and Colombia.
Tuomas Turriago is a founding member and conductor of Tampereen Kamarioopperayhdistys (Tampere Chamber Opera Association). Lately, he has worked as a conductor more and more frequently and during 2009–2018 has been featured as a conductor of, among others, Vaasa City Orchestra, Seinäjoki City Orchestra, St. Michel Strings, TampereRaw, Tampere Chamber, Tampere Philharmonic Brass, Massive Brass Attack from Portugal, and Pyynikki Sinfonia, which comprises students of Tampere Music Academy. He has taken part in Atso Almila and Jorma Panula's conducting master classes.
Tuomas Turriago's compositional oeuvre consists of 38 works to date, which include, eg Prinsessa Papupata (2013–2015), a fairy-tale opera, on a libretto written by Susanna Haavisto; Claro de Luna (2016), a chamber opera for contra tenor, flute, viola and piano, on a libretto by Maritza Nuñez (part of the chamber opera trilogy Daniel Filippo); two piano sonatas (Uusinta Kustannus Oy); sonatas for tuba and piano, trumpet and piano, french horn and piano, alto saxophone and piano and flute and piano (Fennica Gehrman Oy); and Bugles of Light (2012) for brass ensemble and percussion. His newest major work,commissioned by TampereRaw, is Concerto for Chamber Ensemble (2017), first performed by TampereRaw in 2018 in a season concert of the Tampere Philharmonic orchestra. In the semi-finals of the 2017 Tampere Piano Competition, Tuomas Turriago's Jitters (2017) was featured as a compulsory competition piece. The premiere of his second string quartet was at Hetta Music Festival in 2009, performed by Tempera Quartet. St. Michel Strings performed the premiere of Towards Lydian Light, a symphony for strings, conducted by the composer himself in 2010. Tuomas has agreed on extensive collaboration with Fennica Gehrman, which will lead to the publishing of several pieces in the following years. Turriago has been a member of the Society of Finnish Composers since autumn 2010.
During the summer 2007, Turriago completed his arrangement of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 for solo piano, which Tuomas has performed, among other events, at Mänttä Music Festival and Espoo International Piano Festival.
Tuomas has recorded Finnish contemporary music for the Finnish Broadcasting Company as well as for foreign radio channels.
In addition, Tuomas has made several recordings for Pilfink Records and Alba Records, the latest of which is The Beautiful Trumpet of my Soul (2017), an album featuring film and entertainment music classics with trumpetist Jouko Harjanne for Pilfink Records.
Tuomas received the Pro Musica Fund Grant in 2004 and 2015, and has received also grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Tuomas is a married father of three. In addition to music, his hobbies include eating, the outdoors, local history, architecture and movies. Whenever his busy schedule allows, Tuomas enjoys taking walks through the picturesque alleys of Hyhky and Pispala in his hometown Tampere.
Translation: Martta Ponto