Osuma Ensemble (Mikael HeikkilÃ¤, Toni Hietala, Jyri Kurri, Harri Lehtinen, Janne Tuomi) was founded in 2006 in Finland. The ensemble has performed at various Finnish festivals such as the Tampere Biennale, the “Time of Music” in Viitasaari and the Kuhmo Chamber Music, as well as at the Summer Music Academy and Festival in Toronto. In August 2016, Osuma Ensemble will take the stage at Helsinki’s Flow Festival. Osuma has also performed as the soloist of Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Santtu-Matias Rouvali, as the soloist of the Pori Sinfonietta and as the headliner of the Majaoja percussion contest. The ensemble has commissioned and performed works by Lotta WennÃ¤koski, Tiina MyllÃ¤rinen, Tim Ferchen, Esa PietilÃ¤ and Arttu Takalo.Â Osuma Ensemble performs classics of percussion music alongside new works, and the music of several musical cultures from around the world, for example the rich percussive compositions of Africa and India.
Mikael HeikkilÃ¤ (born 1977) has studied percussion instruments at the Piramk / Tampere Conservatory and at the University of Toronto in Canada. In addition to classical percussion instruments, Mikael has studied two different branches of the West African percussion tradition with the Ghanian master drummer Kwasi Dunyo and the Burkina Faso griot and master drummer Zoumana Dembele. In Toronto, he also studied the Indian tabla drum with ethnomusicologist James Kippen. As a self-taught frame drum player, Mikael has studied the tambourines and frame drums typical of Arab music.Â During his versatile career, Mikael has performed at numerous ancient music, contemporary music and folk music festivals. He has also performed at musicals at the TTT Theatre in Tampere and at the Helsinki City Theatre. Additionally, he has performed with several symphony orchestras around Finland. Recently, his performances have mainly focused on chamber music with Osuma Ensemble, Fioretto Ensemble, and The Lapland Chamber Orchestra. Mikael has performed solo at various locations, especially churches. He teaches percussion at the RiihimÃ¤ki Music Institute.
Toni Hietala (born 1971) has studied at the Tampere Conservatory, at the University of Toronto and at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences under Esko Vuorinen, Ari Isotalo, Mikko Honkanen, Tiina Laukkanen, Russell Hartenberger, John Rudolph, Beverley Johnston and Robin Engelman. In Toronto, he completed master classes with Robert van Sice and David Kent, to name but a few. In 2007, Hietala performed “Concerto Z” by Minoru Miki as the soloist of the Pyynikki Symphony and the Oulu Festivo. Hietala currently works as a lector at the Palmgren Conservatory in Pori. He also works actively as a freelance musician in various ensembles and symphony orchestras.
Jyri Kurri (born 1974) began his percussion studies at age 9 with Risto Skrikberg. After that, he moved onto study at the Tampere Conservatory under Esko Vuorinen and Tiina Laukkanen. He has also completed professional studies at the Sibelius Academy with Markku Hannola and Lassi ErkkilÃ¤, and at the University of Toronto with Russell Hartenberger and Robin Engelman.Â Kurri has assisted most of the Finnish symphony orchestras, such as the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Avanti! Since 2002, he has worked as the section leader for percussion at the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, and as a member of the Savonlinna Opera Festival Orchestra since 2008. Kurri is an active chamber musician at various ensembles and he also works outside of the realm of classical music. He teaches at the Music Academy in Tampere.
Harri Lehtinen (born 1968) started his career as a drummer at the age of 13 in rock bands and touring dance orchestras. At 16, he enrolled at the Tampere Conservatory to study percussion instruments under Esko Vuorinen and Tiina Laukkanen. Lehtinen has studied also at the University of Toronto with the musicians of Nexus, particularly Russell Hartenberg and Robin Engelman. In 2016, Lehtinen graduated as a Doctor of Music at the DocMus Department of the Sibelius Academy. He works as a lector of percussion at the Tampere Music Academy since 2000. During the past two years, Lehtinen has taught and hosted master classes for example in Portugal, Spain, Denmark and Estonia.Â During his career, Lehtinen has worked as both a percussionist and timpanist with most of the Finnish symphony orchestras including the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, and many more. He has performed as a soloist with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Pori Sinfonietta, Lapland Chamber Orchestra and the Pyynikki Symphony. Additionally, Lehtinen also works with several chamber music ensembles and small ensembles and records music both within and outside of the realm of classical music. Since 2013, Lehtinen has worked as the percussionist of the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival.
Janne Tuomi (born 1973) has studied at the Conservatory of Tampere, the Tampere University of Applied Sciences and at the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense. He has also studied under private tutelage with drummer Ed Thigpen in Denmark and with John Bergamo in the United States. Tuomi has worked extensively as a performer and recording artist with many of Finland’s top orchestras, including the City Orchestras in Tampere, JyvÃ¤skylÃ¤, Pori, Vaasa, Joensuu, Lahti, Kuopio and Oulu, and with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra. Tuomi has performed as soloist with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and the Pori Sinfonietta. He has worked as percussionist with several chamber music ensembles, such as Zagros Ensemble, Uusinta, Avanti!, TUMO and defunensemble.Â Tuomi has also led an active career outside of classical music. He has worked with the late Finnish actor Markku Peltola in his Buster Keaton Orchestra, with the Pori-based cult rockers Circle, with audio artist Tommi KerÃ¤nen and with the jazz quintet Rakka. Additionally, Tuomi has completed productions with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, saxophonist Alan Wilkinson, composer/bassist Barry Guy, with the Swiss baroque violinist Maya Hamburger and in John Zorn’s project “Cobra”. Tuomi has performed solo at various contexts and has also worked in co-operation with modern dance ensembles. He has performed with various ensembles in London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Moscow and toured in Siberia, to name a few. During the past couple of years, Tuomi has been active in the Berlin scene, performing with a wide variety of local musicians in the city. Tuomi currently works as a teacher at the Tampere Music Academy.