His early career in music began in Espoon Musiikkiopisto (Espoo Music Institute) and the youth choir Candomino. His academic studies in music began at the Sibelius Academy as a pupil of Eero Hämeenniemi and Einojuhani Rautavaara from 1974 to 1981. Later, he studied in West Berlin with Dieter Schnebel from 1981 to 1982.
He has composed over 100 works covering a broad range, from orchestral music to operas and choral works such as Seven Songs for Planet Earth, commissioned by the Washington Choral Arts Society and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. Apart from his choral music he is particularly known for his operas, of which the latest are Messenius and Lucia (2004), Daddy's Girl (2007) and One Night Stand (2011). His work list also includes a number of chamber as well as instrumental solo works.
In addition to his career as a composer and teacher, he also has an administrative position as a member of the Board of the Association of Finnish Composers (1984–1994), and on the Board of the Finnish Composers' International Copyright Bureau (TEOSTO) (1989–1995).
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