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Born in Hämeenlinna (Tavastehus), Finland, he was a student of the violin at the Helsinki Conservatory and of composition in privacy with Väinö Raitio and Selim Palmgren. He directed the Kemi Music Institute from 1966–1973. His musical selections were often of a topical nature.
- No. 1 (1947)
- No. 2 (1949) Hiroshima
- No. 3 (1952) Popular
- No. 4 (1959)
- No. 5 (1964) Hämeenlinna rhapsody
- Piano Concerto 1948
- Piano Concerto 1954
- Folk music for orchestra 1953–1960
- Ballet suites from Lapponia 1956, 1959
- Violin Concerto (1966)
- Piano Sonata (1932, revised 1972)
- Oboe Sonata (1945)
- Preludi ja allegro (Prelude and Allegro) for viola and piano (1983)
- five string quartets
- piano pieces
- Slonimsky, Nicolas (1978). "Aaltonen, Erkki". Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (6th ed.). New York: Schirmer Books. p. 1. ISBN 0-02-870240-9.
- Lifton, Robert Jay (1987). Death in life: survivors of Hiroshima. UNC Press Books. p. 473. ISBN 0-8078-4344-X.
Another symphony, entitled Hiroshima, was written by a Finnish composer, Erkki Aaltonen, and performed in that city on August 15, 1955, by the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra.
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