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Ⓒ Otto Virtanen

A composition at its best has everything. The entire life in a single moment. This is how composer Sauli Zinovjev (1988) sees it.

Since graduating from the Sibelius-Academy he has been focusing mainly on orchestral music with commissions and performances by distinguished orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouworkest, Philharmonic Orchestras of Munich, Oslo, Gothenburg and Helsinki, Finnish and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestras, Bamberger Symfoniker, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra and Tapiola Sinfonietta. Zinovjev has collaborated with some of the frontline musicians such as Klaus Mäkelä, Vikingur Olafsson, Sakari Oramo, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Pekka Kuusisto, Tuuli Lindeberg, Malin Broman, Ryan Bancroft, Hugo Ticciati, Simon Crawford-Phillips, Eivind Gullberg-Jenssen and Anna-Maria Helsing.

Zinovjev composes music that conveys vast emotions. The kind of music which also made him a composer. Until the age of sixteen, he played the guitar in a rock band and skateboarded. Then he saw a clip online with György Cziffra performing Liszt.

“It was as if wallpaper had been torn off the wall revealing a window to an open landscape. The euphoria and the virtuoso performance left a fanatic impression on me. To have the ability to inject so much art into a single moment. The entire spectrum of life.”

Zinovjev uses classical music to make his view of the world intelligible. To convey it – life – to others.

Anna-Kaari Hakkarainen




A new wave of commissioned works such as a symphony Taste of Metal (2024) commissioned by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris and a Percussion Concerto "A Savage Beat" (2024) for percussionist Vivi Vassileva commissioned by the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Luxemburg Philharmonie and Wiener Konzerthaus. 

US debut with Batteria with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Klaus Mäkelä.

Working grants by Finnish Arts Promotion Center (TAIKE).


World premieres of orchestral scores an adagio (2022), and Double Concerto (2022), Hit & Run (2021), Wiegenlied (2020) and Piano Concerto (2019) for Vikingur Olafsson. Debuts with orchestras such as the Oslo Filharmonien and Munchen Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw orchestra with Batteria conducted by Klaus Mäkelä. 

Bavarian Ministery of Culture's Stipendium to the International House of Artist Villa Concordia in Bamberg, Germany.

Working grants by Finnish Arts Promotion Center (TAIKE) and Wihuri's Foundation.

An exclusive, worldwide publishing agreement with the Birdsong Music Publishing by HarrisonParrott.


World premieres of orchestral scores Un Grande Sospiro (2018), Violin Concerto "Der Leiermann" (2017) for Pekka Kuusisto, "Die Welt - ein Tor" (2017) for Sirja Nironen and Batteria (2016) . Debuts with orchestras such as the Bamberger Symfoniker, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. 

Working grants by Finnish Cultural Foundation and Finnish Arts Promotion Center (TAIKE). Composer-in-residence at the 60th Turku Music Festival, 2019, Guest composer at the RUSK Festival 2017.


Studies at the Sibelius-Academy and Hfm-Karlsruhe under guidance of Tapio Nevanlinna and prof. Wolfgang Rihm. The success of Gryf (2013) in the 3rd International Uuno Klami Composition Competition launches the first wave of commissions.

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