Ismo Eskelinen

working with composers


Ismo collaborates actively with the most interesting composers of our time,
and has premiered several substantial works written for him.
Below some examples of such collaboration.

Kalevi Aho

Kalevi Aho composed his first work for solo guitar, Solo XI (Hommage á Munir Bashir), for Ismo in 2013.
In 2019 Ismo premiered Aho’s guitar concerto dedicated to him. The concerto was comissioned by the Lapland Chamber Orchestra and John Storgårds.

Kalevi Aho – Fennica Gehrman
Lapin kamariorkesteri: Monenlaisia jännäreitä
Aho på ogenerat tonalt och idiomatiskt gitarrhumör

Sebastian Fagerlund

Ismo premiered Sebastian Fagerlund`s first work for solo guitar Kromos at the Turku Music Festival in 2011.

In 2013 Ismo premiered guitar concerto Transit dedicated to him. Concerto was comissioned by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (FRSO), conducted by Sakari Oramo. Soon after the premiere Ismo performed the concerto with BBC Symphony orchestra and Sakari Oramo in London. By now Ismo has played Transit several times, eg. with Tampere Filharmonia and Eugene Zigane, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra and Dima Slobodeniuk, and recorded it with FRSO and Hannu Lintu. Fagerlund has used guitar also in Sky 2, a work for a chamber ensemble. Sky 2 was premiered at Ismo’s festival Sonkajärvi Soi.


Olli Mustonen

Olli Mustonen has composed several works for guitar. The first one, Jehkin Iivana, a sonata for guitar, was dedicated to Ismo. Ismo premiered Jehkin Iivana at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in 2005. Since then Mustonen has enriched guitar literature with several masterworks: 

Concert Champetre (an orchestral work with a substantial guitar part)
Minä Elän-Song cycle for Mezzo-soprano and guitar
Three Trees, Three Sons (for a narrator and chamber ensemble)
Sonata for guitar no. 2, comissioned by the Julian Bream Trust

Olli Mustonen
Jehin Iivana & Rautavaara

Jukka Tiensuu

Jukka Tiensuu has composed two substantial works for Ismo, Aim and Daydreams. 

Aim, a concerto for guitar and orchestra was premiered in 2005 with the FRSO and conductor Sakari Oramo. Ismo has also played the concerto e.g. with the Sinfonia Lahti and Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. 

Ismo premiered Daydreams, a work for guitar and electronics, at Verkatehdas in Hämeenlinna in 2016. Since then Ismo has played the piece several times and recorded it for BIS.


”Ismo Eskelinen spelade solostemman ( Jukka Tiensuu: gitarrenkonsert ) inkännande och eftertänktsamt. Enligt programbladet hade Eskelinen själv skrivit kadenserna; de kadenser som förekom…anslöt sig helt sömlöst och det var omöjligt att avgöra var gränser mellan tonsättare och solisten gick.”

Jukka Tiensuu

Kirmo Lintinen

Kirmo Lintinen dedicated his guitar concerto to Ismo in 2011. The concerto was commissioned by and premiered with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra and John Storgårds.

”Kirmo Lintinen’s Concerto for Guitar is charming music that bubbles on with an unresisting power. The elegant whirls of waltz and dreamy sections lead to a folk-dance-like finale.”

Kirmo Lintinen