Mariliis Valkonen

b. July 31, 1981, Tallinn
Member of the Estonian Composers’ Union since 2005

In 2001, Mariliis Valkonen graduated in music theory from the Tallinn Georg Ots Music High School where she also studied composition with Lembit Veevo. In 2005, she got bachelor degree in composition from the Estonian Academy of Music as a student of Prof. Eino Tamberg. In 2012, Mariliis obtained master degree at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre with Helena Tulve. In 2004 and 2006, Mariliis Valkonen took part in the International Workshop for Young Composers in Dundaga, Latvia.

Works of Mariliis Valkonen have been performed by pianists Mati Mikalai and Sten Lassmann, NYYD Ensemble, Ensemble U:, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Choir Collegium Musicale. Her music has been presented at the Estonian Music Days Festival, Glasperlenspiel Festival and Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Autumn Festival. She has been awarded at the composition contests of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Autumn Festival (1st prize for ensemble work The Chance of the Journey, 2005), her mixed choir song "Way to Home" deserved 1st prize at the Estonian patriotic choir song contest in 2004 and was performed at the Tenth All-Estonian Youth Song Festival in 2007. Valkonen’s piano work talsu street got the 1st prize at the student composition competition of the Estonian Music Days Festival 2005, The Detective for three sopranos and percussion was awarded the Composer Prize at the Estonian Music Days Festival 2005 and Takeoff for mixed choir and string quartet Composer Prize at the Estonian Music Days Festival 2013.


Mariliis Valkonen:

"I like to think of a musical piece as of a song. This idea could be extended to any work of art. Singing is intrinsic to a human being. Singing as breathing. There is always a story to tell with a song. When composing I try to imitate ideas with my voice – even the most abstract or non-melodic ideas, I always try to feel out the image.

Intuitivity is particularly important for me when writing music. I have never used mathematics, geometry or special techniques. Nor have I restricted myself with rigid systems. This could also be the reason why the form of my works is so fragmental and discontinuous. I haven’t recognized my style yet. Moreover – I actually like the thought of "not having a style". Every new piece could be disparate from the previous one. Common characteristics that remain would be some strong and clear gestures and/or humorous alien particles."

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Updated in November 2017

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