Biography

Artturi Rönkä (b. 1990) is a Helsinki-based composer and musician. Rönkä’s compositional output includes music in different genres ranging from contemporary classical to modern jazz.

Rönkä studied composition with professor Veli-Matti Puumala in the Sibelius Academy, graduating with a master’s degree in 2020.  He has also a master’s degree from the jazz department of the Sibelius Academy. During the academic year 2012-2013 Rönkä studied in Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMDP) as an exchange student.

Highlights of Rönkä’s career as a composer include Bells, Chant, written to celebrate the 40th anniversary of UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra and the 80th birthday of Finnish saxophone legend Juhani Aaltonen, 11 Scenes, a semi-concertante work for accordionist Harri Kuusijärvi and woodwind quartet and Phases, originally written for a workshop with Ensemble Recherche but also performed by Finnish chamber group ÄÄNI kollektiivi. Rönkä’s piece ”…taakseni katsonut” based on a poem by flutist-poet Johanna Kärkkäinen will be released on Kärkkäinen’s duo record with guitarist Olli Hirvanen in 2021. Rönkä’s music will also be featured on UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra’s soon-to-be released album.

In addition to composing, Rönkä performs as a jazz pianist. He has played in groups such as AR Quartet, Rönkä-Remmel-Sommer, Kasperi Sarikoski & Nuance, Jere Haakana Varjosto, Selma Juudit Alessandra and Jean Erik.

Rönkä is also a sought-after arranger for different orchestras and large ensembles. Since 2011 he has written over 60 arrangements for UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra. His arrangements or transcriptions have also been performed by among others Central Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Oulu Sinfonia, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra & Turku Jazz Orchestra and Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. In 2014 Rönkä was one of the seven arrangers around the world invited to participate in the Metropole Orchestra Arrangers’ Workshop under the guidance of Vince Mendoza.

Rönkä has won the first prizes in both Finnish “Esko Linnavalli” (2011, organized by UMO Jazz Orchestra) and international “Jazzverk” (2012 Luleå, Sweden, organized by Norrbotten Big Band) big band composition contests. He was chosen as the artist of the year by Pori Jazz Festival in 2013.

Discography

2020 Misceo: Better Word for Love (piano)

2020 Jere Haakana Varjosto: Souvenir I-III (keyboards)

2019 Selma Juudit Alessandra: Rubicon Songs (keyboards)

2019 Finnish Air Force Big Band & Pepa Päivinen: Maisemakuvia Suomesta – Music by Anssi Tikanmäki (arranger)

2019 Jere Haakana Varjosto (piano/keyboards)

2019 Jean Erik (piano)

2018 Tuomas Paukku Scription (piano)

2017 Daniel Sommer: Duets (piano)

2016 Johanna Iivanainen, Turku Jazz Orchestra & Turku Philharmonic Orchestra: Sulle salaisuuden kertoa mä voisin (arranger)

2015 Elena Mindru Third Stream Project: Quartphonic (composer/arranger)

2015 Kasperi Sarikoski & Nuance: Essence (piano/keyboards)

2014 AR Quartet (leader/composer/pianist)

2013 Live at We Jazz (piano/composer)