Erkki Veltheim

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Erkki Veltheim is a composer, improviser and performer. He is a member of contemporary music ensemble Elision, improvisers’ ensemble Australian Art Orchestra and Australian Indigenous singer-songwriter Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu’s band, for whom he has also worked as an arranger. He has also performed with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt) and Ensemble musikFabrik (Dusseldorf).

He appeared as an onstage solo violinist/electric violinist in Brett Dean’s opera Bliss for Opera Australia in 2010, and has performed as a soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Elision, Australian Art Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta. He is a regular performer at Australian improvisation events including Make It Up Club, Stutter, NOWnow, Articulating Space and the Melbourne International Biennale of Exploratory Music, and has performed and collaborated with many leading composers, improvisers and performers including Brett Dean, John Rodgers, Jon Rose, Anthony Pateras, Han Bennink, Scott Tinkler and Meow Meow (Melissa Madden Gray). He is also active as a band musician and songwriter in his own group Roadkill Rodeo, as well as guesting with various rock, country, gypsy and world music bands, including Zulya and the Children of the Underground and the Indigenous singer-songwriters’ collective Black Arm Band.

Erkki’s compositions have been performed by the London Sinfonietta, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australian String Quartet and the Twitch Ensemble, and his installations and intermedia works have been exhibited in Australia, Spain and Finland. He has also collaborated with the visual artist Sabina Maselli on several audiovisual projects. Experimental music theatre works include Kill Music and Let Sounds Live (2001) and Kill Art and Let Feelings Live (2002) for the Queensland Performing Arts Trust Merivale St Studio, both co-written, directed and performed with John Rodgers. Erkki was commissioned by the 2010 Adelaide Festival to write a new work for ensemble in collaboration with the Young Wagilak Group, traditional musicians from Ngukurr, NT.

Erkki was a finalist in the 2010 Melbourne Music Prize Outstanding Musicians Award, and recently completed a Masters examining music as a ritual.

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