Essi Iso-Oja

(Ellonen) (born in 1968 in Turku, Finland, resident in Helsinki), composer. She has a Master's Degree in harp performance from Sibelius Academy. She has collaborated for twenty-years as an orchestral and a chamber music harpist with the major Finnish orchestras (for example Lahti Symphony Orchestra) and with various ensembles ranging from Early Music to the Contemporary field. She has also given lectures about harp music in Finland as well as composed, arranged and edited music mainly for her instrument. She is considered one of the rare players of the historical pedal harp (the single action harp). She performs regularly as soloist, chamber musician and continuo player with early music ensembles like Elysionin Kedot. During the 2012 season she also played with the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra performing a baroque opera in the Finnish National Opera. She has performed as harpist in the concert series Le Concert Spirituel 2010-2011 (Les Bains des Tuileries; Les virtuoses francais; Les Liaisons dangereuses), in the music festivals like Sibafest 2010 (Catherine the Great's St. Peterburg Court Concert) and Les Lumières -festival 2009 (Salon de Madame Stael). As an artistic director she has created the concert Les Liaisons dangereuses featuring Music from the time of the French Revolution, and three recital programs for the rarely heard repertoire for the 18th century harp; Salon de Catherine (Katariinan salonki), Sous le ciel (Taivaan alla) and Evening music from the 18th century (Iltamusiikkia 1700-luvulta). She is a member of the Single Action Harp Associaton, the Historical Harp Society, the Finnish Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and a founding member of the Finnish Harp Society.
Works: Essi's harps are present in numerous film soundtracks, like Free the Mind (dir. Phie Ambo, post-production, coming 2011) and the awarded documents Mechanical Love (dir. Phie Ambo 2007), and Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman (dir. Jennifer Fox 2006).

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