The often-abstract themes in Sebastian Hilli’s works have in common the composer’s fascination with structure and the relationship between non-musical concepts and their transcription into musical ideas. Known for his highly intensive, crisply structured compositions, Hilli’s subjects range from the literature of Jorge Luis Borges to works inspired by biology and the psychological expectations of the human mind.
Winning the 1st prize in the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award in 2015 gave Hilli’s work international recognition. In 2017, Hilli’s Reachings for orchestra was the selected work in the ’Composers under 30 category’ at the 64th International Rostrum of Composers and will receive worldwide broadcasting. Several of his works have been performed at various festivals in Finland and abroad including Norway, Iceland, Austria, US, Japan, Denmark, Germany and Ukraine. Ensembles such as Avanti!, Zagros, Curious Chamber Players, Esbjerg Ensemble, NYKY-ensemble, Cikada, Ensemble Mise-en, Ensemble Recherche, Sed Contra Ensemble, Kamus-Quartet, Quatuor Bozzini, Siggi String Quartet, Arktinen Hysteria, Uusinta Ensemble, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra have performed his music.
Recent projects include commissions for Crusell Music Festival, Uusinta Ensemble and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra with a 500-member choir. Currently Hilli is working on a commission for the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Hilli holds a Master’s degree in Composition from Sibelius Academy in Helsinki where he studied with Veli-Matti Puumala and Lauri Kilpiö. He also studied a year in Vienna with Michael Jarrell, and has participated master classes with e.g. Jukka Tiensuu, Jouni Kaipainen, Hans Abrahamsen, Simon Steen-Andersen, Philippe Manoury, Martijn Padding and Mark Andre.
Currently Hilli works as a freelancer with a 3-year grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation.