Mostly autodidact as a composer, the Finn Osmo Tapio Räihälä (b. 1964) studied composition for a couple of years under Harri Vuori in the early 1990’s. He has since worked as an independent composer. He has also worked as a music journalist for numerous institutions, the radio and the TV in Finland.
After trying out stylistically varied methods in his early works, Räihälä has concentrated on fluently progressing musical processes, with influences from impressionism, free atonality and even some progressive rock.
Räihälä has got inspiration to his works from many sources. His breakthrough work Barlinnie Nine (1999/2005) for orchestra is a tribute to the Scottish footballer Duncan Ferguson, and some of his works contain small quotations from rock and jazz music. As a synesthete, Räihälä has stated that music is to him a form of visual arts, and this is demonstrated in many of his compositions.
A major part of Räihälä’s oeuvre is instrumental music. Chamber music (with or without electronics) form a major part of his output, but his orchestral works and concertos (for mallet instruments, the viola, the cello, the oboe, the French horn and the bass clarinet) are an important part of his compositions.