Tellu Turkka, formerly Tellu Virkkala, is one of the most notable and most respected Finnish composers. Her compositions based on polyphony of female voices are harmonically rich and at the same time raw, urgent and rapacious. They purvey the experience of the vastness of northern wilderness as well as the ferociousness of the local ancient legends.
Born to a musical family, Turkka grew up with music and polyphonic singing. She studied violin at the conservatory and at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. In 1990, she became member of the world-renowned Swedish ensemble Hedningarna performing compositions inspired by Swedish and Finnish folk songs. At that time, she became enthralled by northern rune songs.
In 1996, Turkka published the first CD of her original compositions, an excellent vocal recording in the spirit of the ancient Finnish oral tradition. The album entitled Suden Aika was awarded the best folk music recording of the year. The Suden Aika quartet featured on the CD subsequently toured a large part of Europe. The singer and composer Tellu Turkka is also a multi instrumentalist. She is the only Finn having mastered the Swedish Mora harp. In 1998, the compositions from Suden Aika were arranged for woman´s choir.
Tellu Turkka currently lives in Tampere, Finland, raising two children, composing, singing and playing music.
Samples of her work can be found at www.sudenaika.com in the Musiikkia section.