by Sebastian Hilli

Empty sheet

Sebastian Hilli


Music Finland


Orchestra as an instrument, together with the different colors and instrumental combinations it allows, has always fascinated me. Reachings is my first composition for large orchestra. I worked with the piece intensively and finished it almost in a month.

In contrast to what is typical for me, I did not have a strict and fixed structure. Instead I progressed narratively forward – sensing what kind of music materializes next. The form of the music was thus formed gradually as the process progressed. When building the dramaturgy I often adopted the viewpoint of the listener. Sensing how the music advanced, I developed an idea of reaching to something, which became the central theme.

What interested me was the feeling born inside us, when we hear the music coming closer to something. My approach to Reachings was that of being on a journey to somewhere without knowing where. It creates a feeling that the music is accomplishing its destination, but just when it is reaching the point it strives for, the music is suddenly drawn back or taking a new turn. It is not about reaching the final goal but about the journey.

- Sebastian Hilli -


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Works for Orchestra or Large Ensemble


The piece was awarded the 1st prize at the Toru Takemitsu Composition Award 2015 in Tokyo, Japan.

The judge Kaija Saariaho stated about the composition:

”Reachings struck me by its determined sense of formal plan and its realization. The music is directional, yet surprising. An intense concentration is carrying the music through the work. The music has an urge to advance, but it is done under a control so that the musical energy is well balanced, and the music breathes naturally.The range of different musical characters is large and emotionally fulfilling. The fresh quality of music reaches the very end of the piece. The orchestration is effective throughout and the score enjoyable to read in its clarity.”


Kazumasa Watanabe (conductor), Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, Japan, May 31, 2015

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