May 16, 2022
Doctor of Philosophy
Photos by Olivia Ting, 2022
As of today, May 15th 2022 I officially hold a PhD from the Music Department at the University of California Berkeley as I graduated. I started at Berkeley in the spring 2016, moved back to Finland in 2020 during covid, and finished my dissertation in Paris as a Ladd Prix scholar. These years have meant for me significant growth as a human being and an artist – words cannot express my gratitude to the university, my professors and colleagues for this journey.
Citation from my dissertation acknowledgements:
Having the opportunity to do my graduate studies at UC Berkeley and CNMAT, with the wonderful support by the Department of Music meant a new beginning for me. During my studies, I was able to build a stronger and more resilient artistic personality on my existing musical foundation. I would like to thank especially Edmund Campion, my dissertation chair, for his unfailing support, expertise and advice in technical as well as artistic questions along the way. I would like to thank Franck Bedrossian for his kind support and mentorship throughout my career at UC Berkeley and beyond, and Carmine Cella for technical as well as artistic support especially in the electro acoustic domain. To Cindy Cox I’m most in debt for the great mentorship and support in acoustical writing especially in relationship with text. Ken Ueno showed me how creation can be a state of flow.
My most important mentor and composition teacher was Paavo Heininen, with whom I built my composition technique during the bachelor and master studies in Helsinki. After many years of training, our relationship changed and he became my mentor. I’m humbled and grateful that he saw the potential in me and had the patience to walk a long road together to build me into a composer.
Becoming an artist is an ongoing process that has been overseen by many great composers and teachers. I would like to thank Kaija Saariaho and Marco Stroppa for their kind support and mentorship over the years.
Becoming an artist is an ongoing process that has been overseen by many great composers and teachers. I would like to thank Kaija Saariaho and Marco Stroppa for their kind support and mentorship over the years. I have been fortunate enough to meet up briefly and learn from composers such as Unsuk Chin, Chaya Czernowin, Rand Steiger, Jukka Tiensuu, Magnus Lindberg and Mika Pelo who all have had interesting and eye-opening points of views into composing and life.
Extensive violin studies led me to understand musicianship and the side of the performer in a deep level. Most important teachers in this area were Kolbjørn Holthe and Lajos Garam. I would also like to thank Wei Cheng for a brief and intensive introduction into conducting — a path that I would like to investigate further.
I would like to thank my husband Eero Tiittula from the bottom of my heart for his support throughout my career at UC Berkeley.
I would like to thank my husband Eero Tiittula from the bottom of my heart for his support throughout my career at UC Berkeley. He has always believed in me and helped me through the rough patches. By taking care of our children and household, he has also given me the valuable chance to pursue my dreams in completing the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Thank you Eero, you are my rock.