Born in 1953 in Helsinki, Atso Almila is a Composer, Conductor and Professor of Conducting.
A student of Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy during 1974-77, Atso Almila became Music Director of the Finnish National Theatre during 1982-87 and 1989-95. Chief conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic during 1987-89, of the Joensuu Orchestra during 1993-2000 and of the Kuopio Orchestra during 1995-2000, he returned to the Kuopio Orchestra as 2nd guest conductor from 2007. Principal guest conductor of the Seinäjoki Orchestra during 2000-09, he became artistic adviser of the Joensuu Orchestra in 2010, followed by chief conductor (for the 2nd time) during 2011-13, and since then, Conductor Laureate. Atso Almila is a regular guest conductor at the Finnish National Opera, with Finnish Opera Societies, and major Finnish symphonic and military orchestras. He also regularly conducts youth orchestras in Finland, Ireland, Austria and Switzerland. In 2013 and 2014, he conducted concerts with the Qingdao Symphony orchestra in China.
A teacher of conducting at the Sibelius Academy of the Helsinki University of Arts during 1991-2010, he became its Professor of Conducting and Orchestral Training from August 2013 until his retirement in July 2019. In demand as a tutor, he has given masterclasses and taught in China, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Spain, Czech Republic and Switzerland.
His compositions include six operas, five symphonies (the fourth is also a ballet), other works for symphonic orchestra and wind bands, concertos for several instruments, as well as music for chamber ensembles, theatre and film.