"The ability to think and feel, and the ability to combine these two, is what separates us humans from other species on this earth." This is also what composer Cecilia Damström strives for with her music; to make the listener think and feel.

Finnish-Swedish Cecilia Damström (b. 1988) grew up in Helsinki in a multicultural, multilingual family, something that influenced her composing. A sense of harmony, drama and expressiveness is constantly present in her music.

Cecilia Damström's strong common human pathos is an important aspect of her creation; the orchestra pieceTundo!is dedicated to all the world's refugees andNixusto those suffering from mental illness. Her trilogy of quintets has drawn inspiration from three strong female destinies – Jean Sibelius's wifeAino,the author, also Finland's first feminist,Minna Canth,and the artistHelen Schjerfbeck.

Cecilia Damström also has a strong commitment to environmental and climate issues, which is reflected in e.g. the running gearRequiem for Our Earth,orchestral worksICE(In Case of Emergency),ExtinctionsandPermafrost, and in the children's operaAnimal's Planet, which premiered at the Finnish National Opera in 2019. She has been called a musical Greta Thunberg.​

Cecilia Damström's music has been awarded a number of different prizes. In 2022, she became the first female classical composer to win the Teosto Prize, one of the biggest music prizes in the Nordics, forICE.The orchestral work describes how the polar ice caps are melting in the age of climate change and was written on order from the symphony orchestra in Lahti, which was the European environmental capital in 2021.extinction,as describes the earth's various phases of development and the five mass extinctions, was commissioned by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and has been nominated for the Nordic Council's Music Prize 2024.

Damström studied composition with Hannu Pohjannoro at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences and at master's level with Luca Francesconi at the University of Music in Malmö. After her studies, she has worked full-time as a composer and already has a large list of works with orchestral and chamber music, choral works, and three chamber operas. Upcoming commissions include a major orchestral work for the Helsinki Philharmonic and an all-night opera with a Sami theme.

Damström's music has been performed by orchestras, choirs and chamber musicians around Europe, in the USA and Canada, and her music appears frequently in festival contexts.
In 2021-2022, Cecilia Damström was artist-in-residence atInternationales Künstlerhaus Villa Concordiain Bamberg, Germany.

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