Kristiina Ilmonen

Flutist and multi-instrumentalist Kristiina Ilmonen (born 1966 in Kauhava, Finland) has been creating traditional and contemporary folk music and free improvisation in various ensembles and other musical projects for over thirty years. She specializes in ethnic woodwind instruments such as Nordic flutes and whistles and the ancient Finnish reed instruments liru and mänkeri. She often makes music with ethnic percussion and vocal improvisation as well.

Kristiina is especially fond of researching the timbres of different types of wooden flutes. She creates meditative soundscapes combined with avant-garde expression, inspired by the styles of archaic Finnish folk music. She has composed and performed music for contemporary dance, theatre and film and is featured on over 20 CD recordings. She has toured in Europe, Asia and Africa and is a member of the groups Ottopasuuna, Suomussalmiryhmä, Utua, The Helsinki Koto Ensemble and Suunta.

Kristiina holds a Master of Music degree from the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department, where she worked as Head of Department 1998–2004 and where she has been teaching and developing the department’s syllabus and methodology since 1990. She was elected one of the Womex jury Seven Samurai of 2009 and is active in various positions of trust in the field of folk music education in Finland and abroad.

Kristiina is currently preparing her artistic Doctor of Music degree “The Sound of the Shepherd - Music from Old and New Pastures” focusing on folk flutes, performance and improvisation at the Sibelius Academy.