Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Ari Poutiainen is a contemporary Finnish composer, musician, researcher and educator.


Besides his main instruments, violin and viola, he performs, for example, on piano and keyboards, vocals, guitar, bass guitar, recorder, tin whistle, diatonic and chromatic harmonica, drums and percussion. He frequently uses a custom 5-string viola instead of the standard 4-string model. He also plucks his violins and violas; hold and play them like a guitarist.


Poutiainen maintains three active creative careers. He does, researches and teaches music.

COMPOSITION & PERFORMANCE: Poutiainen composes frequently and his catalogue includes approximately 150 registered works. They vary from instrumental solo pieces to small jazz band tunes to larger compositions for a symphony orchestra. He appears on more than 50 albums as a soloist, sideman, arranger or conductor. He perform with different groups, from which the most active are The Bad Ass Brass Band, Ardency, Farther-Out and Jyjy.


RESEARCH: Poutiainen has a PhD in music. Earlier he focused in researching jazz history and pedagogy and has, for example, developed and published an extensive fingering strategy for modern jazz violin improvisation. This strategy, called "Stringprovisation", has been acknowledged worldwide as a significant pioneering study and contribution. His recent publications represent music education, creativity and innovation.


EDUCATION: Poutiainen works at the University of Helsinki as a university lecturer of music education. In the North-American academic terms this tenure position equals to a status of an associate professor. He also teaches string improvisation at the Sibelius Academy and gives international jazz strings master classes.

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences
  • Music Education
  • 6131 Theatre, dance, music, other performing arts
  • Jazz and Classical Music
  • Artistic Research
  • Creativity and Innovations

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.