Panu Aaltio has composed the music to a wide range of films. His first feature, a drama film about a 13-year-old castaway, The Home of Dark Butterflies , earned him a Jussi nomination for Best Music. The film was also Finland’s representative to the Nordic Council Film Prize and the Academy Awards. Among other features he has scored are the horror film Sauna (also a Nordic Council Film Prize nominee), the film noir inspired period drama Hella W, the fantasy adventure Dawn of the Dragonslayer and the psychological thriller Body of Water.
Panu has just won a major prize from the International Film Music Critics Association for METSÄN TARINA. He is awarded alongside such composers as John Williams and Thomas Newman.
For this production he also won Best Original Score for a Documentary Feature at the Movie Music UK Awards 2012. The film music critic, Jonathan Broxton, said, ‘Music for documentaries more often than not goes relatively unheralded, but this needs to change, as some terrific music is composed for them each year. The best in 2012 is unquestionably METSÄN TARINA [A TALE OF THE FOREST], a nature documentary score from Finland written by the up-and-coming composer Panu Aaltio. The music is superb; fully orchestral, lyrical, pastoral, beautiful, a gorgeous musical depiction of the wintry Finnish landscape – it’s forests and lakes, and its rich animal life – as the seasons change throughout the year. Nature documentaries have inspired composers for years, and Aaltio was clearly greatly inspired by the subject matter.’
A cellist since six years old, Panu Aaltio has grown into the orchestral tradition. He has worked with orchestras all over the world, including recording many of his scores in London. He’s equally at home with contemporary electronic music, having been a self-taught computer programmer for as long. Aaltio studied music technology and composition in Sibelius Academy in his native Finland. In 2005 he moved to Los Angeles to study film music at the University of Southern California. After graduating with a Harry Warren Scholarship for Excellence in Film Scoring, he worked on a multitude of LA-based projects, including composing additional music for the Academy Award shortlisted documentary Nanking.
To listen to Panu’s work please click here.