Leevi Räsänen is a Helsinki-based composer and composition pedagogue. In his works, Räsänen strives to offer the musicians as well as audiences a view into his mindset through extensively opening up ideas and mental imagery behind his compositions both in the score as well as program texts. His scores are typically littered with quirky and personal instructions and suggestions for the musicians to think about and reflect upon while playing and rehearsing.
Intuition has an important and essential role in the works of Räsänen. A big part of his recent works has been problematizing intuition as a means of making decisions. Questions such as "If I want to compose intuitively, am I truly being intuitive? What is guiding my instincts, according to what am I actually making my decisions?" have come up alongside Leevi's work as a composer. Intuition is also what Räsänen tends to emphasize as a pedagogue – it is what creates our very own personal style.
Making what is considered "contemporary classical music" easily approachable, accessible and understandable for everybody is a key value for Leevi. That's why, for example, in the program notes he tends to talk more about the actual processes, ideas and concepts behind the work, and situations in his personal life during the composition process instead of technically and chronologically describing the different passages in the work.
Räsänen's works include chamber music, vocal music, works for solo piano and solo guitar, choral music, orchestral music and music for symphonic wind band. His compositions have been performed at festivals in Finland, Denmark and Sweden (Kitara Nova, What ever Works!, Ung Nordisk Musik 2019) and at various instances in Helsinki. In spring 2021, Räsänen had his Korean premiere with the duo for violin and piano, "toinen toistansa seuraten...".
Räsänen is also involved in many collective activities: having been a board member of Korvat auki for many years, he is now the vice-chairperson of the association. In addition, he is the chairperson of UNM Finland, the Finnish chapter of the Ung Nordisk Musik Festival.
In addition to his work as a composer, Räsänen works as a freelance music engraver and offers tutoring in composition and music theory.