Born in Freiburg, Germany, in 1961, Sid Hille enrolled at the Utrecht School of the Arts in Holland in 1987.
He studied piano, jazz improvisation and composition with Bert van den Brink, Jasper van’t Hof, Willy Muller and Wim Witteman and graduated in 1993 as a Master of Music.
Sid made his debut as a band leader and composer in 1993 with the CD ‘Dunjin’s Dance’.
Dutch bass player Hein van de Geyn and French drummer André Ceccarelli joined him for this project as well as for its follow-up recording ‘To Be Frank’ in 1995.
Since summer 1994 Sid has been living in Finland.
He was head of the jazz department at the Central Ostrobothnia conservatory in Kokkola from 1994-2002.
During this period two solo-piano recordings were released on Nazca Music: ‘Deep North – The Quiet Place’ in 1997 and ‘Reflections’ in 1998.
In November 1997 Sid formed the Platypus Ensemble. Regarded by many as one of the principal representatives of Finnish chamber jazz the quartet has toured extensively in Scandinavia and Central Europe. Five albums were released to public and critical acclaim: ‘Platypus’ (2000), ‘Gestalt’ (2003), ‘Satsang’ (2005), the Live album ‘Life@Play’ (2007) and ‘Rite of Passage’ (2008). The Platypus Ensemble has been inactive since 2010, but in 2016 Sid founded the Sid Hille Quintet SH5 to continue work along the Platypus’ artistic guidelines.
In 2002 Sid Hille received a grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation for a Bigband composition. Composing ‘Frutas Maduras’, a 50-minute concerto for trombone and jazz orchestra, forms a landmark in Sid’s career and life.
Now living in Helsinki, he devotes most of his working time to composing and performing.
As a composer Hille has been successful with big band compositions, chamber music and film music.
In 2008 he won the first prize at the international composition competition ‘Scrivere in Jazz’ in Sardegna, Italy, with the big band composition ‘Tango mòrbido y cìnico’.
The International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM) chose Hille’s bigband composition ‘Felsenfest’ (2005) to be performed at the World New Music Days 2010 in Sydney, Australia.
His music for the feature film ‘Kohtaamisia/Heartbeats’ by Saara Cantell, 2010 was nominated for the Finnish Film Prize.
New compositions have emerged from the composer’s shed at a steady pace: the piano concerto ‘Motion’ (2012) , ‘Feuer for symphonic orchestra and choir’ (2014), the bandoneon concerto ‘Pohjolan Neito – Maiden of the North’ (2014) and most recently Sid’s third string quartet Quatuor no. 3 – Equilibrium (2016).
Sid Hille has played weekly solo piano recitals in Helsinki’s famous Temppeliaukio Church since 2002. More than 400 concerts have been enjoyed by thousands of visitors during the run of years and the tradition continues in 2018. In spring 2015 Sid released a new solo piano CD comprising improvisations based on Finnish hymns.
In recent years Sid has been performing and touring with a stylistically wide array of bands:
the Sid Hille Trio F# and the Contemporary Collective explore the realms of free improvisation. Both bands have been touring extensively in Finland, Estonia and Germany.
The Sid Hille Camerata is a chamber music ensemble (string quartet with piano or other soloists) performing Sid’s compositions. Their release ‘Farbformen’ in May 2017 received 5-star reviews.
On yet another hand Sid’s band Foreign Friends is presenting Finnish classic pop and schlager songs from a New-Finn’s perspective, with fresh eyes, creative ears and a jazzy touch.
With about 40 concerts lined up in spring 2018 alone, the year’s creative time will be mostly dedicated to composing an organ concerto for organ virtuoso Susanne Kujala and the Kaartti wind orchestra (first performance in August 2018 in Temppeliaukio Church) and a solistic work for bass clarinet and small chamber for bass clarinetist Heikki Nikula.
For upcoming concerts please visit the Gig page.