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).
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.
Two of Sid’s CD’s were nominated by the Finnish Broadcast Corporation for ‘Recording of the year’: the string quartet recording ‘Farbformen’ (2017) and just recently Sid’s solo piano recording ‘Here – Beyond The Infinite’ (2020).
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), Sid’s third string quartet Quatuor no. 3 – Equilibrium (2016), the organ concerto ‘Crux’ for church organ and wind orchestra (2018) and most recently ‘Begehren’ for mezzo soprano and string quartet (2020), three songs based on wonderful poems by Gertrud Kolmar (1894-1943).
In spring 2019 Hille received the commission to compose and produce a sound installation for the EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art. The installation was on exposition from April 2019 until January 2020.
Sid Hille has played weekly solo piano recitals in Helsinki’s famous Temppeliaukio Church since 2002. More than 500 concerts have been enjoyed by thousands of visitors during the run of years and the tradition continues in 2021.
During the Corona pandemic of 2020 Hille performed twenty ‘Empty Church Concerts’ that were streamed live on SatnaMusic’s Facebook site. The concerts raised large interest around the world and received over half a million views.
In recent years Sid has been performing and touring with a stylistically wide array of bands:
the Sid Hille Trio F# and the Hille-Könighofer Experience have been touring extensively in Finland, Estonia, Austria and Italy. Both bands explore the realms of free improvisation, but rather than being chaotic and incomprehensible to the audience, their concerts have proven to be beautiful, coherent and enormously popular.
The Sid Hille Camerata is a chamber music ensemble (string quartet with piano or other soloists) performing Sid’s compositions. The Camerata will return in 2021 with a series of concerts presenting the latest of Sid’s compositions.
An altogether different channel of expressions forms Sid’s band Foreign Friends, presenting Finnish classic pop and schlager songs from a New-Finn’s perspective, with fresh eyes, creative ears and a jazzy touch.
In spite of the pandemic restricitions Sid continues his weekly concerts in Temppeliaukio Church. As long as the audience can’t be present live all concerts will be streamed. For more information, please visit the Gig page.