Krishna Nagaraja

  • Tohtorikoulutettava, MuTri-tohtorikoulu, Sibelius-Akatemia


Doctoral Artistic Researcher, MuTri Doctoral School


Violinist, violist, singer, composer, arranger, beatboxer, Krishna Nagaraja has always approached music from many different directions.

After years of activity as baroque musician, his passion for folk music has steered him to Irish, Scottish, Breton and Nordic music, culminating in a recent fascination for the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, an instrument which he has studied both in Finland and in Norway.

Krishna composes and arranges music of various genres: he has written music for vocal groups, choirs, chamber orchestras, and his main brainchild, the project Brú.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Global Music (GLOMAS) at the Sibelius Academy in and is currently employed in the same institution as an artistic researcher. His doctoral project Polska Travels, now reaching its conclusion, explores the history and characteristics of polska tunes in their local variants as basis for the composition of new works. He has presented the project in several international events (SKS 2016, Växjö 2017, Biennale 2018, SibA Research Days 2020).

The compositions premiered at his last doctoral concert in May 2021 were recently recorded in a CD which will be published in 2022, featuring string quartet Meta4 and himself on the Hardanger fiddle.

Taiteellinen toiminta

  • Freelancer with baroque groups
  • Founder and leader of crossover group Brú
  • Arranger and composer 

Tutkimus ja julkaisut


Polska Travels is a journey across space, time and styles on the wings of the most popular Nordic folk dance tune, the polska, used as basis for new arrangements and compositions.

From its early baroque origins to the present-day regional variants, the polska has enjoyed one of the most diverse developments known in European folk music: a history of migration, evolution, contamination, crossing of geographical and social boundaries. The question of how to approach this phenomenon and combine it with external elements in the creative work is approached by Krishna Nagaraja from his threefold artistic research standpoint in folk, baroque and contemporary music.

Each of the four doctoral concerts articulates the ongoing dialogue between these three elements with a different interaction, and focuses on a different geographical/temporal frame: the Polish-German baroque origins, Finland, Sweden, and Norway. A CD featuring the two last doctoral compositions concludes the artistic outcome series.

The written work analyses one of these pieces, addressing several underlying research topics such as the history of the polska, the discourse of “folk” and “art” music, the necessity of mixed methodological approaches in multi-disciplinary projects, the quest for a personal musical language inspired by established traditions experienced as an outsider.


  • folk music
  • baroque music
  • contemporary