Composed for Gävle Symphony Orchestra
Dedicated to All the refugees in the world
Opus Number 49
Category Orchestral music
Year 2016/2018
Duration 11 min
Orchestration 2222-4221-2perc-66442
Availability Gehrmans Musikförlag


Program note

Time is ticking while over 65 million refugees are knocking at the door of Europe in seek of help and hope for a better life. Refugees who have lost everything, who have walked miles, who have paid everything they own for saving their own and their families’ lives. The European Union has had a hard time choosing sides. And while it is tightening the regulations for refugees, the pressured knocking at our door is growing ever stronger. A both economic and humanitarian catastrophe is starting to show its full extent.

Tundo is the latin word for “Knock” and is my description of the catastrophe of our time. I have tried to put in to music the knocking, the wars, the beautiful landscapes refugees have walked by, the rain that has poured over them, the sea and the dangerous boat ride, the screams for help, the arguing among the European Union’s elite bureaucrats, the shouts of “don’t let them in”, the grief and pain due to loss of loved ones, the sympathy we Westerners have but which only lasts as long as the refugees don’t affect our own lives in any way. All of this exists at the same time simultaneously, all of this is a part of our time, all of this will be part of our history and a burden on our conscience.

Events like one of the world’s greatest nations choosing a racist, misogynistic man for president, have shattered me and put all my idealism into question. I’m not a politician, I’m not rich nor influential, but through my music I at least try to do my part for making the world a little better place to live in. By touching other people’s hearts and telling the story of those who don’t have a voice of their own in society – the refugees.


Tundo! – Listen on Soundcloud

Tundo!  with Oulu Sinfonia and Leo McFall 11.2.2021 – Listen on YouTube




The wonderful opening piece was Cecilia Damström’s Tundo. You could, due to her topical and also environmental statements, call her “the Greta Thunberg in music”.

The programmatic work about the refugee crisis of our time, is powerful with its dramaturgy based on fast cuts and in its varied musical and orchestral colors, a successful combination of new thinking and some familiar ingredients.  

Veijo Murtomäki, Helsingin Sanomat 7.12.2020


What an amazing opening for the seasonal concert of Kuopio Symphony! Cecilia Damström’s Tundo! explodes into motion with unbelievable painful energy. After this, also more humane features begin to unfold in the piece. This piece commenting the immigration crisis made a strong impact.  

Jussi Mattila, Savon Sanomat 7.12.2019



2 June 2018 World premiere by Gävle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andreas Hanson – More info

5 December 2019 Finnish premiere by Kuopio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jaakko Kuusisto – More info

22 February 2020 – USA premiere by Colorado Springs Philharmonic conducted by Christian ReifMore info

23 February 2020 Colorado Springs Philharmonic conducted by Christian Reif More info

CANCELLED – 8 April 2020 Australian premiere by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Håkan Hardenberger More info

6 December 2020 Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu LintuLink to the recording of the concert

11 February 2021 Oulu Sinfonia conducted by Leo McFall More info

2 December 2021 Lohja City Orchestra conducted by Jukka UntamalaMore info

8 December 2021 Lohja City Orchestra conducted by Jukka UntamalaMore info

7 April 2022 Kymi Sinfonietta conducted by Maria ItkonenMore info