Tragic sauna death of viola soloist

Tragic sauna death of viola soloist


norman lebrecht

July 10, 2017

We regret to report the death of Teija Salminen Mäkelä, solo violist of the Swedish chamber ensemble Musica Vitae and, before that, of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra.

Teija’s husband, Esa Mäkelä, tells us that she went to a friend’s place to have sauna last Tuesday. Coming out of the sauna, she went to swim – and drowned.

Teija was 48. The couple had been married for 12 years and lived in Orimattila, Finland, and Helsinki.

If you knew Teija, please send a message to Esa in the comments space below.


  • Adam Stern says:

    I haven’t the pleasure of knowing Mr. or Mrs. Mäkelä, but I send my heartfelt condolences to Esa nonetheless. Please take care, sir.

  • Jean says:

    My condolences….

  • Joakim Wendel says:

    I’m so sad to hear this tragic news, i have enjoyed playing together with Teija, touring and talking here in Sweden and abroad so many times in the past. A huge loss, my sincere condolances to Esa! I am sorry.

  • Esa says:

    Thank you Joakim. Yes, it is a great loss. She was now studing in the University of Helsinki to get a second degree ( in statistic and psycology) and was one year away from the graduation. She also planned to return to play when the studies would be at the end.
    At least the memeory stays in her music.


  • Ylermi Lahti says:


  • Edith Westerholm Kiendl says:

    I only just heard of a friend about Teijas tragic death, and want to let you know how sorry I am about it. I met Teija when she came to work in Musica Vitae Chamber orchestra in the South of Sweden, where I still work. We had a close contact for a couple of years, and I once came to visit her in Helsinki, too. She was a wonderful, warm person, a good friend and a very talented musician. All my condolences to you, Esa, take care!