American star baritone Thomas Hampson to replace Ian Bostridge at the opening concert of the Turku Music Festival

Tenor Ian Bostridge has had to cancel his appearance at the Turku Music Festival for health reasons. He is recovering from heart valve repair surgery and has been advised by his doctors to clear his calendar for the summer. He will, however, be coming to Turku in October to appear at the Turku Book Fair and to perform Schubert’s Winterreise at Sigyn Hall.

Ian Bostridge will be replaced in Mahler’s songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn at the opening concert of the Turku Music Festival by Thomas Hampson, one of the most prominent names in the world of opera today. It has been many years since his previous visit to Finland. Tickets already purchased for the opening concert will be honoured as is.

Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, has received international honors and awards for his captivating artistry and cultural leadership. Lauded as a Metropolitan Opera Guild “Met Mastersinger” and the Gramophone’s “Hall of Fame,” Hampson is one of the most respected and innovative musicians of our time.

“Having an artist like Thomas Hampson to perform at the Turku Music Festival in such short notice and especially with Mahler is a great thing for us” says the festival’s Managing director Liisa Ketomäki.

Ian Bostridge’s first performance in Finland has been rescheduled for October: he will be giving a recital with pianist Saskia Giorgini at Sigyn Hall in Turku on Monday 7 October 2019 at 18.00. The recital features Schubert’s Winterreise, which Bostridge performs frequently and about which he has written an award-winning book, Schubert’s Winter Journey (Basam Books).

He was also scheduled to give a talk on ‘Character portrayal in opera – bringing characters in a score to life’ at Turku City Library on 9 August. This talk has been rescheduled for the Turku Book Fair, specifically for Sunday 6 October 2019. The exact time will be confirmed when the Book Fair programme is published.

Ian writes: “For health reasons I’ve had to cancel three months of work including my planned appearance at the Turku Festival in August. I’m delighted that we’ve found another date in October this year, and honoured that Ms Jenni Haukio has invited me to speak at the Book Fair in the same period.  I look forward hugely to singing in Finland for the first time.”

Tickets for the recital will go on sale on 9 May at 09.00 at all Lippupiste points of sale.


The Turku Music Festival is the oldest consecutively running annual music festival in Finland. This summer, from 8 to 22 August, it is being held for the 60th time. There are more than 40 events and concerts on the programme, and the festival will take a head start on 2 June with a concert performance of Handel’s opera Agrippina with a star-studded cast at Turku Concert Hall.

Thomas Hampson, America’s foremost baritone, has received international honors and awards for his captivating artistry and cultural leadership. Lauded as a Metropolitan Opera Guild “Met Mastersinger” and the Gramophone’s “Hall of Fame,” Hampson is one of the most respected and innovative musicians of our time. With an operatic repertoire of over 80 roles sung in all the major theaters of the world, his discography comprises more than 170 albums, which include multiple nominations and winners of the Grammy Award, Edison Award, and the Grand Prix du Disque.

Notable engagements for his 2018/19 season include Hampson’s highly anticipated debut at the Canadian Opera Company, singing the title role in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian, as well as his debut at Houston Grand Opera as the famed librettist Lorenzo da Ponte in the world premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s The Phoenix. Further, he sings one of his signature roles, Scarpia, in Tosca, at the Wiener Staatsoper, and returns to Teatro alla Scala as Altair in Strauss’ Die ägyptische Helena. Hampson frequently gives recitals all over the world with his long-time musical partner Wolfram Rieger.

His recurring international master class schedule is a continuing online resource of the Manhattan School of Music,, and The Hampsong Foundation livestream channel. He is the Artistic Director of the Heidelberg Lied Academy, and collaborates with the Barenboim-Said Academy Schubert Week in Berlin each year.

Turku Music Festival 2019 anniversary year programme published in full

International stars as always, a generous selection of chamber music recitals and a new series of talks that will continue in the following years.

Press bulletin, free for publication 25 Feb 2019                               Turku Music Festival

Download press release pdf (fi-sv-en)


The Turku Music Festival – the oldest consecutively running annual music festival in Finland – is held for the 60th time this summer, from 8 to 22 August. Conductor Klaus Mäkelä is in charge of programming for the first time. The Festival lineup includes more than 40 concerts and other events. As always, performers include international stars such as soprano Nadine Sierra and pianist Khatia Buniatishvili, orchestras from abroad such as Concerto Köln and the Mariinsky Orchestra from St Petersburg under Valeri Gergiev – both of the above from cities twinned with Turku – and young Finnish and foreign talent such as composer-in-residence Sauli Zinovjev and artist-in-residence Sergey Malov. Concert venues include the traditional Concert Hall, Sigyn Hall and Cathedral but also more unusual ones such as Turku Castle, private homes and Qvidja and Brinkhall Manors.


Tenor Ian Bostridge, soprano Dorothea Röschmann and the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra under Klaus Mäkelä open the Festival

Two opera stars of international calibre appear at the opening concert of the Festival, as tenor Ian Bostridge and soprano Dorothea Röschmann – both of them appearing in Finland for the first time – perform songs from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn collection with the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra under Klaus Mäkelä. The concert also features the Overture to Wagner’s opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Kaija Saariaho’s Asteroid 4179: Toutatis and the iconic Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss. The Turku Philharmonic is augmented for the occasion with a string section of students of the Sibelius Academy.


Young artists-in-residence: composer Sauli Zinovjev and violinist Sergey Malov

The Turku Music Festival invited Sauli Zinovjev to be the Festival’s composer-in-residence, commissioning a new chamber music work and the Festival fanfare from him. Other works by him are featured at various concerts. His commissioned work, Sospirando 4 ‘Schubert’, is heard at the Cello Day II recital at Turku Cathedral on 19 August, preceding Schubert’s wonderful String Quintet performed by violinists Sergey Malov and Anna-Liisa Bezrodny, violist Atte Kilpeläinen and cellists Jan-Erik Gustafsson and Klaus Mäkelä.


“Upholding contemporary music in concert programmes has to my mind always been one of the cornerstones of Finland’s musical life. It is a great honour for me as composer-in-residence at the 60th Turku Music Festival to serve as a representative of the young generation of composers of classical music and thus through my work to help ensure that new music will continue to occupy a substantial place in our musical legacy”, says composer Sauli Zinovjev.


Sergey Malov is a true musical polymath equally at home on the violin, viola, violoncello de spalla and Baroque violin: videos of his performances on the violoncello da spalla on YouTube have had more than one million views. At the Turku Music Festival, he appears in seven programmes: in a solo recital, in a duo with Nikita Boriso-Glebsky at Runeberg Hall, in various chamber music ensembles and at the concert of the Concerto Köln Baroque orchestra.



Jazz at Turku Castle: Claes Andersson & Julia Korkman

Claes Andersson and Julia Korkman give two very different concerts on 20 and 21 August: the first is an encounter between jazz and the poetry of Elina Vaara, Eino Leino and Claes Andersson, among others; the second is a journey to the Mediterranean ,with both jazz and classical flavours from Satie to Henri Salvador. Appearing with the duo are Teemu Mattsson and Robi de Godzinsky.


Popular home concerts continue

The Festival’s home concerts continue. This time, the venues include the home of Samuli Salanterä, Commodore of the Turku Yacht Club, and his wife Sanna on 10 August; Qvidja Manor hosted by Ilkka Herlin and Saara Kankaanrinta on 11 August; the ‘home’ of King Erik XIV of Sweden, Turku Castle, on 12 August; Villa Solin hosted by Mayor Minna Arve on 13 August; Brinkhall Manor hosted by Kaija Hartiala, chairman of the Finnish Cultural Heritage Foundation, and the Archbishop’s residence hosted by Archbishop Tapio Luoma and his wife Pirjo, on 17 August.


André Wickström, Felix Zenger and Tommy Lindgren dazzle at the Ruissalo shipyard

André Wickström, Felix Zenger and Tommy Lindgren join forces for a performance at the Ruissalo shipyard on 13 August. André Wickström is the first Finnish stand-up comedian to have made an international breakthrough. He frequently tours the Nordic countries, presenting hilariously sharp observations of our beloved neighbours. Felix Zenger, hailed as the best beatboxer on the planet, is a rare multi-talent whose performances never fail to astonish. This programme includes beatboxing in conventional format and extended through the use of effects and looping. The special guest on the programme is Tommy Lindgren, a rap artist and singer of explosive energy who is also known as a leading figure in the Don Johnson Big Band.


Super music weekend 9–12 Aug 2019:

The first weekend of the Festival is packed with concerts of a high calibre. The Asasello Quartet perform Shostakovich’s String Quartet no. 8 on Friday 9 August; this work was written in 1960, the same year in which the Turku Music Festival was held for the first time. The second half of the concert features pianist Eero Heinonen giving his elegant interpretation of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.


One of Europe’s finest Baroque ensembles, Concerto Köln, takes to the stage with young German baritone Benjamin Appl and violinist Sergey Malov on Sat 10 August. This concert is dedicated to the music of J.S. Bach, featuring symphonies and arias from his cantatas and the Violin Concerto in D minor. German baritone Benjamin Appl was praised for his natural charm by the editor of Gramophone magazine after a recital at Wigmore Hall in London a couple of years ago. Appl has made it his mission to attract young audiences to classical vocal art. His disc Heimat won an Academie du Disque Lyrique prize in France, and his most recent release with Concerto Köln on the Sony label has been well received. This visit is a tribute to the twinning of Turku and Cologne.


US star soprano Nadine Sierra and pianist Eytan Pessen give a recital at the Concert Hall on 11 August with a programme of opera arias and American melodies from Sierra’s new album on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Before this, violinist John Storgårds is joined by violinist Sergey Malov, cellist Klaus Mäkelä and pianist Eero Heinonen for a programme of chamber music by Liszt, Ravel and Brahms (‘An afternoon with John Storgårds’) at Sigyn Hall.


French-Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili gives a recital focusing on Schubert, Liszt and Stravinsky at Sigyn Hall on the following day, Monday 12 August.


The Festival offers an exceptionally generous series of chamber music recitals, bringing together top-notch musicians for themed programmes ranging from contemplation of the Finnish psyche to visions of hell.


The Finnish psyche (Sibelius Museum, 13 August) features the Piano Quartet ‘Chasse-Neige’ by composer-in-residence Sauli Zinovjev, Erkki Melartin’s String Trio, Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Polska for two cellos and piano, Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Lachen verlernt and Sibelius’s ‘Lovisa’ Piano Trio. The performers are Sergey Malov, Tami Pohjola, Kasmir Uusitupa, Jakob Dingstad, Jan-Erik Gustafsson, Tuomas Lehto, Senja Rummukainen and Johannes Piirto.


Journey through time (Parainen Church, 15 August) features music from 1604 to 2018, performed by Tuuli Lindeberg, Nikita Boriso-Glebsky, Klaus Mäkelä, Juhani Lagerspetz, Sauli Zinovjev and the Asasello Quartet. Earlier on the same day (15.00), souvenirs from Florence occupy the Silja Line ferry terminal, which is normally deserted in the daytime. A large group of talented musicians perform Gubaidulina, Arensky and Tchaikovsky. Shakespeare is the theme in the chapel of Turku Castle (18 August), with extracts from his plays read by Jussi Nikkilä, acclaimed for his performance in the title role in Hamlet at the Turku City Theatre. Music inspired by Shakespeare, written by Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Beethoven, is performed by Anna-Liisa Bezrodny, Sergey Malov, Tami Pohjola, Riina Pirilä, Jan-Erik Gustafsson, Klaus Mäkelä, Ossi Tanner and Aleksei Zaitsev.


Chamber music may also be heard at two recitals at Bethel Church on 16 and 19 August and at the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum. An ensemble of young competition winners, Trio Pohjola-Rummukainen-Piirto, appears at Bethel Church on 19 August. The ‘Virtuoso’ recital at the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum includes one of the most difficult and most feared works in the chamber music repertoire, Enescu’s Octet for strings (Malov, Bezrodny, Uusitupa, Pohjola, Kilpeläinen, Piirilä, Gustafsson, Rummukainen).


Pétur Sakari was given carte blanche to plan the traditional candlelight concert for the Night of the Arts in Turku, 15 August at 22.00. The young organ virtuoso’s programme includes Messiaen’s magnificent L’Ascencion.


Festival culminates with Julian Rachlin, Valeri Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra performing Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto

A world-class orchestra from St Petersburg, twinned with Turku, arrives to give the concluding concert of the Festival at the Concert Hall on 22 August. The Mariinsky Orchestra under Valeri Gergiev appears with Julian Rachlin, one of the world’s finest violinists, in a programme featuring Rodion Shchedrin’s Symphonic Diptych, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto no. 1 and Peter Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 6.


Violinist Julian Rachlin and Klaus Mäkelä bring together a group of friends to perform Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E flat major op. 44 and Johannes Brahms’s String Sextet no. 2 in G major op. 36. ‘Julian Rachlin, Klaus Mäkelä & Friends’ (17 August) also features Boris Brovtsyn, Sarah McElravy, Atte Kilpeläinen, Marko Ylönen and Johannes Piirto.


Introducing a series of high-profile talks and public discussions

In a new departure, the Turku Music Festival introduces a series of high-profile talks and public discussions with international guests. This series is planned to continue in the following years. In summer 2019, the guests include tenor Ian Bostridge, who alongside his singing career is a scholar and has been a visiting professor at Oxford University. He talks about ‘Character portrayal in opera: bringing characters in a score to life’, at Turku City Library on Friday 9 August, interviewed by Emilie Gardberg, director of the Finnish Institute in London. Professor Jari Sinkkonen talks about creativity and madness at Turku Castle on 12 August. Conductor Klaus Mäkelä and composer Sauli Zinovjev discuss ‘The arts in classic literature’ at Makasiini Contemporary at an event jointly organised with TS Kirja on 14 August, with interviewers Tuomo Karhu and Jaakko Mikkola from the Turun Sanomat newspaper. Max Mickelsson, director of corporate social responsibility at Microsoft Oy, heads a multi-discipline panel in a discussion about ‘What can business learn from art as a method?’ at Turku Art Museum on 21 August. The Festival is pleased to be a participant in the Turku Europe Forum, of which an advance event is featured during the Festival: a discussion in German on ‘Das Elend der traditionellen demokratischen Parteien in Europa’ by former German Minister of Finance Peer Steinbrück and Paavo Lipponen at Turku City Hall on 22 August.


Head start with star-studded international cast: Handel’s Agrippina

In a head start for the Festival on 2 June, a star-studded international cast performs a concert version of Handel’s opera Agrippina. The soloists are Samantha Hankey, Luca Pisaroni, Franco Fagioli, Elsa Benoit (replacing Kathryn Lewek, who has had to withdraw from the tour), Xavier Sabata, Andrea Mastroni, Jakub Józef Orlinksi and Biagio Pizzuti. The orchestra is Il Pomo d’Oro, the Baroque orchestra supported by author Donna Leon, with Maxim Emelyanychev as conductor.


The programme also includes the complete Suites for solo cello by J.S. Bach performed by some of Finland’s finest cellists and the Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach performed by pianist Hannu Alasaarela. There is lots more; see the entire programme at



Tickets for all events at the Turku Music Festival go on sale nationwide on Tuesday 26 February at 09.00. Tickets are sold by Lippupiste.


Further information and interview requests

Managing Director Liisa Ketomäki, tel.: +358 40 740 6200, e-mail



Performers, ensembles and speakers appearing at the Festival in 2019:


Hannu Alasaarela

Claes Andersson

Benjamin Appl

Elsa Benoit

Anna-Liisa Bezrodny

Nikita Boriso-Glebsky

Boris Brovtsyn

Khatia Buniatisvhili

Ian Bostridge

Jakob Dingstad

Maxim Emelyanychev

Franco Fagioli

Valeri Gergijev

Robi de Godzinsky

Jan-Erik Gustafsson

Samantha Hankey

Marko Hilpo

Eero Heinonen

Atte Kilpeläinen

Julia Korkman

Eveliina Kytömäki

Tuomas Lehto

Juhani Lagerspetz

Tuuli Lindeberg

Tommy Lindgren

Mikko Luoma

Sergey Malov

Andrea Mastroni

Teemu Mattsson

Sarah McElravy

Mikko Multamäki

Jussi Nikkilä

Klaus Mäkelä

Tomas Nunez-Garces

Jakub Józef Orlinski

Samuli Peltonen

Eytan Pessen

Johannes Piirto

Riina Pirilä

Luca Pisaroni

Biagio Pizzuti

Tami Pohjola

Julian Rachlin

Senja Rummukainen

Dorothea Röschmann

Xavier Sabata

Pétur Sakari

Nadine Sierra

John Storgårds

Ossi Tanner

Kasmir Uusitupa

Jussi Vähälä

André Wickström

Tuomas Ylinen

Marko Ylönen

Aleksei Zaitsev

Felix Zenger

Sauli Zinovjev


Asasello Quartet

Concerto Köln

Il pomo d’oro

Mariinsky Orchestra

Naskalit, cond. Tommi Saalas

Turku Philharmonic Orchestra

Students of the Sibelius Academy


Paavo Lipponen

Max Mickelsson

Jari Sinkkonen

Peer Steinbrück

French-Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatoshvili gives recital on 12 August

This recital is part of the Festival’s efforts to enliven and internationalise the field of recitals and chamber music performances in Finland. The full programme of the Turku Music Festival will be published on 25 Feb 2019.


The Turku Music Festival is Finland’s oldest continuously held festival, celebrating its 60th anniversary next summer, 8 to 22 August 2019. Over the past few years, the festival has made a point of bringing some of the world’s finest opera singers to perform in concert and give recitals at the Festival. The Festival is also committed to investing in performances by internationally recognised instrumentalists in the form of both solo recitals and chamber music performances. This is the context for the recital by pianist Khatia Buniatishvili at Sigyn Hall on 12 Aug 2019 at 19.00. The programme features music by Schubert, Liszt and Stravinsky.

Mon 12 Aug 2019 at 19.00, Sigyn Hall

Khatia Buniatishvili, piano

Franz Schubert: Four impromptus op. 90 (D. 899)
Franz Schubert, arr. Franz Liszt:
Ständchen (D. 957/4)
Gretchen am Spinnrade, op. 2 (D. 118)
Erlkönig, op. 1 (D. 328)
Franz Liszt:
Transcendental Etude no. 4 ‘Mazeppa’ (S. 139/4)
Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6 (S. 244/6)
Igor Stravinsky: Trois mouvements de Petrouchka (1911/21)

French-Georgian pianist KHATIA BUNIATISHVILI (b. 1987) began her piano studies at the age of three and performed with the Tbilisi Chamber Orchestra at the age of six. Having studied with Tengiz Amiredjib, she went on to study with Oleg Maisenberg in Vienna.

Buniatishvili made her Carnegie Hall début in 2008 and since then has appeared at prominent festivals (BBC Proms, Salzburg, Verbier) and major venues (the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philharmonie in Berlin and the Philharmonie in Paris) and with distinguished orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France and the Filarmonica della Scala. She performed for the benefit of Syrian refugees at the UN 70th anniversary concert, and she is an ambassador for Plan International and the Fondation Cœeur et Recherche. Her acclaimed recordings include the Franz Liszt disc and Kaleidoscope disc released by SONY Classical (2012 and 2016, respectively), both of which won an ECHO Klassik award.

Tickets for Buniatishvili’s recital go on sale on Wednesday 13 February at 09.00 at all Lippupiste points of sale throughout Finland.


Tickets to the Turku Music Festival are sold by Lippupiste. Tickets for Buniatishvili’s recital go on sale on Wednesday 13 February at 09.00 at all Lippupiste points of sale and R kiosks throughout Finland, and online at

For ticket reservations or bookings or information on purchases, please phone +358 600 900 900. The cost of a call is EUR 1.98 per minute + local call charge. (The lines are open Mon to Sat 09.00–21.00, Sun 10.00–18.00.)

Tickets may also be bought at the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra box office at the Turku Concert Hall (Aninkaistenkatu 9), Thu and Fri 12.00–16.00, tel. +358 2 262 0333, e-mail Reservations are also taken at the Turku Music Festival office, tel. +358 2 262 0812, e-mail

Further information and requests for interviews

Managing Director Liisa Ketomäki, tel. +358 40 740 6200, e-mail

Concert Hall Sales Service opening hours during Christmas time

Turku Concert Hall Sales Service is open Thursdays and Fridays from 12.00 to 16.00.

Turku Concert Hall Sales Service is closed 6.-7.12.2018 and 21.12.2018-28.12.2018. 


Concert Hall Sales Service
Aninkaistenkatu 9
Thu-Fri 12.00-16.00
+358 (0)2 262 0333

Sneak preview of the Turku Music Festival brings top names in Baroque opera to Finland: Franco Fagioli, Luca Pisaroni and Jakub Jósef Orlińskin, and the 26-year-old mezzosoprano Samantha Hankey.

The Turku Music Festival, the oldest consecutively running festival in Finland, will be held for the 60th time next summer, from 8 to 22 Aug 2019. To celebrate this anniversary, the Festival will be giving a sneak preview by bringing to Finland a star-studded Baroque opera cast and the Venetian Baroque orchestra Il pomo d’oro sponsored by novelist Donna Leon. They will perform a concert version of Handel’s opera Agrippina at Turku Concert Hall on Sunday 2 June 2019 at 19.00.

Friends of Baroque opera are in for a treat as the Turku Music Festival presents an international-calibre production of Handel’s Agrippina. The Venetian Baroque orchestra Il pomo d’oro, returning to the Festival for their third visit, will perform a concert version of Handel’s opera Agrippina with top international soloists as part of a grand tour that will take the ensemble to the Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Théatre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and the Barbican in London.

The cast includes Franco Fagioli, one of the most acclaimed countertenors of our time; bass baritone Luca Pisaroni; countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński; soprano Kathryn Lewek; countertenor Xavier Sabata; bass Andrea Mastroni; and baritone Biagio Pizzuti. The title role is taken by American mezzo Samantha Hankey, who is only 26 years old but is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most interesting singers of her generation. Having won the Glyndebourne Opera Cup in 2018 and received 2nd prize in the Plácido Domingo Operalia competition in 2018, she made her Metropolitan Opera début in multiple productions in the 2018–2019 season (Mefistofele, Adriana Lecouvreur, Carmen, Rheingold, Götterdämmerung and Rigoletto). She also made guest appearances at the Zurich Opera and the Bavarian State Opera.

“Our Festival has a quality-conscious expert audience, and we like to give them unique experiences. We are happy to be able to bring this excellent international production to Finland. The cast is particularly brilliant. We have a special relationship with Il Pomo d’Oro, the Baroque orchestra sponsored by novelist Donna Leon, and young conductor Maxim Emelyanychev has great promise,” says Liisa Ketomäki, Executive Director of the Turku Music Festival.


Händel: Agrippina (concert version) Turku Concert Hall, Sun 2 Jun 2019 at 19.00

Samantha Hankey – Agrippina
Luca Pisaroni – Claudio
Franco Fagioli – Nerone
Kathryn Lewek – Poppea
Xavier Sabata – Ottone
Andrea Mastroni – Pallante
Jakub Jósef Orliński – Narciso
Biagio Pizzuti – Lesbo

Il Pomo d’Oro
Maxim Emelyanychev – harpsichord and conductor


The opera is performed in Italian, with surtitles in Finnish and Swedish.
Tickets for Agrippina go on sale at Lippupiste on 9 Nov at 12.00.


The Turku Music Festival will be held from 8 to 22 August 2019. The programme for this 60th festival is the first to be planned by the Festival’s new artistic director, conductor Klaus Mäkelä. The full programme will be published on 25 Feb 2019.


Further information and interview requests
Further information is available from Executive Director Liisa Ketomäki,, tel. 040 740 6200

Salome’s concert version in May 2019

Due to its daring subject and tone language, Richard Strauss’ Salome had a strong reception by the time it was released. The work is strong, dramatic and passionate. The most well-known scene of the opera is “Dance of the Seven Veils”, in which Salome is dancing for Herodes. As a service in return Salome wants Jochanaan’s head, for which she’s madly and fiercely in love. The opera culminates in the scene where Herodes has had Jochanaan executed and the head is brought to Salome.

Turku Philharmonic Orchestra will perform opera’s concert version on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th on May in 2019 at 7pm at The Concert Hall. The ticket sale will start on Monday 24th of September 2018. For the first time, the role of Salome is played by soprano Anu Komsi. In the other main roles we will see Finnish top singers, such as Tommi Hakala in the role of Jochanaan.

“I debuted my previous big Strauss-role, role as Zerbinetta, also in Turku, at Turku Music Festival with conductor Leif Segerstam in 1994. Now I’m so excited that I will finally get on stage as Salome, with one of the best Richard Strauss -conductors, Leif Segerstam” tells Anu Komsi.

”Welcome – this is a candy opera! Everyone likes this. Strauss was very good at describing women’s psychology and subconscious in his music”, tells Leif Segerstam and continues: ”Salome was my first opera in Savonlinna in 1970 – it was a pleasant task and the audience liked the interpretation of a young star. I have performed Salome in The Vienna State Opera, Zürich, Cologne, Salzburg Festival and The Royal Swedish Opera. In addition, 2019 is a Strauss year – it marks the 70th anniversary of the composer´s death.

Leif Segerstam is one of the most versatile composers in Scandinavia – a conductor, a composer, a violinist and a pianist. World-famous Leif Segerstam is officiated as a conductor and a chief conductor in numerous well-known opera houses and symphony orchestras, such as in The Royal Swedish Opera, The Deutsche Oper Berlin, The Vienna State Opera and Austria’s and Denmark’s Radio Symphony Orchestras. He has made the executive visits for The Metropolitan Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and La Scala amongst others. Segerstam’s outstanding list of compositions includes, for instance, 310 symphonies. His impressive and splendid career has received recognition with numerous awards. In 2014 the President of the Republic of Finland granted Segerstam a title of a professor.

Anu Komsi is one of Finland’s most international colorature sopranos, who has carved a name in world’s biggest opera houses and significant concert stages. During her opera career Komsi has sung on Europe’s and America’s well-known opera stages and festivals, such as La Scala in Milan, The Opéra Bastille in Paris and Salzburg Festival. In addition, Komsi is an artistic director of Kokkola Opera. For Komsi, this is the first role as Salome.

Salome in Turku Concert Hall, Thu 16th and Fri 17thof May 2019 at 7pm. Leif Segerstam, conductor, Anu Komsi, Salome, Tommi Hakala, Jochanaan, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tickets are sold at Lippupiste >

Turku Music Festival one of the Best Music Festivals in Europe

Canada’s largest online travel website, Flight Network, listed 29 of the best European music festivals for 2018. Turku Music Festival was among the 29 for the second year in a row.

“A highly-regarded festival featuring top-notch artists such as Jonas Kaufmann, Elīna Garanča, Sonya Yoncheva, Kristine Opolais, Valery Gergiev and Rolando Villazón, Finland’s Turku Music Festival is a versatile city-wide event that offers festival-goers everything from large orchestral concerts and chamber music, to recitals and jazz shows.

Between concerts, attendees can soak in the beauty of Turku by dining in one of many restaurants along the Aura River, wandering through the medieval fortress of Turku Castle, or exploring the Turku Cathedral, which houses a royal tomb and history museum. As the oldest continuously running music festival in Finland, Turku Music Festival is a favorite among those with a refined taste in music.”

Päivi Lipponen’s Book Lecture at Turku Music Festival

WSOY, celebrating its 140th anniversary, is publishing Päivi Lipponen’s first novel Ihmisyyden vuoksi (“For humanity”) in August. This historical novel is situated in the early years of Finland’s independence, 1918. 16.8. 17:00 Turku Music Festival in co-operation with Turku City Library organizes a public lecture where Päivi Lipponen tells us more about her brand new novel. The lecture takes place in the library’s Studio.

Päivi Lipponen, Ph.D., has published a total of seven fiction books so far. She works as a journalist and a teacher of history and social studies in adult education. She also leads the Päivi and Paavo Lipponen fund. Lipponen has made a 20-year career in municipal and national politics, and in 2007-2015 he served as MP.

A wide range of literary events at Turku Music Festival!

The author of the famous Brunetti novels, Donna Leon, discusses literature and writing with the audience at Arken on Tuesday 14 August at 17.00. Admission is free, and the discussion is in English.

Patrick Poivre d’Arvor is a legendary French journalist, author and cultural personality who is known in France by his initials, PPDA. On his first visit to Finland, he and pianist Eliane Reyes give a recital titled ‘Valses poétiques’, featuring French poetry on the theme of love and waltzes by Chopin at Turku Castle on Monday 20 August at 19.00 and Tuesday 21 August at 19.00.

Tickets to Turku Music Festival are sold by Lippupiste.

This summer’s festival features international stars and young Finnish talent

The Turku Music Festival, the oldest continuously held annual music festival in Finland, is being held for the 59th time this summer, from 10 to 22 August. This is the last summer of our current artistic director, conductor Ville Matvejeff, who is leaving us to take up the post of artistic director of the Savonlinna Opera Festival. The Turku Music Festival features 30 concerts and events, with a star-studded guest list of international top names and young Finnish talent. Events will be held not only at traditional venues but also in private homes and in the Old Academy Building, 200 years old and recently reopened after an extensive renovation.

Dazzling soprano Kristine Opolais, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Hannu Lintu open the festival

Once again, the Turku Music Festival brings in one of the world’s most sought-after opera singers, Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais. She appears at the opening concert of the festival with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under conductor Hannu Lintu on Friday 10 August 2018.

“It will be a fantastic night with arias from some of my favourite opera roles, such as Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Margherita in Boito’s Mefistofele. I have also included arias from roles that I will be performing over the next few seasons: Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello and Elisabetta in his Don Carlos, Liù in Puccini’s Turandot and Catalani’s La Wally. All these operas feature exceptional women with a wide range of emotions, and lovely music, of course. It will be a unique night,” says Opolais.

Opolais is a frequent guest for instance at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where she appeared in the title role of Dvořák’s Rusalka last season. In the coming season, she will appear there in Puccini’s Il trittico in a cast that includes Plácido Domingo.


Two Nordic concerts for jazz lovers

Pianist Iiro Rantala brought in a full house to the Ruissalo Shipyard in summer 2017. This summer, he returns to the scene with Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius on Tuesday 14 August at 20.00. The concert is titled ‘Good Stuff’, which is also the title of the duo’s new album.

The Max De Aloe Baltic Trio, with Max De Aloe on chromatic harmonica and effects, Niklas Winter on guitar and Jesper Bodilsen on bass, will perform at the traditional Candlelight concert in Turku Cathedral on the Night of the Arts, Thursday 16 August at 22.00.


Gems of classical ballet at the Ballet Gala performed by members of the Finnish National Ballet

One of the summer’s most significant projects is the Ballet Gala, jointly organised by members of the Finnish National Ballet and the Regional Dance Centre of Western Finland, at the Concert Hall on Sunday 19 August at 18.00. Its first half features Secret Charm by dancer Jonna Aaltonen. The second half is dedicated to classical ballet, the performers including Alina Nanu, Stefania Cardaci, Linda Haakana, Atte Kilpinen, Michal Krčmář, Florian Modan, Ville Mäki, Johan Pakkanen, Jevgenia Pleskova, Charlotte Schauman-Mäki and Jonathan Rodrigues.

“The idea for this Gala came from the desire to plan everything together with the dancers from the ground up, giving room for their ideas. The programme now includes the world premieres of choreographies created by Emrecan Tanis, a member of the FNB who is also an internationally successful choreographer, and by star dancer Michal Krčmář. The scarlet thread of the programme was laid out by the dancers. We organised an open call for works with the Regional Dance Centre of Western Finland, and Jonna Aaltonen’s Secret Charm was selected because it fit the programme best,” explains Liisa Ketomäki, Managing Director of the Turku Music Festival Foundation.


Home concerts at Vähätori, on Vartiovuori, in Ruissalo and at the studio home of Johanna Oras

“Our home concerts have been very popular every year. People enjoy listening to music in an intimate setting and meeting the performers at close quarters. We are very happy that we have been able to add new homes to the programme again this year,” says Liisa Ketomäki, Managing Director of the Turku Music Festival Foundation.

This summer, home concerts are given at Vähätori, on Vartiovuori, in Ruissalo and at Koski.

Frugård, Ruissalo, Sunday 12 August at 13.00 and 16.00: The hosts, Katia Al-Kaisi and Petteri Terho, begin with a talk on the history of the villa, built in the mid-19th century. The musical programme includes Finnish evergreens and classic solo songs performed by vocalist Anna Inginmaa and guitarist Juha Savela (who among other things is a member of the Waltteri Torikka Trio).

Home of Irma and Benito Casagrande on Vähätori, Saturday 11 August at 17.00: Italian evergreens, specifically Neapolitan songs and tunes, performed by the Napuletanate ensemble: Flavia di Nola, mezzosoprano; Laura Havu, piano; Lauri Manninen, guitar and mandolin.

Pyhän Hengen kappeli [Chapel of the Holy Spirit] also on Vähätori, downstairs at Casagrande house, Saturday 11 August at 13.00 and 15.00: Soprano Anneliina Koskinen and contralto Anna Edgren perform love songs from the 14th century under the title Omnia Vincit Amor, the motto that is also found on the wall of Casagrande House.

Author Volter Kilpi wrote his magnum opus Alastalon salissa [In the parlour at Alastalo] mainly at his home on Vartiovuori hill. The current owners of the apartment host a concert dedicated to the author on Friday 17 August at 15.00: Violinist Laura Kokko, who has studied the correspondence between Kilpi and his wife, performs with mezzosoprano Essi Luttinen and pianist Petri Haapasalo. The same programme will also be given at Turku Art Museum on 18 August at 15.00.

By popular demand, the concerts at the studio home of artist Johanna Oras at Koski that attracted huge crowds in summer 2017 are repeated this year. There are three concerts on Sunday 19 August, at 13.00, 15.00 and 17.00: Soprano Marjukka Tepponen, baritone Kevin Greenlaw and pianist Salla Karakorpi perform. Tepponen and Greenlaw appeared in the Turku Music Festival’s production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in 2013. Tepponen has enjoyed international success in recent years and was well received as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte earlier in this season.


Roope Salminen & Kolina at the Ruissalo Shipyard on two nights

Kolina is the most award-winning and most popular improvisation company in Finland. They perform a full-length show completely based on musical improvisation at the Ruissalo Shipyard on two nights, Wednesday 15 August at 19.00 and Thursday 16 August, the Night of the Arts, at 19.00. “The audience will decide what the songs and poems in the performance will be about, who will perform them and in what style. We are ready to do any genre, from hymns to gangsta rap,” promises Roope Salminen. The performers are actor and singer Roope Salminen, actor and singer Antto Hinkkanen and musicians Mikko Gee Saarinen (percussion) and Olli Äkräs (synthesiser).


Portrait of Szymanowski by soprano Olga Heikkilä, violinist Kreeta-Juulia Heikkilä and pianist Suzana Bartal at Sigyn Hall on Monday 13 August at 18.00

The programme is a musical portrait of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski, with performances of Myths for violin and piano and Love songs of Hafiz for soprano and piano. In the second half, Bartal performs Szymanowski’s Three Mazurkas for piano and Debussy’s Préludes Book 2 to mark the centenary of Debussy’s death.


Baroque opera at the Old Academy Building, world-famous detective novelist Donna Leon meets the audience at Arken

Il Pomo d’Oro is a Baroque ensemble from Venice that has appeared regularly at such venues as the Théâtre Royal at Versailles, Wigmore Hall in London, the Theater an der Wien and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. Before coming to Turku, they will have appeared at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

The Old Academy Building, 200 years old and recently renovated, hosts a concert of the finest opera prologues of the 17th century by Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Cassini, Cesti and others, as selected by conductor Erico Onofri and soprano Francesca Aspromonte, Wednesday 15 August at 18.00.

Venice is also the setting for the famous Brunetti novels by detective novelist Donna Leon. She is a great lover of Baroque opera and supports the Il Pomo d’Oro ensemble, sometimes touring with them. Leon is familiar with Turku, having visited the Turku Music Festival in 2013 and the Turku Book Fair. On this her third visit, Donna Leon discusses literature and writing with the audience at Arken on Tuesday 14 August at 17.00. Admission is free, and the discussion is in English.


Wellbeing from music and singalong

Actress Kati Urho, soprano Kaisa Takkula and pianist Anni Collan give a performance entitled ‘Aatos and Klaara’s singalong and opera show’ at the Cathedral Parish Assembly Hall on Friday 17 August at 18.00. In spring 2018, the performers tour service housing facilities in the Turku region, performing a programme known as ‘The Reverend’s Summer Hymn Special’. Further information from producer Liisa Mattila:


“Why Paris when we have Turku?” French guests in Turku

The festival culminates in two concerts featuring French artists.

Patrick Poivre d’Arvor is a legendary French journalist, author and cultural personality who is known in France by his initials, PPDA. On his first visit to Finland, he and pianist Eliane Reyes give a recital titled ‘Valses poétiques’, featuring French poetry on the theme of love and waltzes by Chopin. Valses Poétiques by Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, reciter, and Eliane Reyes, piano, at Turku Castle on Monday 20 August at 19.00 and Tuesday 21 August at 19.00. Eliane Reyes is an accomplished pianist who performs both as a soloist and as a chamber musician (for instance with pianist Marta Argerich).


Music for two pianos at the concluding concert at Sigyn Hall on Wednesday 22 August at 19.00. Piano virtuosos Hélène Mercier and Louis Lortie have performed together since they were students and enjoy a seamless artistic consensus. The programme consists of French and Russian musical gems, including less-known works. Mercier was born in Montreal and has lived in Paris for years. She has performed as a soloist and a chamber musician with Kurt Masur, Vladimir Spivakov, Ivry Gitlits, Brigitte Engerer and others. Louis Lortie, also from Montreal, appears at Wigmore Hall and with orchestras in Dallas, Detroit and Shanghai in this season. Mercier and Lortie regularly perform and record together.


Hours of Bliss at the Cathedral

Hours of Bliss – recitals of about 45 min – will again be held at Turku Cathedral.

On Monday 13 August at 13.00, soprano Olga Heikkilä and cellist Tuomas Ylinen perform music by John Tavener, Eric Tanguy and George Crumb. On Tuesday 14 August at 13.00, violinist Laura Kokko performs music by Saariaho, Talvitie and von Biber and improvises.


Concert series at the Art Museum

Students from Turku Music Festival masterclasses perform at lunchtime concerts at Turku Art Museum from Tuesday 14 August to Saturday 18 August. These popular concerts will feature students from the masterclasses of pianists Antti Siirala and Niklas Pokki. A ticket to the museum includes entry to the concert.


Concerts at the Cathedral

The summer music series at the Cathedral features cellist Jukka Perksalo on Wednesday 15 August at 14.00 and organist Arttu Selonen on Wednesday 22 August at 14.00. The evening music series at the Cathedral features organist Keith John on Tuesday 14 August at 20.00 and organist Stefan Kagl on Tuesday 21 August at 20.00. Admission is free.


Ticket sales

Tickets for all events at the Turku Music Festival go on sale nationwide on Wednesday 21 February at 13.00. Tickets to the Turku Music Festival are sold by Lippupiste.

Further information and requests for interviews: Managing Director Liisa Ketomäki, tel. +358 40 740 6200, e-mail


Klaus Mäkelä is the new artistic director of the Turku Music Festival

The Board of Directors of the Turku Music Festival Foundation has unanimously chosen conductor Klaus Mäkelä to be the new artistic director of the Turku Music Festival. He will be invited to plan the programme for the festival’s 60th anniversary in 2019. The current artistic director of the festival, Ville Matvejeff, is leaving after this summer to take up the post of artistic director of the Savonlinna Opera Festival.

“I am happy to have this opportunity to be the artistic director of the Turku Music Festival. When I was asked whether I would be interested, it immediately seemed like a good fit at this point in my career. It is my first artistic director’s post, and I have a strong personal connection to Turku. The Turku Music Festival has a robust tradition, and next year’s 60th anniversary will be a very special occasion,” says Klaus Mäkelä. “As a conductor, I work in various places in Finland and abroad. Artistic planning is about germinating ideas and meeting performers. I can do that anywhere, and the ways in which things are done are different in every place. I will be in Turku during the festival in August and will visit a few times a year as needed, but I will be supported by the managing director and the festival office, and I believe our collaboration will be fruitful.”

”I have been following Klaus’ career for some time now and I am very impressed by what he has already achieved. He is one of the most talented and most interesting young artists I know and he’s known to be efficient and productive. When the thought of working together came to my mind, it all fell into place very naturally. The timing was simply perfect for both parties. It feels great and inspiring to have the chance to build the Turku Music Festival into an even more interesting festival with an even higher level. I could not be happer and Klaus has the chance to bring out his artistic ideas through the more than 30 annual concerts we have in the framework of the festival. We’ll immediately have the chance to start working on the solid foundation we’ve built with the former artistic directors”, says the festival’s Managing Director Liisa Ketomäki.

“Klaus Mäkelä is one of Finland’s most interesting young conductors today. He is also an excellent cellist, as we know from the Turku Cello Competition in 2014. This will be his first opportunity to show what he can do as the artistic director of an international festival where concerts range from solo recitals to concert performances of operas”, says Maija Palonheimo, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Turku Music Festival Foundation.

Turku Music Festival artistic director designate, conductor and cellist Klaus Mäkelä (b. 1996) has made a substantial impact on the Finnish music scene in a short period of time.  The 2017/18 season will see him make significant debuts across Europe, Scandinavia, the United States, Canada and Japan. From the 2018/19 season, Mäkelä will be Principal Guest Conductor with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Artist in Association with Tapiola Sinfonietta.

This season Mäkelä debuts with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Kristiansand Symfoniorkester, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He will also return to Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and Oulu Symphony Orchestra.

Also working in opera, Mäkelä will make his debut in December 2017 with performances of The Magic Flute with the Finnish National Opera. Mäkelä has already conducted many Finnish orchestras and now appears regularly with Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tampere and Turku Philharmonics, Tapiola Sinfonietta and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra.

At the Sibelius Academy, he studied conducting with Jorma Panula and cello with Marko Ylönen, Timo Hanhinen and Hannu Kiiski. As soloist, he has performed with Finnish orchestras such as the Lahti Symphony, Kuopio Symphony and Jyväskylä Sinfonia as well as appearing at many Finnish festivals including the Kuhmo Chamber Music Naantali Music Festival, and Chamber Music Summer Festival in Helsinki.

Klaus Mäkelä plays a Giovanni Grancino cello from 1698, kindly made available to him by the OP Art Foundation.

Further information and requests for interviews: Managing Director Liisa Ketomäki, tel. +358 40 740 6200, e-mail