How are you, Julian Rachlin?

Violinist Julian Rachlin was in his time the youngest soloist to perform with the Vienna Philharmonic. He has worked with several of the world’s leading orchestras, including collaboration with the Mariinsky-orchestra and maestro Valery Gergiev, who will also visit Turku Music Festival this summer.

In addition to solo performances, Rachlin has been conducting more and more. This autumn will mark the start of his second season as the Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Northern Sinfonia. Rachlin has also been the Principal Guest of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra for a few years, so while August will be his debut with Turku Music Festival, he is by no means new to Turku.

– Turku is a special city. I love the food, and the people are warm and friendly. Returning to Turku is a highlight. The Mariinsky Orchestra is a wonderful tradition, but I’m also looking forward to performing with Klaus Mäkelä and the other great musicians. I and Klaus have a wonderful relationship, we immediately clicked. Mäkelä is a unique musician and a personality. A wonder child of sorts, even though he is not a child, laughs Rachlin, describing the 23-year-old artistic director.

Rachlin, who is particularly passionate about chamber music, will perform on several occasions in August. He has a whole lot of expectations regarding the Music Festival – both for the music and the other musicians.

– I’m looking forward to playing chamber music. Performing with my wife Sarah McElravy, performing with Klaus, getting to know new musicians, Rachlin lists.

Besides the concert Julian Rachlin, Klaus Mäkelä & friends, performed at Turku Concert Hall 17.8, we get to hear Rachlin during the concluding concert with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra. Especially the music of Dmitri Šostakovitš moves Rachlin.

– Nobody has musically captured the time of Stalin better than Šostakovitš. It was a scary and uncertain time. Šostakovitš’s music is cynical. There are moments that can sound happy, but the joy is not real, it’s sarcastic. On the other hand, the music is full of magical moments of hope, because hope cannot be taken away from a human being. Dmitri Šostakovitš’s music is like a tall mountain or a great novel, which I get to experience with Mariinsky.

Rachlin has a multi-faceted view on music. The soloist-conductor even teaches at the university.

– I love experiencing music from all the sides, but it’s a challenge to keep these separate professions on an equally high level. It takes a lot of discipline and meticulous planning. Right now I am focusing on expanding my repertoire.

For the audience, Rachlin has a clear message.

– I want to welcome everybody, especially the young people who haven’t yet visited classical music. The Young generation of classic music is extraordinary. Music and performance has so much to offer, and it can be just as exciting as a pop concert or a jazz concert. Everybody should keep their personality, you don’t have to dress in a tuxedo if you don’t like it. I will be dressing up though, he laughs.