The full programme of the Turku Music Festival has been published

In addition to international stars, the festival offers a series of chamber music recitals themed around cities, interesting talks and discussions, and a wider range of events than ever before.

 

TURKU MUSIC FESTIVAL 6–16 August 2020

This summer, the Turku Music Festival will be held from 6 to 16 August. This will be the 61st annual edition of the oldest consecutively running music festival in Finland, and the second with conductor Klaus Mäkelä as the artistic director. The festival programme includes more than 40 concerts and other events.

As always, the guest artist roster includes international stars such as soprano Nadine Sierra and pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja, and distinguished orchestras and ensembles such as the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra with top-notch baritone Peter Mattei and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra with violinist Ilya Gringolts. The festival’s composer-in-residence in 2020 is Pēteris Vasks. An interesting series of talks and discussions features Seppo Kimanen, Laura Kolbe, Klaus Mäkelä, Helena Petäistö and Pēteris Vasks. American baritone Thomas Hampson, who appeared at the festival’s opening concert last year, returns with a recital of American music. Literature and drama are brought together in concerts featuring actresses Alina Tomnikov and Seela Sella. Opera stars – bass Matti Salminen, mezzosoprano Lilli Paasikivi and soprano Mari Palo – perform popular songs at the Ruissalo shipyard, which is also the venue for concerts by popular singer Olavi Uusivirta on two consecutive nights. On the Night of the Arts, Kasmir performs at the Domino Hall, and Ilkka ‘Ile’ Vainio launches his 60th-birthday tour at Teatro Hall at Logomo. The festival concludes on 16 August with a concert whose first half features Schumann’s Dichterliebe performed by tenor Tuomas Katajala and pianist Naoko Sonoda and whose second half comprises the cult work Eight Songs for a Mad King by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the role of the king being performed by baritone Thomas Florio.

As previously announced, the festival has a preview concert on 28 July featuring tenor Juan Diego Flórez and pianist Vincenzo Scalera, and festival concerts after the festival week itself are given by countertenor Franco Fagioli and the Basel Chamber Orchestra (4 October) and American mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato and the Baroque ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro (7 December).

 

Pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja opens the Turku Music Festival on 6 August 2020

Legendary keyboard artist Elisabeth Leonskaja performs at the opening concert of the Turku Music Festival at Turku Concert Hall on 6 August at 19.00, performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

 

Chamber music recital series themed around musical cities takes us to St Petersburg, Vienna, Paris and Leipzig, accompanied by talks by Seppo Kimanen, Laura Kolbe and Helena Petäistö

The St Petersburg themed concert is at Sigyn Hall on Friday 7 August, with music by Dmitri Shostakovich, Modest Mussorgsky, Galina Ustvoltskaya and Petr Tchaikovsky performed by bass Markus Suihkonen, violinist Nikita Boriso-Glebsky, cellists Klaus Mäkelä and Torleif Thedéen and pianists Martin James Bartlett and Juho Pohjonen.

Two concerts are dedicated to Paris. The Paris I concert is at Sigyn Hall on 9 August, with music by Ravel, Debussy, Couperin and César Franck performed by pianist Nino Gvetadze, violinists Andrej Power and Elise Båtnes, violist Catherine Bullock, cellist Torleif Thédeen and harpist Päivi Severeide. The Paris II concert is at Turku Castle on 10 August, with music by Satie, Debussy and Ravel performed by Torleif Thedéen, pianist Antti Siirala and the Vertavo String Quartet from Norway.

The Leipzig concert is at Betel Church on 13 August, with music by J.S. Bach, Robert and Clara Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn performed by violinists Elise Båtnes and Essi Höglund, violist Catherine Bullock, cellist Louisa Tuck, pianist Antti Siirala and the Gringolts Quartet.

Two concerts are dedicated to Vienna, often referred to as a Mecca for music. The Vienna I concert at Betel Church combines Haydn’s ‘Sunrise’ String Quartet (Gringolts Quartet) with Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata (Naoko Sonoda). The Vienna II concert at Turku Castle has a diverse programme including Schubert’s classic solo songs An die Musik, Die Forelle and Erlkönig, performed by tenor Tuomas Katajala, violinist Essi Höglund, violist Catherine Bullock, cellist Senja Rummukainen and pianists Nino Gvetadze and Naoko Sonoda.

 

Legendary actress Seela Sella, soprano Pia Freund and pianist Kristian Attila at Sigyn Hall on two evenings

Seela Sella reads from the letters of well-known artist couples in two performances of a production combining poetry and music on 10 and 12 August. Focusing on the intimate relationships of artists (composers Sibelius and Kuula), the production explores what it means to be alone and together, to flourish, to grow, to give up, to be immersed in creation and chaos. Traditional and more recent gems of Finnish vocal music enter into dialogue with letters written by Aino Sibelius and Alma Kuula and poetry by Katri Vala, L. Onerva and Aila Meriluoto. The music is by Sibelius, Kuula, Madetoja, Kilpinen, Attila and Ilkka Kuusisto.

 

Alina Tomnikov reads Tolstoy at Turku Castle on 15 August

Young actress Alina Tomnikov reads extracts from Leo Tolstoy’s novella The Kreutzer Sonata in Finnish and Russian at Turku Castle in the Kreutzer concert, based on “Beethoven’s iconic Kreutzer Sonata, which inspired Janáček to write a String Quartet and Tolstoy to write a story. These are linked in the concert by extracts from the story read by Alina Tomnikov,” according to artistic director Klaus Mäkelä. Tomnikov is joined on stage by violinist Essi Höglund, pianist Naoko Sonoda and the Vertavo String Quartet.

 

Pēteris Vasks is composer-in-residence at the Turku Music Festival in 2020

Vasks will be at the festival himself, and his works will be performed at several concerts. A Vasks Gala is held at Turku Concert Hall on Saturday 8 August. The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra performs Vasks’s Violin Concerto ‘Distant Light’ with Ilya Gringolts under Klaus Mäkelä, and the programme also includes Musica Dolorosa and Three Latvian Folk Songs. The other performers are soprano Aurora Marthens, cellist Louisa Tuck, flautist Kerttu Aalto-Setälä and pianist Juho Pohjonen.

 

“I can still remember when I heard Pēteris’s music for the first time. His Violin Concerto ‘Distant Light’ opened up a window to a new world for me, and I have been a fan of his wonderful music ever since. I am really proud to welcome him as a guest to the Turku Music Festival,” says artistic director Klaus Mäkelä, who conducts the Vasks Gala and also holds a public discussion with Vasks before the concert.

 

Matti Salminen, Lilli Paasikivi and Mari Palo at the Ruissalo Shipyard

Opera royalty explore nostalgia in songs and schlagers of summer at the Ruissalo shipyard. Bass Matti Salminen, mezzosoprano Lilli Paasikivi and soprano Mari Palo are joined on stage by violinist Petteri Iivonen, pianist Jukka Nykänen and double bass player Eero Ignatius on two evenings, 10 and 11 August.

 

American star baritone Thomas Hampson returns to Turku

American baritone Thomas Hampson returns to Turku to give a recital at Turku Concert Hall on Saturday 15 August at 19.00. Titled ‘Songs of America’, it comprises American repertoire that Hampson wishes to promote. He is accompanied by pianist Vlad Iftinca. The programme is a brilliant musical panorama of American melodies, including music by Cole Porter and Leonard Bernstein.

American soprano Nadine Sierra, who had to cancel her appearance in Turku last year, joins Thomas Hampson on stage in this recital at his request.

 

Details were previously published concerning the concert given by Nadine Sierra with the Turku Philharmonic under Lorenzo Passerini at Turku Concert Hall on 13 August at 18.00.

“Last summer, Nadine Sierra was unfortunately obliged to cancel her performance, but she is now making two appearances: with the Turku Philharmonic on 13 August and as a guest at Hampson’s recital at his request on 15 August. This is ample compensation for the delay,” says Liisa Ketomäki, managing director of the Turku Music Festival Foundation.

 

Chamber music at Kakola

On Friday 14 August, the Vertavo String Quartet from Norway performs at Kakola Hall, the entrance to which is only a few steps from the funicular. The programme includes music by Jaakko Kuusisto, Fanny Mendelssohn, Caroline Shaw and Antonín Dvorák. The Quartet members are violinists Øyvor Volle and Annabelle Merare, violist Berit Cardas and cellist Bjørg Lewis.

 

Home concerts at the home of Aino and Jarkko Ruohola and at the Archbishop’s residence

The home concert at the home of Aino and Jarkko Ruohola on 8 August features violinist Elise Båtnes and cellists Louisa Tuck and Klaus Mäkelä. The concert at the Archbishop’s residence on 15 August is jointly organised with the Turku Book Fair and includes poetry by Johanna Venho and music performed by violinist Essi Höglund and cellist Senja Rummukainen.

 

Olavi Uusivirta, Kasmir and Ile Vainio appear at the Turku Music Festival for the first time

Emma Award winning popular singer Olavi Uusivirta appears at the Ruissalo Shipyard on two consecutive evenings, 12 and 13 August. Kasmir, who has just released a new album, performs with pianist Lasse Piirainen at Domino on the Night of the Arts, 13 August. Ilkka ‘Ile’ Vainio, who celebrates his 60th birthday in 2020, begins his 60th-birthday tour at the festival with a concert titled ‘The people’s songs’ at Teatro Hall at Logomo on 12 August.

 

“The Turku Music Festival is an event intended for everyone in Turku, so we aim to create a programme as diverse as possible, albeit with the main focus still on classical music,” says Liisa Ketomäki, managing director of the Turku Music Festival Foundation.

 

The full programme of the Turku Music Festival, including the above concerts and much more, can be found on the festival website, www.tmj.fi

 

Turku Music Festival masterclasses

Piano masterclasses given by Niklas Pokki and Antti Siirala continue on 14–18 August 2020.

 

The Turku Music Festival has previously published details of certain concerts outside the festival week in August.

 

Juan Diego Florez & Vincenzo Scalera 28 July

Distinguished tenor Juan Diego Flórez visits Turku at long last, accompanied by pianist Vincenzo Scarela. Flórez is one of the world’s most sought-after opera singers, described among other things as the Roger Federer of opera.

 

Nadine Sierra & Turku Philharmonic Orchestra 13 August

Nadine Sierra performs on 13 August 2020 at 18:00 with the Turku Philharmonic conducted by Lorenzo Passerini. The entire concert program has now been published on the festival website.

 

Peter Mattei & Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra 14 August

The Turku Music Festival proudly presents the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, appearing at the festival on 14 August 2020 at 19.00. Conducted by the festival’s artistic director Klaus Mäkelä, the concert features Swedish baritone Peter Mattei as soloist. The programme comprises Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin, Mozart arias for baritone and Sibelius’s Symphonies nos. 6 and 7.

 

Franco Fagioli & Basel Chamber Orchestra 4 October

Countertenor Franco Fagioli, who previously charmed Turku audiences at the performance of the opera Agrippina, visits Turku with the Basel Chamber Orchestra performing a Mozart programme, details of which are available on the festival website. The concert coincides with the Turku Book Fair, where the cross-discipline theme for 2020 is music.

 

Joyce DiDonato & Il Pomo d’Oro 7 December

Baroque music lovers are in for a treat at Turku Concert Hall on Monday 7 December at 19.00 when American mezzo Joyce DiDonato and the Baroque ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro give a concert titled ‘Joyce DiDonato: My Favourite Things’. The programme includes the singer’s favourite arias by composers such as Monteverdi, Handel and Gluck. Full details of the programme are available on the festival website.

 

Tickets to all concerts of the Turku Music Festival will go on sale at all Lippupiste points of sale on 10 March.

 

The artistic director of the festival is conductor Klaus Mäkelä, who will also be planning the programme for 2021.

 

Further information and requests for interviews

Managing director Liisa Ketomäki, tel.: +358 40 740 6200, e-mail liisa.ketomaki@tmj.fi

 

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Tickets

Tickets to the Turku Music Festival are sold by Lippupiste at all Lippupiste points of sale and R kiosks throughout Finland, and online at www.lippu.fi.

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 kulttuuri.myynti@turku.fi. Reservations are also taken at the Turku Music Festival office, tel. +358 40 632 3397, e-mail info@tmj.fi.

 

Turku Music Festival 2020 artists and guests:

 

Kerttu Aalto-Setälä

Kristian Attila

Martin James Bartlett

Catherine Bullock

Elise Båtnes

Nikita Boriso-Glebsky

Juan Diego Flórez

Thomas Florio

Pia Freund

Ilya Gringolts

Nino Gvetadze

Thomas Hampson

Jenni Haukio

Camilla Hoitenga

Essi Höglund

Vlad Iftinca

Eero Ignatius

Petteri Iivonen

Tuomas Katajala

Eija Kankaanrinta

Kasmir

Seppo Kimanen

Laura Kolbe

Uli Kontu-Korhonen

Eveliina Kytömäki

Elisabeth Leonskaja

Mikko Luoma

Aurora Martens

Peter Mattei

Klaus Mäkelä

Jukka Nykänen

Lilli Paasikivi

Mari Palo

Lorenzo Passerini

Helena Petäistö

Jerry Piipponen

Lasse Piirainen

Johannes Piirto

Juho Pohjonen

Andrej Power

Nadine Sierra

Senja Rummukainen

Matti Salminen

Vincenzo Scalera

Seela Sella

Päivi Severeide

Antti Siirala

Naoko Sonoda

Markus Suihkonen

Andreas Sundén

Torleif Thedéen

Alina Tomnikov

Louisa Tuck

Ville Urponen

Olavi Uusivirta

Ilkka ”Ile” Vainio

Pēteris Vasks (residence composer)

Johanna Venho

Tuulia Ylönen

 

Gringolts String Quartet

Vertavo String Quartet

 

The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Turku Philharmonic Orchestra

Turku Music Festival organises two concerts at Wigmore Hall in London

The Turku Music Festival is organising two back-to-back concerts at Wigmore Hall in London on Saturday 4 April 2020, at 11.00 and 14.00. The performers are Sunwook Kim, Lorenza Borrani, Alban Gerhardt, Julia Kretz-Larsson, Sunwook Kim, Sarah McElravy, Julian Rachlin and the artistic director of the Turku Music Festival, Klaus Mäkelä. Julian Rachlin is not only one of the world’s finest violinists but also the Principal Guest Conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra.

Turku Festival Showcase
Wigmore Hall, London
Sat 4 Apr 2020 at 11.00

Julia-Maria Kretz, violin
Sarah McElravy, violin
Julian Rachlin, violin
Alban Gerhardt, cello
Klaus Mäkelä, cello
Sunwook Kim, piano

Colombi: Chiacona
Saariaho: Dreaming Chaconna (After G. Colombi)
Gerhardt

Vasks: Castillo interior
McElravy, Gerhardt

Schumann: Piano Quintet
Kim, Rachlin, Kretz-Larson, McElravy, Mäkelä

Turku Festival Showcase
Wigmore Hall, Lontoo
Sat 4 Apr 2020 at 14.00

Lorenza Borrani, violin
Julian Rachlin, violin
Sarah McElravy, viola
Alban Gerhardt, cello
Klaus Mäkelä, cello

Sauli Zinovjev: Sospirando 4 “Schubert”
Schubert: String Quintet
Borrani, Rachlin, McElravy, Gerhardt, Mäkelä

The programmes were designed by Klaus Mäkelä, artistic director of the Turku Music Festival, who also performs at both concerts. Klaus Mäkelä is a distinguished conductor and also one of the finest cellists of his generation in Finland.

The concerts are jointly produced with Wigmore Hall and are open to the public. Tickets are on sale in the Wigmore Hall sales channels. The purpose of the concerts is, as their title indicates, to showcase the Turku Music Festival to London audiences and thus to attract interest in the annual event.

“I am very pleased and proud to bring concerts of the Turku Music Festival to Wigmore Hall. It is a great honour to perform some of the world’s greatest music with my wonderful colleagues at this venue, while also raising awareness of the Turku Music Festival abroad,” says Klaus Mäkelä.

“Wigmore Hall is one of the best and most legendary concert venues in Europe. Having this unique opportunity says something about the status of the Turku Music Festival in the international music festival context. In keeping with its strategy, the Turku Music Festival Foundation seeks to establish closer international contacts and engage in cooperation. We will be organising concerts and promotional events abroad for this purpose, to raise our profile and to bring international audiences, culture tourists, to Turku. This also serves to raise awareness of Finnish music as a whole,” says Liisa Ketomäki, managing director of the Turku Music Festival Foundation.

The City of Turku, Visit Turku and Business Finland are also involved, and a separate info about the offering of the Turku region for tourists will be held in connection with the concerts. “I am impressed with the work that the Turku Music Festival is doing to make Turku better known abroad. Turku is a city of culture with much to offer to culture tourists,” says Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku.

Tickets to both Turku Festival Showcase concerts at Wigmore Hall in London on Saturday 4 April are on sale on the Wigmore Hall website and at the Wigmore Hall ticket office in London.

Links to concerts:
https://wigmore-hall.org.uk/whats-on/alban-gerhardt-sarah-mcelravy-julian-rachlin-julia-kretz-larsson-klaus-maekelae-sunwook-kim-202004041100
https://wigmore-hall.org.uk/whats-on/julian-rachlin-lorenza-borrani-sarah-mcelravy-alban-gerhardt-klaus-maekelae-202004041400

Wigmore Hall ticket office tel. +44 20 7935 2141 and e-mail boxoffice@wigmore-hall.org.uk The Wigmore Hall ticket office is open from 10.00 to 18.30.

Wigmore Hall:
36 Wigmore Street
London W1U 2BP

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, baritone Peter Mattei and mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato to perform at the Turku Music Festival in 2020

The Turku Music Festival will be bringing the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra to Turku for a concert at the festival on Friday 14 August 2020 at 19.00. Conducted by the artistic director of the festival, conductor Klaus Mäkelä, the concert will feature Swedish baritone Peter Mattei, currently appearing in the title role in Alban Berg’s Wozzeck at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The programme comprises Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, baritone arias by Mozart and Sibelius’s Symphonies nos. 6 and 7. The concert is jointly produced with the Baltic Sea Festival of the Swedish Radio.

“The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is one of the finest in the Nordic countries, and it has been six years since their last visit. We are honoured to welcome the orchestra to Turku again, along with one of the world’s most sought-after singers, Peter Mattei. The evening will also be unique because of being conducted by our artistic director and the Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Klaus Mäkelä,” says Liisa Ketomäki, managing director of the Turku Music Festival. “The cities of Turku and Stockholm work closely together, and this concert is one link in a centuries-old chain of interaction and cultural exchange that will only grow stronger in the years to come,” she continues.

The Turku Music Festival previously announced plans to expand its concert offering beyond the summer season. At Turku Concert Hall on Monday 7 December 2020 at 19.00, friends of Baroque music will be treated to a concert by American mezzosoprano Joyce DiDonato and the Baroque orchestra Il Pomo d’Oro. Titled ‘Joyce DiDonato: My Favourite Things’, the concert will include some of her favourite arias by composers such as Buonamente, Cesti, Dowland, Gluck, Handel, Hasse, Monteverdi, Merula and Rossi.

Joyce DiDinato is one of the brightest stars on the opera firmament. In February, she appears in the title role of Handel’s Agrippina at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Both Wozzeck and Agrippina will be shown in Finland by Finnkino as Met Live HD screenings.

“If audiences find us outside August, meaning that there is demand, the Turku Music Festival Foundation will seek to hold more concerts at other times of the year, in keeping with its strategy. Joyce DiDonato is a versatile performer who has no doubt attracted new audiences to opera. We are pleased to welcome her to Turku with a programme that is deeply meaningful for her. Il Pomo d’Oro are old friends, they have almost become a fixture at the festival,” says Liisa Ketomäki.

Tickets to both concerts (14 August 2020 and 7 December 2020) will go on sale at all Lippupiste points of sale on 9 January 2020 at 12.00.

The Turku Music Festival previously announced four other concerts in its programme for 2020. Baritone Aarne Pelkonen performs with some of Finland’s finest musicians in February. Tenor Juan Diego Flórez gives a recital with pianist Vincenzo Scalera on 28 July in a head start to the festival in August. Soprano Nadine Sierra appears with the Turku Philharmonic on 13 August, and countertenor Franco Fagioli appears in a Mozart programme with the Basel Chamber Orchestra on 4 October, coinciding with the Turku Book Fair.

“We are on a path of strong growth, and we are seeking more international awareness and wider audiences. We wish to promote cultural tourism to Turku and to Finland as a whole. We will be talking more about this before publishing the full festival programme in March,” says Liisa Ketomäki.

***

The full programme of the Turku Music Festival will be released on Tuesday 10 March 2020. The artistic director of the festival is conductor Klaus Mäkelä.

Star tenor Juan Diego Flórez in concert in Turku

Juan Diego Flórez, one of the world’s most acclaimed tenors, will give a recital at the Turku Music Festival on Tuesday 28 July 2020 at 19.00, just about a week before the Festival proper. This preview concert will be held at Turku Concert Hall. He will be accompanied by Vincenzo Scalera, a pianist familiar to Turku audiences. The programme will feature opera arias and other favourites by composers such as Donizetti, Verdi, Massenet and Puccini. The detailed programme will be released in the spring.

“I look very much forward to performing for the first time at the Turku Festival next 28 July! This wonderful festival gathers every year so many international artists, and I can’t wait to sing there and meet its audience.”

“Juan Diego Flórez is one of the busiest opera singers and one of the best tenors in the world. We are very glad that he has accepted our invitation to perform in Turku. He will be performing the same programme at the Salzburg Festival and elsewhere next summer,” says Liisa Ketomäki, managing director of the Turku Music Festival Foundation.

The Turku Music Festival has previously announced three other concerts in its next summer’s programme: a recital by baritone Aarne Pelkonen with prominent Finnish musicians in February; a concert with countertenor Franco Fagioli and the Basle Chamber Orchestra featuring a Mozart programme, coinciding with the Turku Book Fair on 4 October; and a concert with soprano Nadine Sierra and the Turku Philharmonic in August.

“We are pursuing a path of robust growth, and our goal is to achieve an even more prominent international profile and visitors from abroad. We aim to increase cultural tourism to Turku. Our programme for next summer is broad and highly diverse. Klaus Mäkelä and I will have more to say after the New Year,” says Liisa Ketomäki.

Tickets for the recital by Juan Diego Flórez go on sale at all Lippupiste points of sale on Thursday 12 December at 10.00.

***

The Turku Music Festival will publish its entire programme on Monday 9 March 2020. The artistic director of the Festival is conductor Klaus Mäkelä.

Further information and requests for interviews:
Managing director Liisa Ketomäki, tel.: +358 40 740 6200, e-mail liisa.ketomaki(at)tmj.fi

***

Tickets

Tickets to the Turku Music Festival are sold by Lippupiste at all Lippupiste points of sale and R kiosks throughout Finland, and online at www.lippu.fi.

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 kulttuuri.myynti(at)turku.fi. Reservations are also taken at the Turku Music Festival office, tel. +358 40 632 3397, e-mail info(at)tmj.fi.

Baritone Aarne Pelkonen to perform at a Turku Music Festival concert

The Turku Music Festival is again producing the opening concert of the ’Music in the Cathedral’ week. This concert, titled Haavekuvia (Dream images), is at Turku Cathedral on Monday 3 February 2020 at 19.00. The performers are Aarne Pelkonen (baritone), Marzi Nyman (piano and guitar), Jukka Perko (saxophone), Erika Maalismaa (violin) and Jani Pensola (bass).

Baritone Aarne Pelkonen is known for his performance as Petter Kummelin, the priest in the opera Jää [Ice] by Jaakko Kuusisto, based on the novel by Ulla-Lena Lundberg, staged at the Finnish National Opera. Haavekuvia [Dream images] is a concert featuring beloved Finnish popular classics and songs written for Pelkonen setting poems by old Finnish masters such as Eino Leino, Aaro Hellaakoski and L. Onerva. These songs were written by Iiro Rantala, Marzi Nyman and Jukka Linkola.

”We are pleased to continue our collaboration with ’Music in the Cathedral’, and this concert is a fine start to our offering for 2020. The concert features some of Finland’s most distinguished musicians and new songs by leading songwriters,” says Liisa Ketomäki, managing director of the Turku Music Festival Foundation.

Aarne Pelkonen: Haavekuvia

3 Feb 2020 19.00 Turku Cathedral

Aarne Pelkonen, baritone
Marzi Nyman, piano & guitar
Jukka Perko, saxophone
Eriikka Maalismaa, violin
Jani Pensola, bass

Programme:

Laulu oravasta [Song of the squirrel]
Maailma on kaunis [The world is beautiful]
Three songs from Hymyilevä Apollo [Smiling Apollo] by Eino Leino
Sinua sinua rakastan [It is you, it is you that I love]
Väliaikainen [A passing thing]
Yö väistyy [Night recedes]
Tein lasinkuultavan laulun [I struck a note of crystal]
Rannalla [On the shore]
Kuu kalpea [Pale moon]
Kesäyö [Summer night]
Nocturne
Haavekuva [Dream image]

Tickets: 25 | 20 €

Tickets for Haavekuvia [Dream images] go on sale on 19 Nov at 12.00. All Turku Music Festival tickets are sold at Lippupiste outlets.

The Turku Music Festival will be held from 6 to 16 August 2020. The programme for this 61st festival was designed by the artistic director of the Festival, conductor Klaus Mäkelä.

The full programme will be published on 9 March 2020.

Further information and requests for interviews:
Further information is provided by managing director Liisa Ketomäki, liisa.ketomaki@tmj.fi, tel. +358407406200

Sounds of sailing at the Commodore’s

Interviewing Samuli Salanterä, Commodore of the Turku Yacht Club

 

What inspired you to open your home for a concert?

”Commodore’s home concert is the debut of our old grand piano for the big audience. The instrument is a Bechstein’s A grand piano from 1907, and I bought it for my wife as a gift for our 10th anniversary. It has so far been played far too seldom. It has once been played for Estonia’s president Arnold Rüütel, but it’s mostly been used to play traditional Christmas songs for the close family. That is why it is in such great condition – it even has the original hammers.

The over 100-year-old grand piano was shipped from Bechstein’s fabric in Berlin to a piano shop in Helsinki, from where it was sold to Aurakatu, Turku. From there, it was bought to our home, with the help of a piano tuner. It has a long history in Turku. It would be interesting if someone recognized it and would be able to tell us more about its previous life.”

How can the sea theme be heard in the program?

“The sounds of the se and the wind are important in sailing, and sails can be trimmed with the help of those sounds. The concert consists of works that share a similar structure to the sounds of the sea and the wind. Strong and quiet moments take turns. The sea can be relaxing, but also threatening. We wished that happy songs be included as well to remind of the balance in life – there is always room for joy, too.”

What does music and Turku Music Festival mean to you?

“The home concert is the first of its kind in our home, but I have represented a company that has been in collaboration with Turku Music Festival since the 1990’s. Culture is an essential part of human well-being, and it’s a great opportunity for a company to promote that.

Visual arts have inspired our family more, but you can enjoy music even if you don’t play it yourself. Music is a part of our everyday life and promotes well-being, helps to relax, and reduces stress. A home concert makes that possible for us as well as other people.”

 

Commodore’s home concert, Sat 10.8. 13:00 & 15:00

Turku Music Festival brings elevator music to the city center

Turku Music Festival and Turku City Centre Association enter unknown territory when producing an elevator music tour in the elevators of the city center during the opening of the 60th edition of the Turku Music Festival 8.8.2019

Ilana Gothoni and Jasmine Noel-Beams will play violin-viola-duos in three elevators in the Turku city center, amounting to almost three hours in total.

“We wanted to bring a breath of the Music Festival to the people in their every-day lives and remind them of the upcoming cultural event”, says Liisa Ketomäki, Managing Director of the Turku Music Festival. “The idea of taking live classic music to the territory of “muzak”, music that is traditionally not held in very high regard, seemed like an interesting idea. We absolutely wanted to be a part of it.”

”We have chosen elevators that are situated in the renewing heart of the city, next to the market square. Two of the elevators are completely new, like the scenic elevator of Sokos Wiklund and the Hansatori elevator in the Hansa Block. In addition to those, there is a traditional elevator from P-Louhi to Mehiläinen”, says Katariina Räike, the Executive Director of Turku City Centre Association.

Tour schedule:

10:00-10:35 Funicular
14:30-15:30 Mehiläinen Kauppiaskatu, P-Louhi elevators
15:30-16:30 Hansa Block, the Hansatori elevator
16:30-17:30 Sokos Wiklund, Walo rooftop –scenic elevator

Three 15-minute performances will be played in each elevator. In Funicular, there will be two 15-minute performances. The performances are free of charge.

The invisible man’s quarter of a century

Festival’s photographer Seilo Ristimäki talks about his exhibition, opened today. Feelings since 1960, 2.8.-1.9.2019, Brinkkala Gallery.

 

Photographer Seilo Ristimäki, what is it like to work for Turku Music Festival?

“Technology has changed a lot during 25 years. Before the digital time, during the era of the printed picture, there was a certain delay. Now the social media is immediately buzzing, and pictures have to be ready and distributed much faster. In my field, I get to talk to stars behind the scenes. Surprisingly many are fond of Turku. It’s considered a charming little town, and the festival to be well organized.

The multidisciplinary nature of Turku Music festival is nothing new – the festival has always been diverse for its time. What it is to be bold, however, changes. Klaus Mäkelä is the fourth artistic director I work for, and everyone has brought something new to the table. Turku Music Festival has always been primarily a festival for classical music, but the atmosphere has relaxed a lot especially under Topi Lehtipuu’s era. Under his time, there was a lot of experimenting going on with the concert venues – there was one in a cave underground, and another on the plateau over the gasometer. They were visually interesting, but challenging for production. Ville Matvejeff brought back the bigger pieces. The new artistic directors are more international, with large international friend groups. That will attract even more interesting stars to Turku.

Turku Music Festival is an interesting motif for a photographer. We’re in my home town and the riverside doesn’t change, but I get to photograph new and interesting folks. Bigger, visual opera productions are always intriguing, but individual personalities are their truest selves during rehearsals. A photographer has succeeded when they can’t be heard or seen by the audience – I’m sort of the invisible man of the concert, who makes the evening visible for others.”

Tell us about your upcoming exhibition in Brinkkala Gallery?

“I remember approximately all of the pictures I have taken, but sometimes faces lack names. That’s when I need to search in the archives. My anniversary exhibition consists of 50 visually interesting pictures that I chose from 30 000 that I have taken for the festival. It does show that it has been primarily documentary, but the exhibition isn’t to showcase stars and venues. However, music enthusiasts might find it interesting to spot pictures of a younger Leif Segerstam, or the Kuusisto brothers when they were young.

My style has remained unchanged these past 25 years, but technology has changed the pictures. In 1994, newspapers were still in black and white… The audience’s clothing has relaxed, that can be seen in the pictures. Baroque groups used to dress in historical outfits and it had to be in the Academy Building, but now you can experiment more. The fact that historical outfits have been left out would have been scandalous twenty years ago.”

What does the art of photography bring to the world of music?

“A few years ago there was a concert where a baroque orchestra played Four seasons a little like jazz, so that the conductor left a lot of air in the notes for more room for phrasing. To tell about music in pictures can be hard – it can be difficult to take great pictures even if the concert is good. Photos still bring visibility and publicity. Under 25 years, you have time to document cultural history and local history, and put Turku on the map. My pictures have been used in foreign media, when we have had international stars in Turku.

The exhibition that celebrates my quarter of a century, happens to be held during the 60th edition of Turku Music Festival. A whole lot has changed, but a personal style can be seen throughout my photography. When I suggested an exhibition, I was immediately met with enthusiasm on the part of Turku Music Festival. I’m grateful for that, and the chance to utilize Brinkkala Gallery for the collaboration.”

Tribute concerts for Claes Andersson

The Claes Andersson & Julia Korkman-concerts 20th and 21th of August will be arranged as tribute for Claes Andesson.

”We discussed the concerts with the musicians and Claes’ close family, and we decided that the concerts will be held. They will be a tribute for Claes. We will put emphasis on music that was important to Claes, as well as his own lyrics and compositions. Music and poetry was Claes’ way of processing emotions, and it feels natural to pass this legacy on. We will also perform the newest piece, Inandning, utandning, which I and Claes worked on only a few weeks ago”, says Julia Korkman.

“The sudden decease of Claes Andersson shocked us all, and we want to express our condolences to his family. After conversation with Julia Korkman, who performs in the concerts, we decided to arrange the concerts as memorial concerts according to the family’s wishes”, explains Liisa Ketomäki, the chief executive officer of Turku Music festival.

Riitta Paakki, who has previously played as a stand-in for Claes Andersson Trio, will be playing the piano at the concert. Andersson and Paakki have even performed four-handedly before. The concerts will take place in Turku Castle the 20th and 21th of August at 19.

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.