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)



Tickets to the Turku Music Festival are sold by Lippupiste 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 kulttuuri.myynti(at) Reservations are also taken at the Turku Music Festival office, tel. +358 40 632 3397, e-mail info(at)

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


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]
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,, 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.

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