Our pre-Christmas concerts present a programme of some of the best-loved Christmas music. This time we combine works by two composers, Mozart and Mendelssohn, both Wunderkinder in their day. The Kymi Sinfonietta also brings together singers from the north and south of the region: Sonus from Kouvola and the Kotka-Canto Chamber Choir from Kotka. The two choirs will perform in both concerts. Collaboration with locals is also important for the concerts’ conductor, Olari Elts. The soloists will be baritone Riku Pelo and soprano Marika Hölttä.
Kymi Sinfonietta - The orchestra of two cities
Launched on January 1, 1999, the Kymi Sinfonietta is a unique orchestra owned by two cities. It nevertheless has long traditions, consisting of musicians from the Kotka and Kouvola City Orchestras amalgamated at the end of 1998. Keen amateurs have, furthermore, been playing orchestral music in the region for at least a hundred years.
Once again we turn the spotlight on some of our first-class players as our principal trumpet Visa Haarala acts the soloist, leader and arranger in a sizzling programme with friends from Brazil and the Kymi Sinfonietta. The majority of the pieces are by pianist-composer Gabriel Geszti, but there will also be others by Brazilian composer-musicians Hermeto Pascoal, Egberto Gismonti, Moacir Santos and others.
The Kymi Sinfonietta continues the collaboration with the Jyväskylä Sinfonia that got off to such a good start last year. This time the concert will feature all-time favourites by Lindberg, Sibelius and Rachmaninoff. The soloist in the Sibelius Violin Concerto is the young, highly-talented Rebecca Roozeman, winner of this spring’s Juhani Heinonen Violin Competition. Together the two orchestras conducted by Ville Matvejeff will be able to do full justice to the richly romantic second symphony by Sergei Rachmaninoff.
The tension rises in the finals concerts of one of the world’s most popular composition competitions, the International Uuno Klami now being held for the fourth time. Audiences at these concerts will have a chance to hear no fewer than five world premiere performances. The five works were chosen from the 283 entries in the competition, and four of them feature a top instrumentalist as soloist. The presenter is the charismatic Jussi-Pekka Rantanen familiar to Finnish TV viewers.
Our leader, Raymond Cox, has devised a pleasing menu of colourful, virtuosic music of the Italian Baroque ranging from Carlo Farina’s furious Capriccio stravagante to arias from Antonio Vivaldi’s opera Ottone in villa. Starring as our soloist is countertenor Teppo Lampela, master of a type of voice seldom heard in Finland.
The Kymi Sinfonietta’s series of popular silent movies continues in the second Red House concert offering audiences their first chance to see the Russian silent classic in magnificent surroundings: The New Babylon directed by Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg (1929) to the music composed for it by Dmitri Shostakovich performed live by the Kymi Sinfonietta. The vivid, colourful music is a good example of its composer’s musical humour.
Olari Elts’s other new concert series is “Viola in my Life” focusing on top viola players from round the world. It would, says Elts, be a pity not to use such a resource. Some solo violists also lead their concerts. First on the list is the celebrated Brit Lawrence Power, in a programme that cleverly links early repertoire with works by British composers. The other soloist is velvety-voiced Irish tenor Robin Tritschler.