Did you know that many of the Christmas songs and carols so loved by the Finns have roots stretching back hundreds of years, to the Baroque? Sini Vahervuo (recorder), Matias Häkkinen (harpsichord and conductor) and Jarmo Julkunen (guitar & ukulele) have been touring together for years, taking in Christmas concerts all over Finland. We are now pleased to welcome them to the season’s closing concert of the Kymi Sinfonietta together with Jussi Salonen (tenor) for a programme of Baroque Christmas songs, some more and some less familiar.
This concert is packed with grand emotions and virtuoso vigour. Kalevi Aho draws on the cello’s tremendous potential in his second Cello Concerto. Its singing legato and virtuosic energy will be conjured forth by Jonathan Roozeman, one of the Finnish cellists at present most in demand in the world. Felix Mendelssohn and Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn were not only brother and sister; they were also a partnership of immensely musical talents. Though Fanny is nowadays one of the best-known female composers, her Overture in C was not published until 1994.
Clarinet wizard Kari Kriikku, by popular request! Here is an artist whose unbelievable, entertaining performances leave no one cold. Bizarre Bazaar is a musical oriental souk, its stalls evocative of Eastern Europe and Arabia seasoned with Nordic gravity. Its breath-taking rhythms echo klezmer, tango and fado. The clarinet is an instrument popular in the folk music of many countries and Kriikku has, over the years, collected a host of works that have stirred him from many cultures. These have then been arranged for clarinet and orchestra.
A concert of powerful, colourful emotions and stories! The Kymi Sinfonietta commissioned multi- musician and composer Arttu Takalo (a native of Kouvola) to write a work to be premiered at this concert. An eminent vibraphonist, he is one of the soloists in this Concerto for Percussion and Vibraphone. The other soloist is Tapio “Mongo” Aaltonen, a guy familiar from many celebrated line-ups and a wizard on all kinds of percussion. The other number on the programme is a rare treat.
A master in many musical capacities, Olli Mustonen needs little introduction. Tonight he appears in
three roles: conductor, pianist and composer. His solo number is the Piano Concerto No. 9
‘Jeunehomme’ composed by Mozart at the age of 21. Regarded as the first great masterpiece of the
Classical era, it is also one of the world’s greatest wonders. Mustonen’s own Nonetto is a favourite
with Kymi Sinfonietta audiences, thanks in part to its rhythmic drive.
Tonight’s programme is a fantastic mixture of enchanting musical stories, told by musicians who truly live the part, the magic and lights. Red House! Waves! parades before us some of the brightest and most fascinating musical phenomena and most celebrated composers. We begin with a burst of energy and the Furious Fantasy of British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage.
Our guest is Janne Nisonen, one of the most versatile Finnish musicians of his generation and one able to switch with ease between the roles of conductor, leader, solo violinist and chamber musician. Tonight he conducts the orchestra in a magnificent Mozart programme that is like a cross-section of that composer’s most impressive works. The soloist in the Clarinet Concerto, a work of beautiful, lyrical melodies that sound so easy but are so difficult to play is Harri Mäki.
A delightful evening of beautiful love songs and refreshing Baroque music. Harpist-soprano Arianna Savall is one of the world’s most illustrious performers of Baroque repertoire. Daughter of famous Spanish parents – violist Jordi Savall specialising in music of the Baroque and singer Montserrat Frigueras – Arianna assimilated the practices of Baroque performance at a very early age.
The guest soloist in the first concert of the season under the Kymi Sinfonietta’s Artistic Director Olari Elts is world-famous pianist Alexander Melnikov. Born in Russia and nowadays resident in Germany, Melnikov was a pupil of the legendary Lev Naumov in Moscow and took prizes in the most prestigious international competitions. His outstanding talent was soon spotted, and he has been collaborating with the world’s finest musicians and orchestras ever since.
2020 was Ruotsinsalmi theme year in Kotka. Kymijoen Lohisoitto and the Kymi Sinfonietta wanted to contribute to this by commissioning a new composition on the topic from conductor-composer Atso Almila. The result was Sodan soutumies (A Seaman’s Tale) that brings to life the moving story of a soldier called Antti caught up in one of the most famous tragedies of the naval battle of Ruotsinsalmi. The narrator of Almila’s enchanting story is baritone Markus Nieminen.