Mustonen will be taking up his new role on 1 January 2021; his term is set to last three years, with the option to renew for another two years. In his new position, Mustonen will be in charge of the orchestra’s artistic direction. Over the coming seasons he will conduct the orchestra and work closely with it in a variety of ways, including in his roles as pianist and composer.
Combining the roles of conductor, pianist and composer, Olli Mustonen’s musicianship is unusually multifaceted.
In recent seasons, Mustonen has performed as a soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, to name just a few. As a conductor, in recent years he has worked with the likes of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and a wide variety of European orchestras. He has toured Central Europe, Japan and China with the Helsinki Festival Orchestra, which he co-founded.
The current focus of Mustonen’s composition work is large-scale chamber music pieces, with some of his more recent works including pieces for a piano quintet and a string quartet. Last autumn, Mustonen’s ‘Taivaanvalot’ (‘Heavenly Lights’), a symphony for tenor, cello and piano based on the Finnish national epic, Kalevala, and composed for Ian Bostridge and Steven Isserlis, was performed for the first time in Amsterdam and London. To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Beethoven-Haus in Bonn commissioned Mustonen to compose a piece for a string sextet, with the work premiering at the city’s Beethoven festival in February 2020.
Mustonen’s vast recording output includes an Edison and Gramophone award winning recording of preludes by Shostakovich and Alkan. His most recent recordings include Beethoven’s piano concertos and and also all of Prokofiev’s piano concertos, produced with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Hannu Lintu.
Mustonen was chosen as the 2019 recipient of the Hindemith music prize and has also received the Finland Prize from the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland and the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland in 2003.