Artistic Director Olli Mustonen opens the autumn season with star cellist Steven Isserlis. The latter took the Turku audience by storm in spring 2022 and now returns to perform Benjamin Britten’s Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, one of the best-known 20th-century works for cello and a staple in Isserlis’s repertoire.
In a high point of the autumn, the Storioni Trio, one of the world’s finest trios, gives the world premiere of the triple concerto Lanterna by Sebastian Fagerlund, the orchestra’s composer-in-residence. The piece will be premiered in Turku on Thursday 5 October.
“The slow fifth movement of the concert is its musical core, a moment of light. The other movements are at varying distances from the light, like the light from a lantern at sea varies and wanes according to distance, the weather and the waves,” Fagerlund explains.
Another world premiere precedes this, with the Turku Philharmonic’s Principal Double Bass Mikko Multamäki performing Pertti Jalava’s Sinuhe Concerto for double bass and orchestra on Friday 22 September.
“I wrote this concert at the request of Mikko Multamäki. Of all the musicians who have performed my music, he is the most wide-ranging. The fatalistic humour, profound philosophy and adventures amidst toxic intrigues in the novel Sinuhe the Egyptian [by Mika Waltari] made a huge impression on me,” Jalava says of the background to the work.
Additionally, this autumn the Turku Philharmonic invites audience members to literally join them on stage at unique Open Orchestra concerts, allowing listeners to be immersed in a huge symphony orchestra and see close up how musicians work.
Stars and Hollywood glamour
The autumn brings many new stars and old friends to Turku. In September, flautist Katherine Bryan makes her first appearance with the Turku Philharmonic in a concert conducted by John Storgårds, and the end of the month brings some of the finest Hungarian music with conductor Tibor Bogányi and pianist János Balázs.
In October, we are treated to Hollywood glamour and gems of Finnish cinema, with TV and film stars Mikko Leppilampi and Anna-Maija Tuokko performing memorable tunes from Finnish and foreign films.
Olli Mustonen’s second concert of the autumn towards the end of October features guitarist Göran Söllscher. The programme is a sunny Mediterranean one, with music by Gioachino Rossini, Antonio Vivaldi, Joaquín Rodrigo and Carl Nielsen. Mustonen’s third concert in November celebrates Beethoven and Nielsen, with Mustonen taking a double role as soloist and conductor. The programme features Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 3 and Leonore Overture, with Nielsen’s Symphony no. 3. The soloists in the Nielsen are soprano Johanna Isokoski and baritone Petteri Salomaa.
“Beethoven and Nielsen are unique composers, both dear to me – both extremely original masters whose music exudes a human warmth,” says Mustonen.
In the final symphony concert of the autumn, violinist Esther Yoo performs the Violin Concerto of Samuel Barber with conductor Kerem Hasan. Yoo rose to fame after becoming at age 16 the youngest prize-winner in the International Sibelius Violin Competition in 2010.
This Christmas, the Turku Philharmonic appears with Aarne Pelkonen, conducted by Jutta Seppinen in the launch of the disc Rakas joulu [Beloved Christmas] by Pelkonen and the Turku Philharmonic – an evening of mood boosters.
The autumn of the Turku Philharmonic further includes four chamber music recitals and a music salon for children. The chamber music recitals are planned by orchestra members and are held on Sundays: ‘Meditating’ with meditative music on 24 September; 19th-century style at Villa Bella Vista on 8 October; ‘Echoes’ with rarely performed chamber music on 12 November; and ‘Contrasts’ showcasing the viola and double bass on 3 December.
The ‘Children’s music salon’ on Sunday 29 October takes a look at the everyday life of Princess Katarina Jagellonica. The narrative is underpinned by Renaissance music – which the Princess herself may have heard at Turku Castle and on her travels. This concert is jointly organised with the exhibition ‘The Princess’s Journey’ at Turku Castle.
Tickets for the autumn will go on sale on Wednesday 19 April. Thursday concerts begin at 19.00, and Friday concerts begin at 18.00. For tickets and further information, please visit tfo.fi.