Looking at the concert programmes of the TPO this autumn, I find myself thinking that each programme had a genesis of its own, influenced by my own thoughts and by uplifting and inspiring conversations with guest conductors, soloists, our manager and our artistic committee, and sometimes even by random encounters.
I happened to hear Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man on the car radio en route to Turku, perhaps at Lahnajärvi; I was just thinking about the programme for October and realised that this is exactly what was needed! At one point, I began to find that Tchaikovsky was cropping up all over the place for various reasons. I tried to fight this tendency for a while, fool that I was, but I soon found it to be futile. And so it is that our programmes this autumn include his Symphonies nos. 4 and 5, Romeo and Juliet overture, Piano Concerto no. 1, and Violin Concerto. And then there’s the Rococo Variations, with which friends of the Turku Cello Competition are more than familiar, but this time it comes with a twist, in a version for trumpet played by my friend, the excellent Russian trumpet player Serge Nakariakov. We may as well just sit back and admit that the autumn of TFO in 2021 will be the autumn of Tchaikovsky.
Let’s let this wonderful, ingenuous and sacred music lend us all strength, joy and light as we turn towards a brighter future after the difficult times we have been living.
Olli Mustonen, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor