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Turku Philharmonic enters into Composer-in-Residence arrangement with Sebastian Fagerlund

Sebastian Fagerlund, one of the most successful and significant European composers working today, will become Composer-in-Residence of the Turku Philharmonic in autumn 2022. During this three-year appointment, the orchestra will perform his works in concerts whose programmes he will also design. The appointment further includes a commission for a new work.

Fagerlund’s music will be performed in the autumn at the Clarinetfest concerts on Thursday 10 October and Friday 14 October. Fagerlund designed the programme for this initial concert with Olli Mustonen, Artistic Director of the Turku Philharmonic. The programme includes Fagerlund’s Clarinet Concerto, Shadows by Aulis Sallinen and the First Symphony of Johannes Brahms. The Clarinet Concerto will be performed by Christoffer Sundqvist, Principal Clarinet with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, who also gave the world premiere of the work. All concerts are preceded by public previews with Fagerlund, including presentations on the evening’s programme.

-Being appointed Composer-in-Residence means for me an inspiring dialogue and close cooperation with the orchestra and its members. I am looking forward to our concerts together and believe that the collaboration between myself, Olli Mustonen and the Turku Philharmonic will generate memorable musical journeys and experiences for listeners and musicians alike,” says Fagerlund.

Sebastian Fagerlund’s music has been commissioned and performed by prominent orchestras, conductors and musicians around the world. His extensive output includes orchestral and chamber works, solo works and operas. He often addresses fundamental questions of existence in his music. His powerful music-making approach and virtuoso instrumental writing convey a sense of musical drama, combining vivid communication with an acceptance of a wide range of music traditions in an intense and expressive idiom.

Autumn focus on Finnish repertoire

This coming autumn, the Turku Philharmonic focuses on Finnish composers. In addition to Fagerlund and Sallinen, programmes include music by Jaakko Kuusisto, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Erkki Melartin, Joose Tammelin, Matti Rautio, Olli Mustonen and Jean Sibelius.

The concert on Friday 7 October is dedicated to the memory of Jaakko Kuusisto, who passed away in February; his Piano Concerto will be performed by Dejan Lazic. Ari Rasilainen conducts an all-Finnish programme on Wednesday 26 October, featuring Sibelius’s Karelia Overture, Rautavaara’s Violin Concerto and Melartin’s Sixth Symphony. Joose Tammelin’s Requiem, a fresh take on the genre that will captivate the listener, is up at Turku Cathedral on Thursday 3 November.

This year marks the centenary of the birth of composer Matti Rautio, and Olli Mustonen has selected his most important work, his Piano Concerto, for the concerts on 17 and 18 November. The work is performed by Matti Rautio’s nephew Martti Rautio. The superb programme also includes Sibelius’s The Bard, Prokofiev’s Fourth Symphony and Ravel’s Bolero. Olli Mustonen’s second concert programme, performed on 24 and 25 November, features the premiere of the orchestral version of Mustonen’s symphony Taivaanvalot [Heavenly lights] and Sibelius’s Lemminkäinen. The soloist in Mustonen’s work is international star tenor Ian Bostridge.

Ring ohne Worte and John Williams 90

The highlights of the season further include concerts dedicated to the music of Richard Wagner and John Williams and concerts conducted by our Principal Guest Conductor Julian Rachlin.

The autumn begins with Ring ohne Worte, a compilation of highlights from Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle, from the opening measures of Rheingold through the mythical journeys of Walküre and Siegfried to the final notes of Götterdämmerung. Film composer and five-time Oscar winner John Williams turned 90 in February 2022. Some of the greatest hits from his extensive output are featured at the concerts on 29 and 30 September, including music from Star Wars, E.T., Schindler’s List and Harry Potter. Rachlin brings works such as Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique and Mozart’s Violin Concertos to the Concert Hall on 10 and 11 November and performs with viola player Sarah McElravy on 1 and 2 December.

Complete programme:

1–2 Sep        Finals of the XIV Turku Cello Competition
8–9 Sep        The Ring without words
15 Sep          Rhapsody in blue
22 Sep          For the Uncommon Woman
25 Sep          Afternoon with Debussy and Prokofiev
29–30 Sep    John Williams 90: Masterpieces of the silver screen
7 Oct             Jaakko Kuusisto in memoriam
9 Oct             Time travel in Paris
13–14 Oct     Clarinetfest
15 Oct           Vivaldi for kids: Four Seasons in one day
26 Oct           Finnish sounds
3 Nov            Requiem
6 Nov            Voices of women of our time
10–11 Nov    Fantastic Symphony
17–18 Nov    From Bard to Bolero
24–25 Nov    On the trail of the Kalevala
1–2 Dec        Rachlin & McElravy
4 Dec            Entr’acte
6 Dec            City of Turku Independence Day gala concert
9 Dec            Christmas comes with a song