The programme of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra for the spring 2020 season has been published, and ticket sales opened. The programme of the spring season celebrates the year of music 2020.
The year 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of the grand name of classical music, Ludwig van Beethoven, and music communities around the world have noted this. The programme of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra acknowledges Beethoven with three concerts. Next year also marks the 100th birthday of jazz legend Charlie Parker, and the Roaring Twenties are here again. The Moomin characters created by Tove Jansson also celebrate their 75th anniversary in 2020. The Muumiperheen lauluretki concert takes children on a musical journey to the Moominvalley.
In the picture: soloists of opening concert: Baiba Skride, Harriet Krijgh, Lauma Skride.
Spring season begins on 9–10 January with Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. The work is performed by a trio each excelling with their instruments: violinist Baiba Skride, cellist Harriet Krijgh, and pianist Lauma Skride. Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 2 is also heard during the evening conducted by Andreas Spering.
The principal guest conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Julian Rachlin, presents a programme celebrating Beethoven in Turku on 13–14 February. Rachlin’s successful period as principal guest conductor was recently extended for 2020–2022. The concerts will present Beethoven’s beloved and significant works: Ouverture from The Creatures of Prometheus, the heroic Piano Concerto No. 5 with pianist Denis Kozhukin, and the beautiful Pastoral Symphony.
The chamber music concert on 17 May also presents a programme of Beethoven: Serenade in D major and the Razumovsky string quartet. The performing musicians are Marjaana Holva, violin, Susanna Suorttanen, violin, Helinä Nissi, viola, Larimatti Punelpuro, cello, and Anu Honkanen, flute.
On 31 January, Emma Salokoski will delve into the production of Nordic favourite artist Eva Dahlgren. She will perform songs from the album ‘Jag vill se min älskade komma från de vilda’, which Dahlgren made in cooperation with Esa-Pekka Salonen, arranger Anders Hillborg, and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. The Emma Award winning Salokoski will also play her own pieces, arranged for the orchestra.
On 16 April, saxophonist Jukka Perko will take the stage with the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra to interpret arrangements of old American musical songs made for Charlie Parker in the 1940s, backed up by the chamber orchestra and jazz quartet. The dazzling skill of Perko, who is deeply familiar with Parker’s style and has even played with Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestra, has been compared to a young Parker.
On 1 May, festivities are vibrant with brilliant singer Aili Ikonen and conductor Jaakko Kuusisto. The concert will include Ikonen’s own hits, as well as selected borrowed tunes from various artists, arranged for the symphony orchestra.
The spring will bring the Moomin concert for children on 28 March. The concert will present orchestra arrangements of Moomin songs from the ‘Muumiperheen lauluretki’ album, winner of the 2015 Emma Award for children’s albums. Eija Ahvo and Markus Bäckman are responsible for song and presenting. The Piccolo choir from the Puolala music classes also performs at the concert.
Finnish first performances and a premiere
The spring season will also offer plenty of new music. Finnish first performances take place on two consecutive weeks in January. Thursday 16 January will bring the Finnish first performance of Poul Ruders’ Sound and Simplicity for accordion and orchestra by conductor Christian Kluxen and accordionist Bjarke Mogensen. The work is written for Mogensen. The concert also includes Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun by Claude Debussy, and Petruška by Igor Stravinsky.
On 23–24 January, conductor Tianyi Lu and violinist Huang Mengla will introduce Chinese music. Mengla will perform the Finnish first performance of He Zhanhao and Chen Gang’s Butterfly Lover’s Violin Concerto, one of the most popular orchestra works in Chinese music. The programme of the night also includes Huang Ruo’s Folk Songs, and concludes with Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’.
February will start with the concert on 6–7 February by conductor Jukka Untamala and violinist Pekka Kuusisto. The evening is dedicated to northern composers, and the programme will include Kuusisto’s interpretation of Carl Nielsen’s violin concerto and Jean Sibelius’ dark Symphony No. 4. The concert will open with the Finnish first performance of Outi Tarkiainen’s Midnight Sun Variations. Tarkiainen is one of the most successful Finnish composers of her generation.
One of the best moments of the spring season will be experienced on 6–7 May. Celebrated conductor John Storgårds, recipient of the Pro Finlandia medal in 2012, will come to conduct the orchestra. Storgårds brings with him Symphony No. 6 of romantic nationalist composer Lauri Ikonen, a contemporary of Sibelius. The concert will be the premiere for the Symphony. The interpretation of violinist Rosanne Philippens of Béla Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 6 will also be heard during this significant evening.
Interesting comprehensive concerts
The coming season will provide programmes compiled around various themes. On 6 March, the theme country is France. The programme includes French music from the 19th and 20th centuries from Francis Poulenc, Hector Berlioz, Ernest Chausson, and Igor Stravinsky. Alexandre Bloch will come to conduct the Philharmonic Orchestra, and Liza Kerob will be the violin soloist. Bloch first conducted the orchestra in spring 2019.
Tenor Topi Lehtipuu will sing on 12–13 March and, together with horn player Jukka Harju, perform Benjamin Britten’s Serenade, op. 31. The concert conducted by Sian Edwards will also include music from Maurice Ravel and Antonín Dvořák.
Conductor Anu Tali will present an interesting programme on Thursday 19 March. Amazing cellist Marko Ylönen will play Canto di Speranza by Bernd Alois Zimmermann, known for his modern tunes. The programme also includes the pearl of the production of Edward Elgar, the Enigma Variations, and the dreamy Chant du Ménestrel by Alexandr Glazunov.
Pianist Andreas Boyde and conductor Jonathan Stockhammer bring America to the Turku Concert Hall on 23–24 April. Boyd will master George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, a jazz-influenced work for piano and orchestra. The evening of tunes from the 1920s and 1930s will also include music from Samuel Barber, Ernest Bloch, Roy Harris, and Aaron Copland.
Julian Rachlin will perform for the second time this spring on 13–14 May, this time with violist Sarah McElravy. The dazzling duo made the audience wild in Turku in 2017. The stars, who also play the most significant stages of the world, will perform the Double Concerto by Max Bruch. The programme of the concert will also include music from some of the most famous composers in the romantic era, Franz Schubert, and Johannes Brahms.
In addition, the spring season will offer wonderful chamber music concerts, the Children’s Music Salon for the youngest music enthusiasts, the Good Friday Easter concert, and the Young Soloists’ concert, which concludes the season. On 26–30 May, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra will play at the early summer concert tour of small ensembles in beautiful historical buildings and cityscapes around Turku.