The full program and concert schedule for the upcoming PianoEspoo Festival is launched! We held an opening event last weekend in Sello Hall as several of my colleagues joined me for performances previewing the “piano takeover” taking place in Espoo and Helsinki in the coming autumn.
Emil Holmström and I performed Steve Reich’s minimalist classic, the Piano Phase, accompanied by a light-installation created by Nina Sivèn staging the opening of the piece in total darkness, well, she gave us a faint glow on the keyboards making it possible to actually find the right keys and the instruments on stage… Matleena Nyman performed Mozart’s C-Major Chamber Concerto with the Kamus String Quartet and Juhani Lagerspetz gave another spectacular example of his impressionistic touch with magnificent renderings of Debussy’s Image II and L’isle Joyeuse. Roope Gröndahl had taken on a massive work in learning Tvashtar Catena by Ari Romppanen, a piece originally commissioned by and dedicated to Arto Satukangas, the late virtuoso who unfortunately didn’t manage to premiere the work due to his unexpected and early passing last year. Hats off for Roope for a fantastic job!
It’s been a tremendous joy to plan the upcoming festival. Our Managing Director, Veera Paasi and I have worked hard during the past year, gotten great support from our board, and received numerous tokens of good-will from the participating orchestras and music institutes for many of our program propositions.
2015 is a great year to celebrate piano music: Jean Sibelius would be 150 years old and Pierre Boulez just turned 90. The piano works of the two highly contrasting figures, the Nordic national romantic and the West European avant-garde maverick, make the spine of our programming this year. Adding classics and hidden gems from the “repertoire or repertoires” completes what we have to offer this year. Check it all out at www.pianoespoo.fi and join us for the fest in the fall!
Images: Maarit Kytöharju