arrow
TALK

President Tarja Halonen in a conversation with world famous violinist Pekka Kuusisto.

August 29

Aired 5:59 pm

All clips from this day

  • TALK

    Tarja Halonen (FIN) in conversation with Pekka Kuusisto (FIN)

  • PÄRT ACCORDING TO KALJUSTE

    Pärt accordning to Kaljuste - Music of all colours

Thursday August 29

Since Tõnu Kaljuste became the Radio Choir’s chief conductor in 1994, his countryman Arvo Pärt’s music has become a part of the Swedish concert repertoire. The characteristic and seemingly simple music has a depth and complexity that not all conductors are able to convey. Through their close collaboration over many years, Kaljuste has become the world’s foremost Pärt expert. Here, he and Tallinn’s Chamber Orchestra will perform an extensive programme, from Für Alina from 1976 to Vater Unser from 2011. The evening’s conversation between President Tarja Halonen (FIN) and famous violinist Pekka Kuusisto (FIN) will be live-streamed from cultural centre Hanaholmen outside Helsinki.

Day Pass

Download programme
  • 16:45

    Foyer concert

    Upper Foyer, Berwaldhallen

    Chamber music with students from Lilla Akademien.

  • 17:00

    Foyer Talk

    Upper Foyer, Berwaldhallen

    The Cube-Method is primarily aimed at high schools to highlight human rights, human obligations and civil courage. The concept is 30 black steel cubes, each cube representing a human right. The students are given the opportunity to creatively interpret one of the thirty human rights from the UN Declaration of Human Rights. This is done through texts, images, film, theater, or installations inside the cube. When the project is over, all 30 cubes are gathered into a public exhibition in Kungsträdgården in Stockholm. During the Baltic Sea Festival we have one of the cubes outside the Berwaldhallen entrance – don’t miss to have a look on your way to or from the festival. The talk will be in Swedish.

  • 17:30

    PRECONCERT TALK

    Lower Foyer, Berwaldhallen

    Pre Concert talk with Katarina Lindblad.

  • 18:00

    TALK - Tarja Halonen (FIN) and Pekka Kuusisto (FIN)

    Berwaldhallen

    Hanaholmen – cultural center for Sweden and Finland has invited President Tarja Halonen to a conversation with world violinist Pekka Kuusisto, who as a 19 year old in 1995 won the prestigious Sibelius violin contest. Tarja Halonen was the President of Finland 2000-12 and has also been Foreign and Justice Minister – on all posts as the first woman. After the presidency, she has continued to promote welfare and equality in the world through, among other things, several important assignments for the UN and through the chairmanship of Helsinki University Board, the National Gallery Board and the World Nature Fund delegation. Pekka Kuusisto started playing violin at age 3 and came third in the Carl Nielsen competition as a 16-year-old. In 1995, when he won the Sibelius violin competition, he also won the Kuopio violin competition. Pekka Kuusisto founded in 1997, with his brother Jaakko, Tusbysjön’s chamber music, which today is called Our Festival. In 2013, Kuusisto received the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Music Prize and he has performed as a soloist and concert master for several chamber orchestras around the world. To bring together these active people in a conversation about culture and sustainability has great potential to create a lively discussion.

    Participants

    • Tarja Halonen was the president of Finland in 2000-2012 and has also been foreign and justice minister. On all posts she has been the first woman. After the presidency, she has continued to work to promote welfare and equality in the world. Among other things, she has several high-level assignments within the UN, such as being a member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Advisory Board of Mediation and United Nations Global Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction. In Finland, she holds the chairmanship for, among others, Helsinki University Board, the National Gallery Board and the World Nature Fund delegation.

    • Pekka Kuusisto started playing violin at age 3 and came third in the Carl Nielsen competition as a 16-year-old. In 1995 when Kuusisto won the Sibelius violin competition, he also won the Kuopio violin competition. Together with his brother, he has founded Tusbysjön’s chamber music, which today is called ACO Collective. In 2013, Pekka Kuusisto received the Nordic Council of Ministers’ music prize. He appears regularly as a soloist and concert master for several chamber orchestras around the world

  • 19:00

    PÄRT ACCORDING TO KALJUSTE – MUSIC OF ALL COLOURS

    Berwaldhallen

    Since Tõnu Kaljuste became the Swedish Radio Choir’s chief conductor in 1994, his countryman Arvo Pärt’s music has become a part of the Swedish concert repertoire. The characteristic and seemingly simple music has a depth and complexity that not all conductors are able to convey. Through their close collaboration over many years, Kaljuste has become the world’s foremost Pärt expert. Here, he and Tallinn’s Chamber Orchestra will perform an extensive programme, from Für Alina from 1976 to Vater Unser from 2011.

    Read more

    Many music lovers might know Arvo Pärt mainly through his choral music, either as one of many devoted Pärt lovers among the listeners, or as one of all the singers that have been fascinated by the seemingly simple, but deceptively complex sounds he builds. Unlike the avant-gardists of the 20th century, Pärt paints with pure, bright colours: triads, suspensions, tension and relaxation that everyone can understand and receive. But dismissing the music as simple or banal for this reason would be to do the music and the composer a great disservice. Beneath the surface is a depth and complexity that require thought and awareness from the interpreter; otherwise the music risks becoming a nice surface, but not much else.

    Pärt’s countryman, Estonian conductor Tõnu Kaljuste, has, for many years, had a close collaboration with the composer, and has performed many of his works. It’s not for nothing that Kaljuste is known as the world’s foremost Pärt expert and interpreter, a person who has really managed to bring out the whole spectrum of colours in the music without getting stuck in the attractive surface. Here, he gives us a bouquet of Pärt’s instrumental pieces, such as Für Alina from 1976, which introduced the world to “tintinnabuli,” the self-termed style that has become Pärt’s trademark.

    Pärt’s earlier works were inspired both by neoclassicists like Prokofiev and Bartók, and by Schönberg, serialism and twelve-tone technique. But when his music was banned by the Soviet government – Pärt grew up in the occupied Estonia – and he also found himself in an artistic cul-de-sac, he turned to early Western music, Gregorian song, the Renaissance, and the very oldest polyphony. When he returned from this artistic hibernation, Für Alina and other works showed a reborn composer, in some ways. All works at this concert were created after Pärt’s musical resting period.

    From the meditative Spiegel im Spiegel – mirror in mirror – to L’abbé Agathon, based on a story from the time of the oldest Christian monasteries, an extensive portrait of a humble, honest and fascinating composer is drawn. Even though he is the most performed composer of our time, he’s no prima donna, nor holier-than-thou. In 2007, when he was named an honorary Doctor of Theology at the University of Freiburg, he told a moving story that is typical for him as a person:

    “Some thirty years ago, I sought desperately for someone who could tell me how a composer was able to write music. One day, I met a simple street-sweeper who gave me a noteworthy answer: ‘Oh, the composer should probably love every single little sound.’ From that moment on, my musical thoughts moved in a completely new direction. Nothing was the same again.”

    Text: David Saulesco

    Participants

    • The Tallinn Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1993 by the conductor Tõnu Kaljuste, formed from a string orchestra at the Tallinn Conservatory. At its core, it is still a string orchestra, but it is now complemented with brass and wind musicians from the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and the Estonian National Opera. The orchestra has made celebrated recordings of works by several Baltic composers, such as Crystallisatio by Erkki-Sven Tüür, Litany and In principio by Arvo Pärt and Neenia by Heino Eller. They regularly tour and perform at festivals in for example Schleswig-Holstein, Turin and Bremen. The orchestra’s guest composers include Juha Kangas, Terje Tonnesen, Kristjan Järvi and John Storgårds.

    • The Estonian conductor Tõnu Kaljuste is familiar to Swedish audiences after his time as the Swedish Radio Choir’s Chief Conductor from 1994–2000. This versatile musician has been a driving force in awakening interest in the Nordic region to music from the Baltic countries. He founded the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and then, ten years later, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, both of which have become very successful and perform at the world’s major concert venues and festivals. He is known for his interpretations of the works of Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis, and has won prestigious awards for his many recordings. Among his latest collaborations are the Norrlandsoperan Symphony Orchestra, the Wrocław Philharmonic and the choir at Orquestra Gulbenkian in Lisbon.

    • Estonian lyrical soprano Maria Listra has a great love for theatre and music alike, which has inspired a multifaceted career as a singer. She was only young when she started performing in Estonia’s foremost concert halls, and she has sung with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, the Finnish-Estonian Baroque Orchestra, Corelli Baroque Orchestra, and Voces Musicales, among others. Apart from theatre projects, she has many chamber pieces and oratorios on her repertoire, such as Handel’s Messias, both Johann Sebastian’s and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Magnificat, countryman Rudolf Tobias’ Joonas, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Estonian-Swedish Eduard Tubin’s Amores. Listra has also, since 2013, performed at recurring visits to the Vanemuine Theatre in Tartu, playing roles such as Miss Silberklang in Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor, Christine in Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, and Franziska Caligari in Strauss’ Wienerblut. Listra is also passionate about inspiring a younger audience to discover and partake of musical drama and musical theatre, and has, for many years, done school shows and workshops to encourage schoolchildren to experience many different forms of music.

    • Violinist Harry Traksmann has been a member of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra since 1993, and was appointed concert master three years after joining. As an established violin soloist, he has performed with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, to mention but a few. Among the other ensembles he’s worked with, we can mention Estonian contemporary music ensembles NYYD Ensemble, YXUS Ensemble, and New Tallinn Trio. In 2014, he started teaching the violin at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn, where he studied himself in the 1990s, taught by Jüri Gerretz. In 1996, the same year he was appointed concert master of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, he was awarded a certificate at the Heino Eller International Violin Competition.

    • Estonian violinist Robert Traksmann is currently finishing his Master’s studies at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin, where he has been taught by Kolja Blacher and others. He has already performed in prominent ensembles like Gürzenich Orchester in Cologne, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Karajan-Akademie at the Berlin Philharmonics, YXUS Ensemble, and Vox Clamantis. He has also been a concert master for a number of youth symphony orchestras, and performed as a violin soloist with the Pärnu City Orchestra, Germany’s Youth Symphony Orchestra in Tübingen, the Virumaa Chamber Orchestra, and the Haapsalu Festival Orchestra. In 2010, he won first prize in the Pärnu Violinists’ Competition, as well as the special awards of both the Pärnu City Orchestra and the Eduard Tubin Society. As a chamber musician, he performs regularly with pianist Rasmus Andreas Raide and cellist Marcel Johannes Kits, a celebrated and award-winning constellation that has performed at several festivals and in concert halls across Estonia.

    • Leho Karin is one of Estonia’s most qualified cellists. He’s been a member of the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra since 1993, performed in contemporary music ensemble NYYD Ensemble from 1993 to 2012, and has been a member of the YXUS Ensemble since 2013. He has also played the viola da gamba in ensemble GambarinG, and has taught the cello at Tallinn’s upper secondary music school since 1995. As a solo cellist, he has performed in Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Russia with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Saarbrücken’s Radio Orchestra, and more. He’s toured Europe, North America and Japan with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. He’s performed at some of Europe’s foremost contemporary music festivals, such as ArtGenda in Denmark, Baltic Arts in England, and Klangspuren in Austria with the NYYD Ensemble. Leho Karin’s solo repertoire includes the big classical pieces by Haydn and Tchaikovsky, but also 20th century works like Britten’s Cello Symphony, Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Mania, and Eduard Tubin’s incomplete cello concerto. He has collaborated with many prominent Estonian composers, such as Galina Grigorjeva, Erkki-Sven Tüür and Helena Tulve.

    Programme