MALIN BROMAN & PEKKA KUUSISTO
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Join concert master Malin Broman, pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips and Finnish star violinist Pekka Kuusisto with musicians from the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra on a musical voyage around the Baltic Sea. Sveriges Radio Channel 2 presenters Sara Norling and Johan Korssell have taken a plunge and discovered some musical gems from around the Baltic. An intimate and colorful concert experience is promised.
Musicians from the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra:
Per Öman, violin
Malin William-Olsson, violin
Iskandar Komilov, violin
Hanna Matell, violin
Hanna Göran, violin
Lachlan O’Donnell, violin
Catherine Ribes, viola
Eriikka Nylund, viola
Diana Crafoord, viola
Ulrika Edström, violoncell
Aleksei Kiseliov, violoncell
Rick Stotijn, double bass
Malin Broman, musical direction, violin and viola
Malin Broman is First Concertmaster of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and an internationally sought-after soloist, having visited the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, and the Gothenburg Symphony, among others.
From 2015 to 2020, Malin served as Artistic Director of the Musica Vitae Chamber Orchestra, and succeeded Sakari Oramo as Artistic Director of the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra in 2019. She has also appeared as musical director/soloist with Tapiola Sinfonietta, Scottish Ensemble, Nordic Chamber Orchestra, Västerås Sinfonietta, Trondheim Soloists, Lapland Chamber Orchestra and the ACO Collective – the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s string ensemble.
Over the last few years, Broman has performed world premieres of violin concertos by Britta Byström, Andrea Tarrodi and Daniel Nelson. She has recorded over 30 discs, among them Carl Nielsen’s and Britta Byström’s concertos. Her recording of Mendelssohn’s double concerto for violin and piano with Musica Vitae and Simon Crawford Phillips was nominated for a Grammy in 2019. She has also made many recordings with celebrated ensemble the Kungsbacka Piano Trio.
Among Malin Broman’s latest recordings can be mentioned an album with music by Laura Netzel, as well as a recording with the Ostrobothnia Chamber Orchestra, Stockholm Diary, with works by, among others, Salonen and Stravinsky. In the spring of 2020, Broman filmed a noted recording of her playing all eight parts of Felix Mendelssohn’s String Octet. Since then she has made another two recordings according to a similar concept, A Room of One´s Own to Malin Broman x 8 by Britta Byström, and a recording with the solo contra bassist of The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rick Stotijn.
Malin Broman is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and Professor of Viola at the Edsbergs Institute of Music. In the spring of 2019, she was awarded H.M. the King’s eighth size medal for her considerable contributions to the Swedish music industry. She plays a Stradivarius violin from 1709 and a Bajoni viola from 1861, borrowed from the Järnåker Foundation.
Pekka Kuusisto, violin
Violinist, conductor and composer Pekka Kuusisto is renowned for his artistic freedom and fresh approach to repertoire. Kuusisto is Artistic Director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor & Artistic Co-Director: Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (from 23/24). He is also Artistic Partner with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra, a Collaborative Partner of the San Francisco Symphony, and Artistic Best Friend of Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.
Kuusisto is an enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music. In recent seasons Kuusisto has premiered new works by Sauli Zinovjev, Daníel Bjarnason, Anders Hillborg, Philip Venables and Andrea Tarrodi. He is also a gifted improviser and regularly engages with people across the artistic spectrum. Recent projects have included collaborations with Hauschka and Kosminen, Dutch neurologist Erik Scherder, pioneer of electronic music Brian Crabtree, eminent jazz-trumpeter Arve Henriksen, juggler Jay Gilligan, accordionist Dermot Dunne and folk artist Sam Amidon.
Kuusisto has released several recordings, notably for Ondine and BIS. With Pentatone, Kuusisto and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra presented the album First Light in 2021, featuring the world premiere recording of Nico Muhly’s violin concerto, Shrink. Kuusisto has recently recorded Ades’ Violin Concerto with Aurora and Nicolas Collon for Deutsche Grammophon, Hillborg’s Bach Materia and Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Nos.3 and 4 with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Thomas Dausgaard for BIS and Daniel Bjarnason’s Violin Concerto with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra with the composer conducting for Sono Luminus. Past releases include Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Noesis concerto for violin and orchestra for Ondine and Sebastian Fagerlund’s violin concerto Darkness in Light for BIS, both recorded with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Hannu Lintu.
Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano and harpsichord
Simon Crawford-Phillips is a multi-festival director, renowned pianist, creative programmer with a passion for contemporary repertoire, and a chamber musician who regularly collaborates with artists such as Daniel Hope and Lawrence Power. His own ensembles include the Kungsbacka Piano Trio, and Stockholm Syndrome Ensemble. In 2017 he was appointed Artistic Adviser and Chief Conductor of Västerås Sinfonietta, now extended until 2023.
The 2019–2020 season brought debuts with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra for an extensive European tour and directing Sinfonia Varsovia in Warsaw’s Lutosławski Chain Festival. He made a return tour to the UK with Västerås Sinfonietta, featuring soloists Paul Watkins and Lawrence Power. An acclaimed pianist, Simon performs in premiere festivals and concert halls across Europe. In the 2022-23 season, he will appear with the Nash Ensemble at Wigmore Hall in London, together with Lawrence Power in the chamber music series Chichester Chamber Concerts and at the West Wycombe Chamber Music Festival.
Simon is the Artistic Director of the Change Music Festival in Norra Halland, Västerås Music Festival and Co-Artistic Director of the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival. Simon was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2010 and currently teaches at the Gothenburg Academy of Music and Drama.
Sara Norling, host
Johan Korssell, host
ANDREA TARRODI: Acanthes double concerto, 25 min
Acanthes was written for Pekka Kuusisto, Malin Broman and Musica Vitae. The piece was inspired by Matisse ́s famous ”Acanthes” – a major work from the series of large-format “papiers découpés”. The papiers découpés are very special “paintings” as they consist of numerous layers. They are drawings (the establishment of contours), paintings (the composition of colored paper shapes), and sculptures (the cutting of the paper).
I tried to work in the same way with this composition, translating the shapes and colours from the painting into music. Interleaved with this idea are also two folk melodies. When composing the piece I had the pleasure of receiving several videos with Swedish and Finnish folk songs recorded by Pekka. I chose ”Kopsin Jonas” and ”Brudmarsch efter Larshöga Jonke”. The two songs appear in fragments throughout the piece and towards the ending one hears them in full bloom.”
Text: Andrea Tarrodi
PETERIS VASKS: Dance from the Piano Quartet, 5 min
The Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks started out as an orchestra musician in the 1960s and ‘70s, and later studied composition at the Riga Conservatory where he was inspired by Polish composers including Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki. Vasks is among today’s most loved and frequently played composers. He has written more than 70 works within most genres, but with an emphasis on chamber and choral music. His Piano Quartet from 2001 is one of his most ambitious chamber music pieces. The six movements take the listener on an emotional rollercoaster ride. The second movement, the Allegro, is in the form of suggestive, rhythmic dances.
Text: Axel Lindhe
ARVO PÄRT: Spiegel im Spiegel, 9 min
The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt was struggling with writer’s block from the end of the1960s until the mid-1970s when he was trying to find a style that worked for him. He eventually discovered that he could use inspiration from old forms, such as Gregorian chant and Renaissance music. Pärt invented the unique compositional technique Tintinnabuli (from the Latin tintinnabulum, ”bell”), and the meditative piece Spiegel im Spiegel was the first work in which he used this technique.
Text: Axel Lindhe
SAULI ZINOVJEV: Recharged. For strings, 6 min
The Finnish composer Sauli Zinovjev, born in 1988, is hard to categorise. He began as a rock musician – until his late teens he played the guitar in a band. His career as a composer took off after he attended the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and the Hochschule für Musik at Karlsruhe. Zinovjev primarily writes orchestral music. Tonight’s piece, Recharched, for strings, is performed for the first time in Sweden.
Text: Axel Lindhe
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, 15 min
Bach’s famous Brandenburg concertos are all dated 1721, but they were probably composed earlier, most likely when he worked as Kapellmeister at Köthen. The Brandenburg concertos are today considered among the foremost works of the Baroque period, but the fact that the music still exists is a happy coincidence. Bach dedicated the six concertos to the Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, but they were never acknowledged, and the music was sold at auction after the prince’s death in1734. Fortunately, the score was discovered in an archive at the National Library in Berlin a hundred years later. The captivating, richly melodious third concerto is perhaps the most popular of the six.
Text: Axel Lindhe
Concert length: 1 hour 30 minutes (no intermission)
About the concert
The Baltic Sea is where guillemots breed, three species of seal dive and white-tailed eagles spread their wings. The brackish water of the Baltic Sea laps the shores of nine countries. It is a sea that is almost completely landlocked, a sea that unites. A chamber musical voyage of discovery on such a sea will be full of variety, but we set sail under a common flag.
“Nearly all the countries that border the Baltic Sea are represented on our trip: Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Germany. The cultural exchange between these countries has always come naturally,” says Sara Norling, one of the guides on our journey.
Bach’s Baroque music and Andrea Tarrodi’s Acanthes– which was first performed by violinists Pekka Kuusisto and Malin Broman in 2018 – may seem far apart, but despite the two composers’ different idioms, there are shared elements.
“Although the programme is very diverse in terms of style, folk music influences are found in each of the works performed. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 ends in a gigue, and Andrea Tarrodi composed her airy, sonorous piece for Pekka and Malin. She refers to their respective backgrounds in Finnish and Swedish folk music, which both feature in the work. Even the Dance from Piano Quartet by the normally subdued Pēteris Vasks has a rhythmic drive inspired by Latvian folk music.
Sauli Zinoviev performed a piano concert he had written for Víkingur Ólafsson at Berwaldhallen as recently as in February. Conductor was Klaus Mäkelä. Recharged for strings premiered in April 2019, also under the baton of Klaus Mäkelä. The piece is dedicated to “The conductor hero of my life,” jokingly referring to whichever conductor happens to be conducting the work.
“Zinoviev composes accessible, colourful music. The finale of Recharged is passionate and intense.”
Arvo Pärt composed his breakthrough Spiegel im Spiegel before he left Estonia in the 1970s. It has become immensely popular, it has feature in innumerable television and film productions and is available for many different instrumentations. Performed here is the original version for violin and piano.
“The piece is simple with basic triads and a melody that slowly rises and repeatedly turns.”
Sara Norling will guide the Berwaldhallen and radio audiences on the journey together with Johan Korssell.
“We will attempt to say something about this wonderful music, but above all we want to emphasise the importance of the Baltic Sea as a bearer of culture. We will sail on little known waters together with the musicians, which involves some musical surprises and improvisations.
Text: Anna Hedelius
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