Orchestra, Conductor, String Quartets
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the first professional symphony orchestra to be founded in the Nordic countries, has been operating without a break for 132 years. It has grown from a band of 36 players to an orchestra of 102 regular members giving concerts attended by a total audience of a good 100,000 a year at the Helsinki Music Centre and abroad.
Between 1892 and 1923 the HPO gave the first performances of almost all the symphonic works by Jean Sibelius with the composer himself conducting. The HPO’s founder and first Chief Conductor Robert Kajanus was succeeded by Paavo Berglund, Leif Segerstam, John Storgårds and other conductors of note. Conductor Susanna Mälkki has been appointed the next chief conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. She begun a three-year term as Chief Conductor of the Orchestra in autumn 2016.
Works by Sibelius and Rautavaara have featured on the highly-acclaimed discs made by the HPO. The disc of songs by Sibelius, featuring soprano Soile Isokoski and Leif Segerstam, was awarded the MIDEM Classical Award in Cannes in 2007, and Towards the Horizon, disc containing music by Einojuhani Rautavaara under the baton of John Storgårds, the Gramophone Award in 2012.
Anna-Maria Helsing has gained outstanding reputation with leading Scandinavian orchestras and opera houses. Simultaneously to her studies in the class of Leif Segerstam the Finnish conductor was chosen to take part in the International Conductor’s Academy Allianz to be trained by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel with the Philharmonic Orchestra.
Upcoming highlights include her visits to the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Norrköping Symphony, Helsingborg Symphony, Iceland Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Tampere Philharmonic and her debuts with the orchestra Orchestra of the Norrlands Operan.
Laura Vikman, violin
Silva Koskela, violin
Tiila Kangas, viola
Ulla Lampela, cello
The Tempera Quartet, celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2017, has become one of the most established chamber music ensembles in their native Finland. Best known for their praised Sibelius recordings, the quartet has been hailed for their versatile concert progammes both in Finland and abroad. The Tempera Quartet has performed at most Finnish chamber music festivals – among them the Kuhmo, Helsinki, Turku and Naantali festivals – as well as in most European countries, Japan, the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates.
In their early years, the quartet rapidly gained prominence as an outstanding ensemble, and for the 2000/2001 season the quartet was selected for the “Rising Stars” scheme of the European Concert Hall Organization. This resulted in successful début recitals at the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Cologne Philharmonie, the Athens Concert Hall and Symphony Hall, Birmingham. The quartet was nominated by the ‘Finland Festivals’ organization as Young Artist of the Year in 2001.
From 2004 until 2007 the Tempera Quartet was responsible for the artistic direction of the Riihimäki Summer Concerts chamber music festival. Their complete recording of Jean Sibelius’s works for string quartet (BIS Records), including several world première recordings, as well as their recording of Pehr Henrik Nordgren’s 10th and 11th string quartets (ALBA Records) have met with great international acclaim. The Tempera Quartet has had a broad musical education with studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Edsberg Music Institute in Sweden and the Royal College of Music in London.
Uusi Helsinki Quartet
Taija Angervo, violin
Petri Aarnio, violin
Ilari Angervo, viola
Tuomas Lehto, cello