Turku Philharmonic Orchestra’s programme for the spring 2016 season has been published. Following its 225th anniversary, the orchestra will be experimenting with a lighter atmosphere as well as exploring demanding major works this spring. During the spring season visitors can also experience mysterious eastern tones, titanic musical works, popular classics, and heartrendingly beautiful romance. You can also listen to masterpieces for string and wind ensembles at chamber music concerts. Springtime will also offer opportunities to get into a celebratory spirit, with the season culminating in the Leif Gala in May.
The spring season opens with a major production of the fiery Carmina Burana on Tuesday 14 and Friday 15 January at 7pm at the Concert Hall. Carl Orff’s renowned dramatic cantata is based on a collection of poems entitled Carmina Burana, which dates back to the Middle Ages. The work combines mysticism and magical imagery with worldly themes: extravagance, wealth and the transience of life. The concerts will be led by Chief Conductor Leif Segerstam, known for his bombastic concert productions. The Concert Hall’s stage will be filled to the brim when the orchestra and conductor are joined by soloists Kaisa Ranta, Dan Karlström and Ville Rusanen, as well as choirs Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis and Puolala’s Cantitare and Piccolo. The spectacle will be crowned with lighting design by Timo Ollila.
Titanic musical works
The spring season will offer a number of opportunities to hear some of the world’s most remarkable major classical works. February will kick off with performances of Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons on Thursday 4 and Friday 5 February. Violinist Minna Pensola will be bringing her own unique touch to the work. The concert – led by Tomas Djupsjöbacka – will also feature Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. March is set to bring with it one of the most difficult cello concertos composed: Krzysztof Penderecki’s Cello Concerto No 2, performed by the orchestra’s principal cellist Roi Ruottinen. The concert will also feature Gustav Mahler’s titanic Symphony No 1. At the Easter Concert on Friday 25 March Leif Segerstam and soloists Hanna-Leena Haapamäki, Essi Luttinen, Jussi Myllys and Nicholas Söderlund, as well as the choir Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis, will be performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s stirring Requiem, which is considered the most famous requiem composed. April will bring another major work, in the form of Antonín Dvořák’s famous Symphony No 9, a recording of which was taken on 1969’s mission to the moon. The concert, held on Friday 22 April, will also feature Kalevi Aho’s Timpani Concerto, as the début by the orchestra’s timpani section principal Ari-Pekka Mäenpää.
Entertainment, surprise and romance
The brilliant Diandra will be performing on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 April at a concert with a James Bond-esque atmosphere, led by Antti Rissanen. Surprise, curious harmonies, and exciting influences from Eastern Europe and Arabia will be the order of the day on Thursday 14 April at the Concert Hall. Clarinettist Kari Kriikku will be leading the Philharmonic Orchestra and audience on a journey on the Orient Express, treating us to tango, fado and influences from klezmer music. At the May Day concert on 1 May Schlager music stars Annika Eklund and Mikael Konttinen will be plunging into the world of Finnish hits. May is dedicated to romance. On Thursday 28 April and Friday 29 April the Concert Hall will be hosting performances of Ludwig van Beethoven’s most famous works: Violin Concerto in D major and Symphony No 7, which is also familiar from its use in a number of films. Conductor-violinist Julian Rachlin, who enchanted the audience with last year’s Mozart programme, will be bringing his own unique interpretation of the pieces.
Gala and celebrations
The celebratory atmosphere will continue into 2016. Chief Conductor Leif Segerstam led the Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time in Turku on 19 May 1966. Now, on the same day 50 years later – Thursday 19 May 2016, the bombastic Leif Gala will transport the audience back through the manifold musical life of Leif Segerstam. We will travel through time on the wings of history at the hosted concert, as we listen to the high points of Segerstam’s musical career. The concert’s soloists will be soprano Susanna Andersson and baritone Waltteri Torikka. The spring season will also see celebrations on Thursday 11 February in the form of the 20th Cathedral Music Week festival at Turku Cathedral, with organ soloist Jan Lehtola performing the début of Mikko Heiniö’s Organ Concerto. In March fans of wind music will have cause to celebrate, when the national Puhallinpäivät Wind Days are held in Turku. The Puhallinpäivät festival will be kicked off by Turku Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday 11th March at the Concert Hall with Radovan Vlatković, one of the world’s leading French horn soloists, and conclude on Sunday 13 March in the Sigyn Hall with the roguish Helten Brass Ensemble.
The programme for the entire season is available online at www.tfo.fi/en. The paper brochure is available from locations including the Concert Hall and ticket sales points. The electronic brochure can be found here.