Organised between 7 and 18 June, Naantali Music Festival will welcome two leading international orchestras to crown the Finnish cultural summer in 2016: Sinfonietta Cracovia and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra.The concert on Thursday 9 June will also be the last opportunity for audiences to see and hear Okko Kamu taking charge of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in the capacity of Chief Conductor.The programme for this occasion will include a violin concerto by Jaakko Kuusisto commissioned and performed by soloist Elina Vähälä.Previously performed in the USA and in Vienna, this concerto will now be heard for the first time at Naantali Music Festival.
The Polish Sinfonietta Cracovia is one of Europe’s most highly esteemed orchestras. Its concert on Thursday 16 June will include Beethoven’s piano concerto no. 2 sensitively interpreted by 1986 International Tchaikovsky Competition gold medallist Barry Douglas. The programme for the second Sinfonietta Cracoviaconcert conducted by the distinguished composerKrzysztof Penderecki on Friday 17 June will include the conductor’s viola concerto arranged for cello and clarinet. Michel Lethiec will serve as soloist for the clarinet arrangement as this work is heard for the first time at Naantali. The solo section of the arrangement for cello will be interpreted by our long-serving Artistic Director, Professor Arto Noras. Krzysztof Penderecki is unquestionably one of the most important living composers of our age, and we are greatly honoured to have yet another opportunity to celebrate his sustained collaboration with Naantali Music Festival.
The career of Ralf Gothóni will be celebrated again in song at his 70th birthday concert on Monday 13 June, where the soloists will include the wonderful soprano Soile Isokoski and baritone Tommi Hakala. Tenor Topi Lehtipuu will also return to Naantali Music Festival on Sunday 12 June after a long absence. Lehtipuu has recently been appointed Artistic Director of the Helsinki Festival. Already familiar to audiences at Savonlinna Opera Festival, the soprano Angelika Klas will now make her Naantali Music Festival début. A concert entitled From Shade to Sunshine on Wednesday 15 June will feature the world-class artists Radovan Vlatković (horn) and Patric Gallois (flute), together with Ismo Eskelinen (guitar).
Naantali Music Festival has enjoyed exclusive permission since the early 1980s to arrange outdoor concerts in the grounds of Kultaranta, the official summer residence of the President of Finland. The programme of our garden concert on Sunday 12 June will include works by Antonio Vivaldi, Atso Almila, Dmitri Shostakovich, Jean Sibelius and Gioacchino Rossini, interpreted by a host of Naantali Music Festival favourite artists including violinist Hagaï Shaham and cellists Ivan Monighetti and Samuli Peltonen. The concert will be suitable for the whole family, with Almila’s choral work based on the poetry of Heli Laaksonen sure to delight listeners of all ages. This work will be performed by the Tapiola Choir and the Key Ensemble conducted by Teemu Honkanen.
Naantali Music Festival will also feature a dance event this summer. The dance work Kristina choreographed by Marjo Kuusela will invigorate the environs of Kirkkopuisto as a free admission prelude to the main ticketed performance in the church on Friday 10 June.The work combines movement, the human voice and social experience, inviting the audience to mediaeval Naantali as viewed through the eyes of a young woman facing a major change in her life. The musical accompaniment for this performance will be provided by the mediaeval vocal music specialists Vox Silentii.
The mood of Naantali Music Festival will continue into the small hours with a late night concert from leading jazz musicians Jukka Perko (saxophone) and Iiro Rantala (piano) at Raisio Church on Monday 13 June.The tones of the talented vocal ensemble Club for Five will also be heard at the Kaivohuone restaurant and at Naantali Spa on Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 June.