Naantali Music Festival: 40 years at the pinnacle of chamber music

Naantali Music Festival will play on a larger and more diverse scale than ever before this summer, as we celebrate our 40th festival between 4 and 15 June 2019 with several world première performances, impressive orchestral visits and leading international musicians. The expanses of Church Park have also been reserved to accommodate the first visit of the world famous cello metal band Apocalyptica.

Clarinetist and conductor Osmo Vänskä (Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco)

Artistic Director Arto Noras has compiled a spectacular programme to mark our 40th anniversary with a total of four world premières, the first of which is already scheduled for the Winter Concert on 9 March when we shall hear the suite when not if (Five Love Songs) by Olli Kortekangas. Another Kortekangas première will grace the opening concert of the festival proper on Wednesday 5 June, when the Lahti Symphony Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vänskä will lift the vaults of Naantali Church with Kortekangas’ Concerto for Violin, Clarinet and Orchestra. The première violin soloist will be the American Erin Keefe making her début at Naantali Music Festival, while conductor Osmo Vänskä will double as clarinet soloist for the occasion.

The Tallinn Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jaakko Kuusisto will be in Naantali on Tuesday 11 June to première the conductor’s Cello Concerto. Kuusisto composed this work especially for our Artistic Director Arto Noras, who will accordingly serve as soloist at this première. On Friday 14 June we shall receive the Korean Chamber Orchestra for a première performance of Aulis Sallinen’s Chamber Music no. 10 for Violin, Harp and Strings, conducted by Ralf Gothóni with Elina Vähälä (violin) and Laura Hynninen (harp). Our fourth orchestral guest at Naantali this season will be the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra with its renowned conductor Sakari Oramo.

In addition to visiting orchestras, our milestone year will also boast ten splendid concerts of chamber music. The festival will open on Tuesday 4 June on an opus 40 theme, with opus 40 works by Chopin, Schumann, Shostakovich and Brahms. Concert artists will include Tommi Hakala (baritone), Juhani Lagerspetz (piano) and a Naantali début appearance from the leading German pianist Oliver Triendl. Other notable chamber musicians appearing at Naantali this year will include cellists Ivan Monighetti and Young Hoon Song, violinist Christian Altenburger, flautist Patrick Gallois, oboist Jean-Louis Capezzali and even Radovan Vlatković, who is widely regarded as one of the world’s most exceptional horn players. Two concerts will be held to celebrate the 70th birthday of composer Kalevi Aho, with performances of his Song of Earth on Saturday 8 June and Trio for clarinet, viola and piano on Wednesday 12 June.

The phenomenal cello ensemble Apocalyptica will perform on Saturday 8 June at an afternoon outdoor concert in Naantali Church Park and an indoor event later the same evening in Naantali Church. The début of Apocalyptica at Naantali Music Festival has been eagerly anticipated, and will add a splendid edge to our milestone year. Apocalyptica member Perttu Kivilaakso is the all-time most successful Finnish cellist to compete in the international Paulo cello competition, and Apocalyptica are probably the world’s best-known cello ensemble specialising in metal music. Their evening concert is already sold out.

Naantali Music Festival has once again been given the rare honour of arranging a concert at Kultaranta, in the garden of the official summer residence of the incumbent Finnish President. Over the years we have been able to arrange such concerts during the term of office of every President since the time of Urho Kekkonen. Our concert this year will feature Finland’s leading a cappella group Rajaton and one of the world’s best-known string ensembles, the Fine Arts Quartet. Although the Kultaranta concert is already sold out, there will be several other opportunities to hear the Fine Arts Quartet at other concerts during the festival.

Two special concerts of tango music will add extra spice to our programme this year. Mari Palo, Jaakko Kuusisto, Marzi Nyman, Niko Kumpuvaara and Ville Herrala will bring a Tango of Memories to Kaivohuone restaurant, while the swirls of Tango de mi Alma with Essi Luttinen, Martin Alvardo and Petri Haapasalo will energize the audience and performers alike at Kristoffer Hall. The greatly acclaimed Casa Haartman artist home concerts will also continue this year, with four intimate and charming dining room concerts arranged to mark our 40th anniversary, including an opportunity to hear Paulo cello competition finalist and Turku cello competition winner Leonardo Chiodo.

The Vallis Gratiae Academy will once again attract gifted young string instrumentalists to its training and master classes under the guidance of Naantali Music Festival artists, and we shall have an opportunity to hear these rising stars at the Young Masters concert in Raisio Church on Wednesday 12.6. The popular Naantali Children’s Music Festival will also be arranged again for the sixth time between 6 and 9 June 2019 in association with Save the Children Finland. The full programme for this event will be announced at the beginning of April.

The concert programme of Naantali Music Festival this year will continue over an exceptional four-month period. In addition to the festival proper in June, we shall make a false start with the Winter Concert series, enjoying songs by Kortekangas, Kuula and Tchaikovsky on 9 March and Schubert’s String Quintet on 10 March. Naantali Music Festival is also arranging concerts in Turku on 28-29 March, when soloists Elina Vähälä and Arto Noras will interpret Brahms’ Double Concerto with the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Okko Kamu. The programme will also include Beethoven’s 4th Symphony. Naantali Music Festival will organise a Culture Soirée in association with the Pieni Kirjapuoti bookstore and coffee shop at Naantali Harbour Terminal on Saturday 13 April, and we shall enjoy the most beautiful operatic arias at a Charms of Opera concert arranged in association with the Oopperakammari Association and the Town of Raisio at Martinsali Auditorium in Raisio on Sunday 28 April. We are also arranging a concert of chamber music by Aulis Sallinen, Jeajoon Ryu and Dmitri Shostakovich with Elina Vähälä (violin), Arto Noras (cello) and Ralf Gothóni (piano) on Saturday 4 May at Temppeliaukio Church in Helsinki.

​​​​​​​Tickets are for sale at ticket outlet.

For further details please contact:
Tiina Tunturi, Executive Director
Tel. +358 44 516 1718