Elina Vähälä, violinThe playing of Elina Vähälä — was a continuous stream of virtuosity, hushed at certain times, heroically brave at others. The cadenza was stunning in its control of diverse elements and the danse macabre of the finale was a tour de force of marrying technique with a joy of life.”

-Classical Source, 2012

“The violin concerto was dazzling, with sublime playing from Elina Vähälä, whose strikingly beautiful musicianship was set against a shimmering background. With rises and falls, light and shade, it was the highlight of the evening.”
-Shropshire Star, 2012

Born in the US and raised in Finland, Elina Vähälä made her orchestral debut with Sinfonia Lahti at the age of twelve and was later chosen by Osmo Vänskä as the orchestra’s ‘Young Master Soloist’. Since then, her career continues to expand on the international stage, winning praise from audiences and musicians alike as ‘a fluent, stylish and gifted musician whose brilliant technique is matched by an abundant spirit, sensitivity and imagination’ (Chicago Tribune).

Elina Vähälä has appeared with orchestras including Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Lahti, Turku Philharmonic as well as Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra and Nashville Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with conductors Leonard Slatkin, Carlos Kalmar, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Okko Kamu, Jakub Hrůša, Thierry Fischer, Jeffrey Tate, Sakari Oramo and Leif Sergerstam and toured throughout the UK, Finland, Germany, China, Korea and South America; in 2008 she was chosen to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony which was televised to a worldwide audience.

Season highlights for 2017/18 include debuts with the Orchestre National de Lyon, Polish National Radio Orchestra, Singapore Symphony and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and performances with the Finnish Radio Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Lahti Symphony, Shenzhen and Quingdao Symphony Orchestras, Niederrheinische Symphony and the Seoul International Music Festival. Recent appearances include highly succesful debuts with RTÉ National Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Strasbourg Philharmonic and Gävle Symphony and performances with Helsinki Philharmonic, NorrlandsOperan Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony and Buffalo Philharmonic orchestras.

With a repertoire that ranges from baroque to contemporary, Elina Vähälä has given world premieres of Aulis Sallinen’s Chamber Concerto and Curtis-Smith’s Double Concerto, both written for her and pianist-conductor Ralf Gothóni. In addition, Vähälä gave the first Nordic performance of John Corigliano’s Violin Concerto ‘The Red Violin’ and commissioned a new violin concerto from composer Jaakko Kuusisto. Both the Corgiliano and Kuusisto concertos were recorded for BIS in 2013.

Educational activities play an important role in her commitment to music; In 2009 Elina Vähälä launched the Violin Academy; funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the academy is a master class based educational project for selected, highly talented young Finnish violinists. She is a professor at the University of Music in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Vähälä’s instrument is made by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini in 1780.

© April 2018

Hugo Ticciati, violin

Hugo has a rare ability to convey a profound understanding of the music and shed light on its spiritual intent
Arvo Pärt

Ticciati’s extraordinarily vivid playing holds it all together expertly
The Strad

It is very clear that Ticciati is one of tomorrow’s truly great musicians
Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin

As violinist and director Hugo imbibes all possible forms of creativity, whether it be performing premieres in Carnegie Hall, improvising with monks in India, or devising innovative programmes for O/Modernt.

Hugo is a violinist with a holistic approach to his work, incorporating aspects of literature, philosophy, dance, spirituality and meditation. Alongside his passion to discover and learn from music of all ages and traditions, Hugo embraces the world of contemporary music, performing works written for him in halls such as Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, Chicago Symphony Hall, Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus and Shanghai Oriental Arts Theatre. He is also regularly asked to devise and present concerts with a unique twist, collaborating with ensembles such as Basel Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and his own O/Modernt Orchestra. In 2018 Hugo is artist-in-residence at Kings Place and from 2019 has been appointed principal conductor of the Orchestra da Camera di Perugia.

Over thirty works have been written for Hugo by composers such as Erkki-Sven Tüür, Peteris Vasks, Sven-David Sandström, Albert Schnelzer, Judith Weir and Tobias Broström. Hugo founded and directs Festival O/Modernt at Ulriksdal Palace Theatre Confidencen, Stockholm. Every June, the oldest rococo theatre in Sweden houses a series of unique musical encounters that release the listener from their conventional box of habit.

With a passion for chamber music, Hugo gives regular recitals in prestigious festivals (Kuhmo, Edinburgh, Gstaad, St-Denis, Baltic Sea) and halls across Europe and the Far East, collaborating with artists such as Evelyn Glennie, Anne Sofie von Otter, Steven Isserlis, Angela Hewitt and Olli Mustonen. He plays on a 1751 G.B. Guadagnini.

Hugo regularly gives masterclasses and seminars on violin teaching, and lectures on music-related subjects all over the world. One of the highlights of the past year was a two-week stay in an ashram at the foot of the Himalayas where he chanted every morning, meditated and swept the floors by day and in the evenings sat crossed-legged by a fire, playing Bach to a group of barefooted monks. His musical tastes swing from contemplative Indian ragas to the megalomaniac rock-band, Muse (played at high volumes), to the songs of Richard Strauss (played even louder).

Hugo still lives in the blissful state of mobilephonelessness. His staple reading is the Bhagavad Gita but he has recently been captivated by the work of the French philosopher, Henri Bergson.

Andres Kaljuste, violaEstonian conductor, violinist and violist Andres Kaljuste recently made his conducting debut in 2018 at the Estonian National Opera and regularly conducts the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Symphony Orchestra. He completed his orchestral conducting masters degree in 2017 at the Sibelius Academy while simultaneously appeared as the guest-principal viola of the Helsinki Philharmonic. 

As a conductor, Kaljuste has worked with several orchestras including Helsinki Philharmonic, Tampere Philharmonic, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Oulu Sinfonia, Pori Sinfonietta and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. In autumn 2016 he stepped in at very short notice to conduct Lahti Sinfonia in a programme of Vaughan Williams, Barber and Dutilleux, to critical acclaim. This season he will make his debut with the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, Joensuu City Orchestra as well as returns to Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.

Kaljuste previously studied violin at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and later
Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin. A two-year scholarship followed with the Academy of Rundfunk- Sinfonieorchester Berlin, after which he went on to pursue a busy freelance career working with top UK orchestras such as the RPO, the Philharmonia and as guest concertmaster of Oulu Sinfonia, Finland.

Andres Kaljuste found his passion for teaching while working at Lilla Akademien, recognised as one of the top music schools in Scandinavia, as conductor of the school’s string orchestras and ensembles while also teaching violin and viola.

As a soloist, he has appeared with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Verona Philharmonic, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Belgrade Strings, Vanemuise Symphony Orchestra and made his debut at Berlin’s Konzerthaus in 2010 with Cappella Academica, playing the Brahms violin concerto.

Nicolas Altstaedt, cello

“The compelling French-German cellist Nicolas Altstaedt gave a performance of this compact 10-minute piece that thoroughly conveyed its audacious, even radical elements. This was his New York recital debut. It’s about time.“

Anthony Tommasini, NY Times 22/02/16

German-French cellist Nicolas Altstaedt is one of the most sought after and versatile artists today.  As a soloist, conductor and artistic director, he performs repertoire spanning from early music to the contemporary.

In 18/19 he will be the Artist in residence at the NDR Elbphilarmonie, where he will perform with Krzysztof Urbánksi, Hannu Lintu and Christoph Eschenbach on tour. Other upcoming highlights include debuts with Orchestre National de France, Yomiuri Symphony at Suntory Hall, Il Giardino Armonico at Grafenegg Festival, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, Netherland Philharmonic at  Het Concertgebouw, Residentie Orkest and reinvitations to the DSO Berlin, Rotterdam Philharmonic, BBC Symphony on tour, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and a tour of major European venues with the SWR Orchestra and Teodor Currentzis.  Recent highlights, include concerto debuts with Detroit Symphony and Helsinki Philharmonic and recital debuts at BOZAR Brussels, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris and Koerner Hall, Toronto and a tour through Australia.

 As a conductor, he will debut with the SWR Stuttgart, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Aurora, Zurich and Scottish Chamber Orchestras and l’Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. During the 17/18 season, Nicolas gave the highly acclaimed Finnish Premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto under the baton of the composer at the Helsinki Festival and was also the Artist in Spotlight at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.

Awarded the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2010, he gave a critically praised performance of the Schumann Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel at the Lucerne Festival.  Since then, he has performed worldwide with orchestras such as the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, all BBC Orchestras, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras with conductors including Sir Roger Norrington, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sir Andrew Davis, Lahav Shani, Robin Ticciati, Sir Neville Marriner, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Andrew Manze, Emanuel Krivine, Juraj Valcuha, Thomas Dausgaard, Dmitri Slobodeniouk, Thierry Fischer, Ben Gernon, Karina Canellakis, René Jacobs, Giovanni Antonini and Andrea Marcon amongst others.

In 2012, Nicolas was chosen by Gidon Kremer to succeed him as the new artistic director of the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival and in 2014 by Adam Fischer to become the new Artistic Director of the Haydn Philharmonie whom he regularly performs with at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Esterházy Festival and recently on tour in both China and Japan. Nicolas will be Artistic Director of the Pfingstfestspiele Ittingen 2019 and 2020.

As a chamber musician, Nicolas partners include with Janine Jansen, Vilde Frang, Christian Tetzlaff, Pekka Kuusisto, Tabea Zimmermann, Lawrence Power, Antoine Tamestit, Martin Fröst, Alexander Lonquich, Jonathan Cohen, Jean Rondeau and the Quatuor Ébène. He performs at both Salzburg Mozart and Summer Festival, Verbier, Utrecht, BBC Proms, Lucerne, Gstaad, Musikfest Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein and Rheingau. Nicolas regularly perfoms new music and has performed and worked with Thomas Ades, Jörg Widmann, Wolfgang Rihm, Thomas Larcher, Fazil Say and Sofia Gubaidulina. 

Nicolas’ recording of CPE Bach Concertos on Hyperion with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen received the BBC Music Magazine Concerto Award 2017.  His latest recording – Four Cities – a recital programme of works by Say, Debussy, Shostakovich and Janacek with Fazil Say was released on Warner Classics to great acclaim and received the Edison Klassiek 2017. Nicolas will receive the Musikpreis der Stadt Duisburg 2018. Nicolas was a BBC New Generation Artist 2010-2012 and a recipient of the „Borletti Buitoni Trust Fellowship“ in 2009.

Jakob Koranyi, celloSwedish cellist Jakob Koranyi has firmly established himself on the classical music scene as one of Europe’s most interesting young soloists. Acclaimed for his commanding virtuosity, delicate sound and passion for diverse and innovative programmes, he has toured Europe extensively performing in recital as well as a soloist in Vienna, Cologne, Hamburg, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Stockholm and Luxembourg to name a few.

The 17/18 season will see Jakob perform Haydn’s Concerto in C with Vasteras Sinfonietta conducted by Julian Kuerti, and again with the Galve Symphony with Jessica Cottis. This season will also see some exciting new projects: he will perform the Atterberg Cello Concerto with Istanbul State Symphony, and then the Swedish Radio Symphony conducted by Jaime Martin. The year brings a continuation of Koranyi’s exciting collaboration with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York, as well as a re-invition to Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival and Jarna Festival Academy in Sweden, as well as Copenhagen Summer Festival and the Katrina Festival in Aland.

The 16/17 season saw the world premiere and Dutch tour of a unique dance project with Heather Ware titled Battle Abbey. The show follows previous collaboration triumphs including 2012’s Snow in June(choreographed by Andrea Leine and Harijono Roebana, music by Tan Dun) and 2014’s Bach – A Play in Motion. Last season also included performances with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, with Henri Dutilleux’s Tout un Monde Lontain, Orquesta Filmharmonica de Bogata with Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, two Wigmore hall performances as well as a very successful Cello Concerto, Crazy Diamonds by Albert Schneizer, with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

A committed chamber musician, Koranyi collaborates with distinguished musicians such as Yura Lee, Simon Crawford-Phillips and Juho Pohjonen and has appeared in chamber music concerts alongside such international stars as Vilde Frang, Yuri Bashmet, Kirill Troussov, Kim Kashkashian, Leonidas Kavakos, Misha Maisky, Daniel Hope, Martin Fröst, Lawrence Power, Julian Rachlin and Denis Kozukhin. Each season Koranyi enjoys multiple festival appearances, which have included the Cleveland Chamber Festival, Kempten Festival at Dijon, Verbier Festival, Schloss Elmau, the Amsterdam Cello Biennale, Zutphen Cello Festival, Delft Chamber Music Festival, Peamarsh Chamber Music Festival, Danish String Quartet Festival, concerts at the International Chamber Music Festival in Stavanger, Martin Fröst’s Vinterfest and the Båstad and Gotland Chamber Music festivals.

Orchestral highlights have included performances with the Stockholm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Weimar Staatskapelle, Arctic Philharmonic, Northern Sinfonia Gateshead, Gävle Symphony Orchestra, Uppsala Chamber Orchestra, Filharmonia Veneta, Gothenburg, Malmö, Helsingborg and Norrköping Symphony Orchestras, working with conductors such as Lionel Bringuier, Susanna Mälkki, Marc Soustrot, Joana Carneiro, Okku Kamu, Eiji Oue, Michael Francis, Krzysztof Urbański, Yordan Kamdzhalov, Stefan Solyom, Thomas Söndergaard, Jaime Martin, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Christian Lindberg.

Recent highlights have included making his Solo Lincoln Centre debut playing a recital of Bach suites, his US Orchestral debut with the Grand Rapids Symphony, his New Zealand Symphony Orchestra debut with Walton’s Cello Concerto, and his Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra debut with Saint-Saens’ 1st Cello Concerto. Jakob has been described as bringing “complete satisfaction to the listener” and “new dimensions to the music” by Dagen Nyheter.

Koranyi was a Rising Star of the European Concert Hall Organization in 11/12 and during that season was also awarded the Norwegian Soloist Prize. An earlier recipient of numerous awards from international festivals and foundations such as Le Prix d’Honneur and Ferminich Prize from the Verbier Festival, in 2009 Koranyi received the 2nd Grand Prix at the Rostropovich Competition in Paris.

While still a student, Koranyi won first prizes in national music competitions in Sweden, most notably the prestigious Soloist Prize awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. Part of the award was the recording and release of his critically acclaimed recital CD “Jakob Koranyi, cello” featuring works by Britten, Ligeti and Brahms. On the strength of this recording he was labelled “a force to be reckoned with” by The Strad Magazine. Koranyi plays on a Joseph Gratiani cello built 1756 in Genoa.


Mikko Ivars, cello

Heini Kärkkäinen, piano

Heini Kärkkäinen studied piano at the Sibelius-Academy under Liisa Pohjola and continued her studies with Ralf Gothóni and Jacques Rouvier, among others. She won the Ilmari Hannikainen Piano Competition in 1984 and two years later she came second in the Maj Lind Piano Competition. In 1993 Kärkkäinen was nominated Young Artist of the Espoo International Piano Festival. She has performed as soloist with orchestras e.g Finnish Radio Orchestra, Helsinki Filharmonic, Avanti Chamber Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Tampere Filharmonic, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiano, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and plays chamber music regularly in Europe and the United States with Robert Cohen, Yuval Gotlibovich, Vladimir Mendelssohn and Priya Mitchell, some to mention. Kärkkäinen has played many world premieres including compositions by Jouni Kaipainen, Mikko Heiniö, Magnus Lindberg, Aulis Sallinen and Olli Koskelin.
Kärkkäinen has made several prize-winning recordings. The duo recording with Jan-Erik Gustafsson (Ondine) was nominated “The disc of the year” by Yle in 1994. The disc of music by Saint-Saëns (BIS Records) was British BBC Music Magazine’s disc of the month in March 2007, and Gramophone Magazine included it in its list of recommended recordings. Other recordings include Sibelius disc with Pekka Kuusisto (Ondine), Bartók Sonata for two pianos and two percussion with Paavali Jumppanen, FRO and Sakari Oramo (Warner Classics), The Bull and His Herdsman, music by Ralf Gothóni (Ondine), and chamber music by Jaakko Kuusisto (BIS Records)
Heini Kärkkäinen is the Principal Lecturer in the Tampere University of Applied Sciences. She is also the Artistic director of the new chamber music festival Tampere Chamber Music, “music and wellbeing play together”, which combines concerts, lectures, clinic workshops and masterclasses. The first festival was held on January 2017 and got wonderful feedback. The festival happens annually in the end of January.
In autumn 2018 Kärkkäinen takes part in the project North around the Baltic Sea performing music of the composer´s from these countries. Sebastian Fagerlund’s Fuel II will get a world premiere in Holstebro International Music Festival in October.

Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano & conductorSimon Crawford-Phillips has established an extraordinarily varied career as soloist, chamber musician and most recently as a conductor. He has made recent conducting debuts with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Musica Vitae, Dala Sinfonietta, Nash Ensemble and English Chamber Orchestra and assisted Daniel Harding at the Verbier Festival. In August 2016 he conducted the première of Britta Byström’s Violin Concerto at the Baltic Sea Festival with Musica Vitae and Malin Broman and two weeks later was invited by Västerås Sinfonietta to open their season as conductor and soloist. As a result he was appointed chief conductor and artistic adviser of Våsterås Sinfonietta from 2017. 

This season the orchestra will perform under Simon Crawford-Phillips’ direction at the Baltic Sea Festival as well as in the concert halls of Stockholm, Gothenburg, Växjö and Vara. Collaborators with the orchestra include Elin Rombo, Emilia Amper, Daniel Hope, Roman Simovic and  Torleif Thedéen.

Recent performances as a pianist have included a series of concerts at Wigmore Hall together with the Nash Ensemble, a tour of Europe and Carnegie Hall together with the Colin Currie Group and live broadcasts for the BBC from Edinburgh, Cardiff and London (Wigmore Hall and LSO St.Lukes). Future plans this season include performances at the Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre, festivals in Savannah, Santa Fe, Trondheim, Finland (RUSK), Verbier and tours of North America and Switzerland. 

He works regularly with artists such as Colin Currie, Daniel Hope, Pekka Kuusisto, Anthony Marwood, Truls Mørk, Anne Sofie von Otter, Lawrence Power, Michael Schade, Torleif Thedéen, the Nash Ensemble and the Danish and Elias string quartets. He has recently given world premieres of music by Britta Byström, Steve Reich and Mark-Anthony Turnage as well as working alongside composers Sofia Gubaidulina, Simon Holt, Colin Matthews and Huw Watkins.

Simon Crawford-Phillips is a founding member of the Kungsbacka Piano Trio; most recently they have released two discs of Fauré chamber music for Naxos as well as performing throughout Europe. In 18/19 they begin a project to record all the Schumann piano trios for BIS. In 2014 his piano duo together with Philip Moore, also a long-standing partnership, premiered Steve Reich’s Quartet for two pianos and two vibraphones at the Southbank, Carnegie Hall NY (listed as one of “The Ten Best Classical Performances of 2014″ by New York Magazine), Kölner Philharmonie and Cité de la Musique Paris. Performances in 2015 included the Edinburgh International Festival, for which they received glowing five-star reviews.

Simon also co-founded the ’Stockholm Syndrome Ensemble’, a group that aims to redefine the concert experience and is made up of some of Europe’s most exciting chamber musicians. The ensemble has its own series at Musikaliska in Stockholm and has recently been the focus of a TV documentary for SVT.

In addition to radio and television broadcasts in Europe, Australia and Japan he has also recorded for the BIS, Channel Classics, Deux-Elles, Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi, LSO Live, Naxos and Signum CD labels. Further recordings are planned for Hyperion and Channel Classics.

As well as performing Simon is heavily involved in curating concerts and designing programmes. He is the artistic director of the Change Music Festival in Norra Halland in Sweden and the co-artistic director of the Wye Valley Chamber Music Festival. He has also presented concerts for Sweden’s classical music radio station P2.

In June 2010, Simon was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. Previously he has held teaching positions at the Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and currently teaches at the Gothenburg Academy of Music and Drama. Recent guest teaching has included the Schymberg masterclasses in Sweden together with Anne Sofie von Otter and chamber music at Indiana University in Bloomington and University of Colorado in Bloomington.

Simon’s formative teachers have been John Lavender, Hamish Milne, Ferenc Rados, David Takeno and Mark Stringer.


Niek de Groot, double bass Dutch double bassist Niek de Groot is one of today’s leading soloists. Originally a trumpet-player he started playing the double-bass at 18. Within an unusually short time he became principal bass with several European ensembles, including a 10-year tenure as principal Solo-Bass with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

After his formal studies he further developed his skills at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada. Niek’s playing has benefited a great deal also from attending masterclasses with eminent cellists Frans Helmerson, Lluìs Claret, Laurence Lesser and in collaborations with Leonard Bernstein, György Sebök and Mstislav Rostropovich.

Since 2006 Niek de Groot has dedicated himself entirely to chamber music and solo performances. He performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician at the best known concerthalls and music festivals. His repertoire includes a great deal of contemporary music and he has worked closely with composers such as Kurtág, Stockhausen, Saariaho, Vasks and Gubaidulina.

A well received solo CD for NIMBUS was released in 2015. The first volume of the Hoffmeister solo-quartets and Rossini sonatas for BIS-records came out in 2017. The second volume will arrive later in 2018. A new highly acclaimed recording with contemporary violin/bass Duos for AUDITE is on the market since February 2018. 

Upcoming projects include the recording of Kurtág’s chambermusic for AUDITE and the world-premiere of several new Double Bass concertos.

Since 1996 Niek is Senior Professor for Double Bass at the Folkwang University of Arts, Essen, being the only french Bow playing bassist ever to teach in such a position in Germany. He also taught at institutions in Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and regularly gives master classes worldwide. Many of his former and current students play in Europe’s foremost orchestras and ensembles.

Through his career, Niek de Groot has played on rare double basses by Cerutti, Bajoni and Amati. Since 2016 he got the lifelong privilege to play the world famous Domenico Montagnana double bass from 1747. His bows are especially made for him by Jochen Schmidt. His baroque and classical bows are by Gerhard Landwehr.


Christoffer Sundqvist, clarinet Christoffer Sundqvist (b. 1978,) has been principal clarinettist in the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2005, makes regular solo appearances with orchestras and in chamber repertoire and teaches the clarinet at the Sibelius Academy and in master classes. A versatile musician, he has a repertoire ranging from the standard works to new commissions.

In recent years Christoffer has been the soloist with almost all the professional Finnish orchestras. Topping the list of solo engagements with orchestras abroad have been the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony, the Basel Symphony, the Estonian National Symphony, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonic and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra. Conductors with whom he has collaborated include Jukka-Pekka Saraste, John Storgårds, Sakari Oramo, Okko Kamu, Hannu Lintu, Anna-Maria Helsing and Eugene Zigane. He is also a regular visitor at European music festivals.

Also an active chamber musician, Christoffer was one of the founders of the Arctic Hysteria wind quintet in 1997. Another line-up important to him is the Plus Ensemble. He has played with many other chamber ensembles, given recitals in Finland and abroad and premiered works by Finnish composers Pehr-Henrik Nordgren, Atso Almila, Magnus Lindberg and others.

In order to generate new clarinet repertoire, Christoffer works in close partnership with composers. His collaboration with Sebastian Fagerlund has resulted in a Clarinet Concerto that has won widespread international acclaim, and he has also premiered the works Fuel (2010) and Sonata (2011).

Christoffer has been Artistic Director of the Jakobstad Sinfonietta and is, together with composer Sebastian Fagerlund, Artistic Director of the Rusk Chamber Music Festival founded by them in Pietarsaari/Jakobstad in 2013. The idea of this festival held at the end of November is to bring together top musicians of international renown. In the space of a few days, sometimes surprising events bring people and the arts together in joint experiences.

Elias Numminen, clarinet

Anni Haapaniemi, oboeAnni Haapaniemi studied oboe playing at the Sibelius-Academy and at the Conservatoires of Gothenburg and Geneva as well as in Paris. She earned her Masters degree from the Sibelius-Academy in 2007. Anni has been the solo oboist at Tampere Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and from the autumn of 2009 at the Tapiola Sinfonietta. She is also a member of the Arctic Hysteria Quintet and performs also with the period instruments from the classical and baroque eras in Ensemble Schrat. Anni Haapaniemi teaches oboe at the Sibelius-Academy and she has been the Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Festival in Kaustinen in 2013-2015.

Janne Thomsen, flute…. “Janne Thomsen was one of the evening’s big stars. Pure pleasure of playing, perfect technique and a certain radiance characterized her playing and stage presence“

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich.

The Danish flutist Janne Thomsen has established itself worldwide as a highly successful and sought-after soloist. She began her musical studies as a 4 year old and was later named the “Young Musician of the Year” in Denmark. After her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the soloist class at the Conservatoire de Musique de Paris, she continued to win in prominent flute competitions in Prague, Paris, Bayreuth, Rome, Vienna, Paris and Boston. Janne Thomsen been awarded grants by Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik Fund, as well as Augustinus, Holstebro Music Prize and Gade Prize. In 2016 she was awarded the title of ARAM, “Associate of the Royal Academy of Music”, an honor awarded to musicians who have made a special effort in the world of music.

Janne Thomsen has appeared as a soloist with orchestras and ensembles including the English Chamber Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Kremerata Baltica, Camerata Salzburg, Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow Soloists. She performs with renowned soloists such as Maxim Vengerov, Gidon Kremer, Janine Jansen, Pierre Laurent Aimard, Yuri Bashmet, Joshua Bell, Jana Bouskova, Steven Isserlis and Mischa Maisky. She has worked closely with leading composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Hans Werner Henze, Wolfgang Rihm, Giya Kancheli, Peteris Vasks and Michael Berkeley.

From 2004-2007 Janne Thomsen lectured at the Mozarteum Conservatory in Salzburg, and from 2008-2010 at the Hochschule für Musik in Luzern and she now resides in Munich.

She is the founder and artistic director of “Classic Days” Holstebro International Music Festival in her hometown, a festival that has grown significantly and has been praised by the press ever since its founding in 2005, for which she in 2011 was awarded Holstebro Municipality’s Cultural Award and Lions award.

Mikko Luoma, accordeon

The piece (Serenade) received a riveting performance by the brilliant accordionist Mikko Luoma and the accomplished iO String Quartet, to conclude this concert on the eve of Mr. Ruders’s actual birthday.”

Anthony Tommasini, March 27th 2009
New York Times

“By far the most sophisticated piece of the evening was an accordion concerto, “Spiriti,” by the Finnish composer Jukka Tiensuu. Mr. Tiensuu’s pointillistic, uneven phrases, unpredictable silences and drifting chords were made to order for Mikko Luoma’s virtuoso solo playing.”

Bernard Holland, February 6th 2006
New York Times

“The skillful and electrifying soloist in the concerto was Mikko Luoma, whose playing shook off the last remaining negative images associated with accordion.”

Veijo Murtomäki, March 7th 2005
Helsingin Sanomat


Mikko Luoma has given concerts in most European countries as well as in the USA. He has performed as a soloist with the New Juilliard Ensemble, AVANTI!, Zagros and the Tapiola Sinfonietta in venues such as the Lincoln Center in New York and the Kammermusiksaal der Berliner Philharmonie. He has worked with conductors such as Stefan Asbury, John Storgårds, Joel Sachs, Hannu Lintu. Mr. Luoma has given the world premieres of the accordion CONCERTOS by Jukka Tiensuu and Veli-Matti Puumala.

His SOLO REPERTOIRE ranges from transcriptions of keyboard music from the baroque era up to the avant-garde of our own time.

Mikko Luoma has given the Finnish premieres of solo pieces by Salvatore Sciarrino, Adriana Hölzky, Bent Soerensen, Younghi Pagh-Paan, Steve Montague, Alvin Lucier to mention a few. He has played the New York premieres of solo pieces by Magnus Lindberg and Jukka Tiensuu.

CHAMBER MUSIC is a vital part of Mr. Luomas musicianship. He is a founder member of the PLUS ENSEMBLE (ML; accordion, Erkki Lahesmaa; cello and Christoffer Sundqvist; clarinet).

As a member of the Plus Ensemble he has commissioned, premiered or/and given the first Finnish performances of over a dozen new works for this group of instruments (see repertoire).

Besides touring and concerts in various festivals, the Plus Ensemble annually presents a three-concert series at the Sibelius-Museum in Turku.

In other occasions Mr. Luoma has given the (Finnish) premieres of chamber music works by Charles Wuorinen, Heinz Holliger, Adriana Hölzky, Mauricio Kagel, Matthias Pintscher.

Mikko Luoma currently holds a position as senior lecturer in classical accordion and contemporary chamber music at Turku Music Academy in Finland.

He has lectured and given master classes at the Juilliard School of Music, Columbia University, the Hochschule für Musik in Lübeck and the Musik Akademie Franz Liszt in Weimar.

At Turku Music Academy, Luoma programs an annual series of three concerts focusing on contemporary music titled “ABOA NOVA”. He also conducts the chamber orchestra “Music Academy Now”.

Mikko Luoma has conducted the Finnish premieres of works by Gerard Grisey, Per Nörgård, Michael Torke, Morton Feldman.

Prior to these activities he has taught at the Sibelius-Academy and Turku Conservatoire.

Luoma graduated from the Sibelius-Academy with the highest possible honors under Matti Rantanen. He also graduated from the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Trossingen under Prof. Hugo Noth. He gave his debut concert in 1995 in Helsinki.

1997-1998 Mr. Luoma further sharpened his skills and knowledge during the course of a Fulbright scholarship at the City University of New York, where he studied music analysis and performance practice of contemporary music.

Jukka Harju, french horn

Tommi Hyytinen, french hornTommi Hyytinen (b. 1977) is a Finnish horn soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue. He works in Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra as a horn player and in Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki as a horn and natural horn teacher. He is also a memeber of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra. He has studied in Sibelius Academy, in Universtät für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien and in Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. Hyytinen graduated as Doctor of Music from Sibelius Academy in 2009. The topic of his artistic doctorate was the horn music of the Romantic period. In his doctoral concert series he played the period instruments of the 19th century: natural horn, French horn, German horn and Vienna horn.

Hyytinen is an active chamber musician and has performed in several festivals in Finland and abroad. He is a member of Arktinen Hysteria Quintet, The Golden Horns quartet and Helsinki Brass Quartet. Composing and arranging are an important part of his musicianship. In January 2018 Hyytinen recorded Dussek’s Notturno for violin, natural horn and fortepiano with Alexei Lubimov and Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch for French recording company Alpha Records.

Hyytinen is also active in the contemporary music scene and has premiered several pieces for horn, such as the horn concertos by Atso Almila, Tomi Räisänen and Kai Nieminen, and Northlands, Album for horn and strings by Matthew Whittall. He has performed as a soloist of many Finnish orchestras. Hyytinen has released three critically-acclaimed solo discs. Northlands album in which Hyytinen plays Whittall’s Northlands with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Nils Schweckendiek was chosen as the Album of the Year 2017 by Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE.

Hyytinen has given master classes in Hannover Musikhochscule and in Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. In addition to his work as a musician Hyytinen is also a certified Somatic Pilates instructor. He is specialized in the musicians’ use of the body. His horn method “Playing from the Core” was released in 2016 and his method for all musicians “Sounding body” was released in 2018.



Atsuko Sakuragi, trumpet


Péter Fodor, percussion

Unkarilaissyntyinen Péter Fodor aloitti lyömäsoitintensoiton Virroilla vuonna 1999 Risto Skrikbergin johdolla. Myöhemmin hän opiskeli Tampereen Konservatoriossa, josta jatkoi opintojaan Lontoon Kuninkaallisessa Musiikkikorkeakoulussa. Musiikin kandidaatin tutkinnon Fodor suoritti Amsterdamin Konservatoriossa vuonna 2016. Fodor on esiintynyt eri puolilla Eurooppaa ja Japania. Hän on myös toiminut Schleswig-Holstein Festivaaliorkesterin, Pacific Music Festival orkesterin ja Euroopan unionin nuoriso-orkesterin patarumpalina. Tampere Filharmonian patarumpujen varaäänenjohtajaksi Fodor valittiin vuonna 2015.



Otto Virtanen, bassoon


Ostrobothnian Chamber OrchestraThe Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra (OCO), founded by the Orchestra’s Honorary Conductor Juha Kangas in 1972, has been a professional orchestra since 1989. The homogeneous sound and dynamic impact of the Orchestra are a result of years of playing together. Since autumn 2013, Sakari Oramo serves as the Artistic Director of the Orchestra. 

The Orchestra’s repertoire covers periods in the history from the Baroque to the present day. The OCO has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of contemporary Finnish music. Many Finnish composers have written and dedicated works to the Orchestra. It has also close contacts with composers in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries and has premiered more than 150 works to date.

The OCO performs regularly with top international soloists and has released more than 60 recordings. Its foreign tours have taken it to several European countries, Japan and New York. In summer 2017, the orchestra performed at the famous Mozartfest in Würzburg, Germany.

The Orchestra was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize In 1993. In 1995, the OCO and its conductor Juha Kangas were awarded the Creation (Luomus) Prize by the Finnish Composers’ International Copyright Society (Teosto) and in 1998 the Madetoja Prize by the Society of Finnish Composers and the Record of the Year Prize by the Finnish Broadcasting Company. In 2004, the Orchestra’s and Tampere Philharmonia’s CD with Vasks’ music was awarded the international Cannes Classical prize The Record of the Year. OCO’s and Sakari Oramo’s recording of C.Ph.E. Bach’s Symphonies 1-6 was awarded an Emma in the category “Best classical album 2014”. The same record was also nominated in the BBC Music Awards. Also, the record “Favourite English Strings” by OCO and Oramo, was nominated for Emma prize in the category Best classical album 2016.



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