Sanna Lehto

Senja Rummukainen


During the last decade, cellist Senja Rummukainen has gone from being an emerging talent to becoming part of the Finnish music elite. When she won the Turku National Cello Competition in 2014, the doors to the domestic music scene opened. Just a year later, she reached the final of the Guilhermina Suggia award in Porto and in 2019 she was a finalist in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in St. Petersburg.

After these competition successes, she has played as a soloist with, for example, the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, the Espoo City Orchestra, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra. Her performances have been praised by the press, her colleagues and the audience. Rummukainen has performed as a soloist with conductors such as Valeri Gergijev, Leif Segerstam and Jorma Panula. In the years 2017-2021 Rummukainen worked as Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra's second solo cellist, and she regularly visits Oslo Philharmonic as solo cellist.

Rummukainen is one of Finland's most sought-after cellists and chamber musicians. For several years now, she has been part of the musical backbone of the most important domestic festivals, such as the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, the Turku Music Festival and the Oulu Music Festival. She was one of the artistic directors for the Helsinki Chamber summer festival together with Johannes Piirto, Kasmir Uusitupa, Tami Pohjola and Riina Piirilä in 2017-2021. Season 21/22, Rummukainen makes her debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo at the London Barbican Center, where she plays Elgar's cello concerto. She will also perform as a soloist with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra for the first time, performing  Beethoven's triple concerto together with Otto Antikainen and Fanny Söderström. In addition, she can be heard at European festivals as well as on the soundtrack to the film Odotus by Aku Louhimies.

Rummukainen's teachers have always opened new doors to the endless possibilities of music. She began her studies for Taru Aarnio and Allar Kaasik. With Marko Ylönen at the Sibelius Academy, she learned to handle broad lines and entireties. In Truls Mørk's class at the Norwegian Academy of Music and at Folkwang University in Essen under the direction of Young-Chang Cho, she found her own personal expression, and with Jens Peter Maintz's help at the Berlin Academy of Music, another part was found for Rummukainen's toolbox; the ability to emphasize beauty in small details with microscopic accuracy.

Rummukainen echoes the same appealing and nuanced sound that she herself fell in love with when she heard the instrument for the first time at the age of six, at the East Helsinki Music Institute. Cello is the instrument whose tone is most similar to the sound of the human voice and such an instrument can arouse emotions in people in a way that not even words can induce. From intimate duos and chamber works by Robert Schumann to Dmitry Shostakovich's concerts, Rummukainen's in-depth playing style reaches right into the listeners' emotional centers.

Rummukainen is currently playing on a Giovanni Grancino cello from 1698 owned by OP Art Foundation.

Finnish text: Jaani Länsiö