Artist Biographies (PDF)

Document Sample
Artist Biographies (PDF) Powered By Docstoc
					                                           Artist Biographies

                   Helena Juntunen, soprano,             début at Carnegie Hall in 2003. Festivals at which
                   is regularly featured with the        she has appeared include Aix-en-Provence, the
                   National Opera and Savonlinna         Wiener Festwochen and the Salzburg Festival.
                   Festival in her native Finland.         Helena Juntunen has participated on several
                   She has also appeared with            previous BIS releases, the most recent ones being
                   opera companies across Europe,        Sibelius – ‘Spirit of Nature’ [BIS-CD-1565] and
                   including the Dresden Staatsoper      Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Minnesota
and Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels. She is active       Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä [BIS-CD-1616].
in concert and recitals, making her New York recital

                   Anne Sofie von Otter is consid-        Palais Garnier in Paris, Vienna’s State Opera and
                   ered as one of the finest singers of   the Metropolitan Opera as well as the festivals of
                   her generation and is sought after    Aix-en-Provence, Glyndebourne and Drottningholm,
                   by many of the major conductors,      to name but a few.
                   orchestras and opera companies           An equally busy concert career has brought
                   of the world. Born in Sweden,         Anne Sofie von Otter regularly to the major halls of
                   her studies began in Stockholm        Europe and North America and she enjoys a regular
and continued with Vera Rozsa at London’s Guild-         partnership with some of the world’s pre-eminent
hall. She commenced her professional career as a         conductors. She is also an acclaimed recitalist
principal member of the Basel Opera before she was       and appears around the globe with her long-time
launched on an international opera career, appear-       accompanist, Bengt Forsberg.
ing at venues such as Covent Garden, La Bastille and
                                             The Essential SIBELIUS
                                          Artist Biographies

                  Monica Groop’s wide-rang-                Orchestra appearances include the Chicago
                  ing career is based upon a rep-          Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York
                  ertory of great musical adven-           Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia
                  turousness – a rich and varied           Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Symphonie-Orchester
                  mixture of baroque music,                des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Dresden Staatskapelle,
                  classical repertoire and modern          Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Orchestre National
                  masters. She made her profes-            de France and Wiener Symphoniker under such
sional début with the Finnish National Opera in            conductors as Carlo Maria Giulini, Bernard Haitink,
1987, and has been an international mainstay since         Zubin Mehta, Sir Colin Davis, Herbert Blomstedt,
her London début at Covent Garden in the highly            Neeme Järvi, Myung Whun Chung, Franz Welser-
acclaimed 1991 Wagner Ring Cycle conducted by              Möst, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paavo
Bernard Haitink. She has performed with many of            Berglund and the late Sir Georg Solti.
the world’s foremost opera companies including the            An accomplished recitalist, Ms Groop has given
Bayerische Staatsoper, Covent Garden, the Royal            solo recitals at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice
Opera of Stockholm, the opera houses in Los Ange-          Tully Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall and Musikverein
les, Amsterdam, Cologne, Paris and the New York            in Vienna, appearing regularly with pianists András
City Opera.                                                Schiff, Roger Vignoles and Ilmo Ranta.

                  The Finnish mezzo-soprano Lilli          also makes appearances at other prestigious opera
                  Paasikivi studied singing at the         houses, such as Le Châtelet in Paris, La Monnaie in
                  Royal College of Music in Stock-         Brussels and l’Opéra de Lyon and at festivals such
                  holm under Solwig Grippe, at the         as Savonlinna Opera Festival and Aix-en-Provence.
                  Royal College of Music in Lon-              Lilli Paasikivi is in demand for concerts at major
                  don under Neil Mackie and as a           music centres all over the world and has worked
                  private pupil of Dame Janet              with conductors such as Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Esa-
Baker. Since the autumn of 1998 she has been a             Pekka Salonen, Lorin Maazel, Vladimir Ashkenazy,
soloist with the Finnish National Opera, but she           Mariss Jansons and Sir Simon Rattle.

                  The baritone Raimo Laukka                including Bonn, Strasbourg and Berlin, as well as at
                  studied at the Sibelius Academy          the Savonlinna Opera Festival.
                  in Helsinki from 1983 until 1988.           His repertoire include rôles such as Figaro in
                  He has won numerous national             The Barber of Seville, the Count in The Marriage of
                  singing competitions and was             Figaro, the title rôle in Eugene Onegin, Don Carlos
                  a finalist at the International           in La forza del destino and Wolfram in Tannhäuser.
                  Belvedere Singing Competition            In addition to opera, Raimo Laukka also appears
in Vienna in 1988. The following year he was en-           in recital and as a soloist, and has performed in
gaged by Finnish National Opera as a soloist. Laukka       Europe and the United States under such conduc-
has appeared at many of Europe’s opera houses,             tors as Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Leif Segerstam
                                                           and Neeme Järvi.

                    The Finnish bass-baritone Jorma        He has also served as Artistic Director for the Finnish
                    Hynninen studied at the Sibelius       National Opera and at the Savonlinna Opera Festival
                    Academy in Helsinki, and also          in Finland.
                    took lessons from Luigi Ricci in          Hynninen’s international career includes per-
                    Rome and Kurt Overhoff in Salz-        formances at the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State
                    burg. He sang at his first public       Opera, La Scala, Bavarian State Opera in Munich,
                    concert in 1970 in Helsinki and        as well as the opera houses in Paris, Hamburg,
the same year made his début with the Finnish              Barcelona, Geneva and Berlin. He has combined this
National Opera Company, remaining as a permanent           with regular appearances in the concert hall with the
member of the company until 1990. His most nota-           world’s leading orchestras and conductors such as
ble roles are Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze de       Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Mazur and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Figaro and Pelléas in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande.
                                              The Essential SIBELIUS
                                           Artist Biographies

                    Leonidas Kavakos (b. 1967) is           London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia
                    one of today’s most sought-after        Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the
                    violinists. Born into a musical         major radio orchestras of Germany. He made his
                    family, Kavakos began studying          BBC Proms début in 1992.
                    the violin at the age of five and          Distinguished conductors featured in Kavakos’s
                    continued his studies with Stel-        career include Sir Andrew Davis, Charles Dutoit,
                    ios Kafantaris at the Greek Con-        Neeme Järvi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yevgeny Svetlanov,
servatory, where he obtained his violin diploma at          Yuri Temirkanov, Sándor Végh and Franz Welser-Möst.
the age of 16. After further studies, including mas-          Parallel to his solo career, chamber music and
terclasses with Joseph Gingold, Kavakos won the In-         festival appearances also feature in Kavakos’s
ternational Sibelius Competition in Helsinki in 1985        diary: apart from appearing at his own annual
and the silver medal at the Indianapolis International      chamber music festival at the Athens Megaron,
Violin Competition in 1986, before going on in 1988         he regularly appears in several European chamber
to take first prizes at both the Naumburg Foundation         music festivals including Osnabrück in Germany,
Competition in New York and the Paganini Competition        Prades in France and Korsholm in Finland. Chamber
in Genoa all before he was 21.                              music partners include Bella Davidovich, Natalia
   Kavakos regularly performs with the world’s great-       Gutman, Nobuko Imai, Kim Kashkashian and
est orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony              Mstislav Rostropovich.
Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnes-            Kavakos plays the”Falmouth” Stradivarius of 1692.
ota Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,

                   The violinist, conductor and             Among the orchestras he has conducted are the
                   composer Jaakko Kuusisto                 BBC Concert Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Sympho-
                   (b.1974) studied the violin at the       ny Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Lahti Sym-
                   Sibelius Academy and at Indi-            phony Orchestra. His complete recordings for BIS of
                   ana University. He won the Kuo-          Sibelius’s early violin works and piano trios have
                   pio Violin Competition in 1989           been very well received.
                   and has won top prizes in the               Jaakko Kuusisto was appointed leader of the
Sibelius, Indianapolis and Carl Nielsen competitions.       Lahti Symphony Orchestra in 1999. He has a special
In 1997 he reached the finals in the Queen Elisabeth         interest in jazz and has also studied composition.
competition in Brussels.                                    His works have been performed widely and The
   Appearances as soloist and chamber musician              Canine Kalevala, his second opera, was a massive
have taken him to China, Japan, the USA and many            success at the 2004 Savonlinna Opera Festival.
European countries, for instance with the Minnesota         Together with his brother Pekka, he is artistic director
Orchestra and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra.                 of the Tuusula Lake Chamber Music Festival.

                   Born in Korea, Dong-Suk Kang             appeared with many major orchestras at some of the
                   went to New York in 1967 to              world’s most prestigious venues and festivals.
                   study at the Juilliard School and           Dong-Suk Kang’s strong interest in chamber
                   later at the Curtis Institute with       music has resulted in his participation at various
                   Ivan Galamian. Following a debut         chamber music festivals including those in Spoleto,
                   at the Kennedy Center and an             Santa Fe, Kuhmo, Seattle, and Newport and at the
                   appearance with Seiji Ozawa, he          Australian Festival of Chamber Music. As a guest
went on to win top prizes in a number of international      artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln
competitions including the Carl Flesch in London and        Center he has performed in New York and toured
the Queen Elisabeth in Brussels. Since then he has          throughout the USA.
                                             The Essential SIBELIUS
                                          Artist Biographies

                   Nils-Erik Sparf is descended            the foremost Swedish orchestras, in chamber music
                   from a long line of fiddlers from        and as a soloist, performing both in Sweden and
                   the Swedish region of Dalecarlia        internationally.
                   and began playing folk music at            Sparf is also the leader of the Drottningholm
                   a very early age. He received his       Baroque Ensemble and his 1984 recording, on
                   professional training at Royal          baroque violin, of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the
                   College of Music in Stockholm,          ensemble is still regularly cited as a benchmark
from which he graduated in 1971 with a soloist             performance. Nils-Erik Sparf has been a member of
diploma, continuing his studies at the Prague Academy      the Swedish Royal Academy of Music since 1992.
of Music. Since 1973 he has been active as leader of

                 Marko Ylönen was a finalist at             New Zealand and the USA. He has been principal
                 the Turku Cello Competition when          cellist of the Tapiola Sinfonietta, principal solo
                 he was only fifteen. In 1990 he            cellist of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and
                 won second prize at the Nordic            a member of the New Helsinki Quartet; since 2000
                 Cello Competition in Turku and            he has been a senior teacher of cello and cham-
                 sixth prize at the Tchaikovsky            ber music at the Sibelius Academy. He studied at
                 Competition in Moscow. In 1996            the Sibelius Academy and at the Basel Academy of
he won the Concert Artists Guild Competition in            Music. Marko Ylönen was also artistic director of the
New York. Marko Ylönen has appeared widely as a            Korsholm Festival in the summer of 2003. He has
soloist and chamber musician in Europe, Australia,         premièred several works by Finnish composers.

                    Torleif Thedéen is one of the          active as a chamber musician and as such appears
                    most highly regarded musicians         in prestigious concert venues worldwide such as the
                    in Scandinavia. He gained inter-       Wigmore Hall in London, the Carnegie Recital Hall in
                    national recognition in 1985 by        New York and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
                    winning three of the world’s most         He often participates in prestigious music festi-
                    prestigious cello competitions.        vals, among them the Prague Spring Festival and
                    Since then he has been giving          the festivals in Schleswig-Holstein, Bordeaux, Oslo
concerts all over the world. Thedéen regularly plays       and Stavanger. He is also a professor at the Edsberg
with some of the world’s major orchestras, – among         Music Institute in Stockholm. Since 1986 Thedéen
them the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, City of               has recorded numerous CDs for BIS featuring stand-
Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony             ard repertoire works as well as contemporary music.
Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech            His CD of the Shostakovich cello concertos (BIS-CD-
Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic           626) won a Cannes Classical Award in 1995 and his
Orchestra and Israel Sinfonietta – under conductors        recording of J.S. Bach’s suites for solo cello (BIS-CD-
such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Paavo Berglund, Neeme           803/04) was warmly received upon its release in
Järvi, Franz Welser-Möst, Gennady Rozhdestvensky,          2000. In 2003 Torleif Thedéen received the Swedish
Leif Segerstam and Eri Klas. Torleif Thedéen is also       Litteris et Artibus medal.

                  As a gifted student who began            piano competition in 1968, and was appointed full
                  his earlier musical education in         professor of piano and head of piano studies in 1986
                  Helsinki and at the Moscow Con-          at the Sibelius Academy.
                  servatory, Erik T. Tawaststjerna             Besides being a co-director of the biennial Espoo
                  studied with Dieter Weber at             International Piano Festival, Erik T. Tawaststjerna
                  the Vienna Music Academy and             has been on the juries of a number of international
                  Sascha Gorodnitzki at the Julliard       competitions including the José Iturbi Competition,
School. He also studied with Eugene List at New            the AXA Piano Competition, the Weimar Liszt Compe-
York University from which he holds a doctorate.           tition, the London International Piano Competition,
Tawaststjerna won a top prize at a national Finnish        and the International Beethoven Competition.
                                                The Essential SIBELIUS
                                             Artist Biographies

                    Folke Gräsbeck has performed              won first prize in the Maj Lind Competition in 1973.
                    more than 200 of Sibelius’s               He made numerous study visits to London, where
                    c. 550 compositions, and has              he was taught privately by Maria Curcio-Diamond.
                    given the world première per-             He also studied under Erik T. Tawaststjerna at the
                    formances of 82 of them. He was           Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and became a Master
                    the first pianist to give a recital        of Music there in 1997. He has performed some thirty
                    at the new Sibelius Hall in Lahti         piano concertos and given performances as a recit-
(14th March 2000), playing a programme exclusively            alist, chamber player and Lied accompanist in the
devoted to Sibelius piano music premières. His                USA, Egypt, Israel, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mexico
Sibelius repertoire also includes the Piano Quintet           as well as in many European countries. He has made
in G minor, the four piano quartets and the complete          numerous recordings for BIS, many of which are
works for piano trio. In 1996 he was awarded the              included in the company’s ongoing Sibelius edition.
medal of Sibelius’s Birthplace in Hämeenlinna.
   Folke Gräsbeck studied the piano under Tarmo
Huovinen at the Turku Conservatory (1962-74) and

                    Born in Sweden, Bengt Forsberg            recitals at some of the world’s most prestigious venues.
                    studied at the School of Music            Bengt Forsberg also performs as a soloist with
                    and Music Education of Gothen-            orchestra and has worked with all major Swedish
                    burg University, continuing his           orchestras as well as many outside of Sweden. As
                    studies with Peter Feuchtwanger           a soloist, chamber musician and accompanist
                    in London and with Herman D.              Forsberg eagerly promotes music by lesser-known
                    Koppel in Copenhagen. He is               composers such as Korngold, Medtner, Suk and
very active as a chamber musician and accompanist             Karg-Elert, as well as rarely-heard music by more
and collaborates regularly with artists such as the           well-known composers such as Fauré, Sibelius,
cellist Mats Lidström, the violinist Nils-Erik Sparf and      Franck, Messiaen and Janácek.
Anne Sofie von Otter, with whom he frequently gives

                   The Tempera Quartet, formed                Kuhmo, Helsinki, Turku and Naantali festivals – and
                   in 1997, has rapidly gained                was nominated by the ‘Finland Festivals’ organization
                   prominence as an outstanding               as Young Artist of the Year in 2001.
                   young ensemble in its native                  The quartet has a busy international concert
                   Finland. The ensemble has also             schedule abroad, having toured throughout Europe,
                   received international acclaim,            in Japan and the United Arab Emirates. Since 2004
                   and during the 2000/01 season              the Tempera Quartet has been responsible for the
took part in the ’Rising Stars’ scheme of the                 artistic direction of the Riihimäki Summer Concerts
European Concert Hall Organization. This resulted             chamber music festival. The Tempera Quartet has
in successful début recitals at the Carnegie Hall in          had a broad musical education with studies at the
New York, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Musik-              Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Edsberg Music
verein in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam,             Institute in Sweden and the Royal College of Music
the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Cité de la         in London where the players took their Master of
Musique in Paris and the Cologne Philharmonie,                Music degrees in chamber music studies in 2000.
as well as a second visit to the Symphony Hall,               Their teachers have included Risto Fredriksson,
Birmingham, where the quartet had first performed              Mats Zetterqvist, Simon Rowland-Jones and the
in 1999. The Tempera Quartet has performed at most            Chilingirian Quartet.
Finnish chamber music festivals – among them the
                                              The Essential SIBELIUS
                                           Artist Biographies

                    Praised for his intense, dynamic        His numerous recordings for BIS continue to attract
                    performances, his compelling,           the highest acclaim; the first release in his Beethoven
                    innovative interpretations of the       symphony cycle with the Minnesota Orchestra has
                    standard, contemporary and              already broadcast the exceptional dynamism of this
                    Nordic repertoires and the close        musical partnership to audiences worldwide. Mean-
                    rapport he establishes with the         while Vänskä is heavily in demand internationally as
                    orchestral musicians he leads,          a guest conductor with the world’s leading orches-
Osmo Vänskä is the Minnesota Orchestra’s tenth              tras, enjoying regular relationships with such as the
music director as well as principal conductor of the        London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony
Lahti Symphony Orchestra in Finland.                        Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra,
   He began his musical career as a clarinettist,           Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and
occupying the co-principal’s chair in the Helsinki          National Symphony Orchestra of Washington.
Philharmonic Orchestra for several years. After stud-          Among the many honours and distinctions he has
ying conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki,        been awarded are the Pro Finlandia medal, a Royal
he won first prize in the 1982 Besançon Internatio-          Philharmonic Society Award, Musical America’s Con-
nal Young Conductor’s Competition. His conducting           ductor of the Year Award in 2004, the Sibelius Medal
career has featured substantial commitments to such         in 2005 and the Finlandia Foundation Arts and Let-
orchestras as the Tapiola Sinfonietta, Iceland Sympho-      ters Award in 2006.
ny Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

                   Neeme Järvi was born in Tallinn,         Conductor Järvi’s ties with the orchestra remain
                   Estonia in 1937 and graduated            strong.
                   from the Leningrad Conserva-                One of the world’s most recorded conductors,
                   tory in 1960. His career started in      Neeme Järvi is represented on more than sixty BIS
                   Estonia, where he co-founded             CDs. These include complete cycles of sympho-
                   the Estonian Radio Chamber Or-           nies by the Swedish composers Stenhammar and
                   chestra and was appointed prin-          Alfvén as well as his pioneering Sibelius record-
cipal conductor of the Estonian Radio Symphony              ings with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and
Orchestra in 1963.                                          acclaimed cycles of Tubin and Martinů symphonies.
   Since emigrating from Estonia to the USA in              Of the many accolades and awards that have been
1980, Neeme Järvi has been one of the world’s most          bestowed upon Neeme Järvi, he takes greatest
sought-after conductors. He has conducted most              pride in those conferred by his native Estonia.
of the principal orchestras in the world - the Berlin       These include an honorary doctorate from the Music
Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de               Academy of Estonia in Tallinn and the Order of the
France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Philadel-           National Coat of Arms from the President of the
phia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic Orchestra,         Republic of Estonia. Additionally, he has been
to name but a few. 1982 saw the beginning of his            chosen as one of the ‘Estonians of the Twentieth
close relationship with the Gothenburg Symphony             Century’. Neeme Järvi is also a member of the
Orchestra, a collaboration which celebrated its             Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and in 1990 he
20th anniversary in 2002. After stepping down as            received the Swedish title of Knight Commander of
principal conductor in 2004, as Emeritus Principal          the North Star.
                                              The Essential SIBELIUS
                                           Artist Biographies

Dominante is a mixed choir that was established             Dominante has performed major works with such
in 1975 and draws the majority of its members               orchestras as the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra,
from the Helsinki University of Technology. The             Tapiola Sinfonietta, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
choir has gained an international reputation as a           and Lahti Symphony Orchestra, and has collabo-
dynamic group of young singers renowned for its             rated with the Finnish National Opera and Helsinki
boldness and versatility. Since 1981 the choir’s            City Theatre. Concert tours have taken Dominante
artistic director has been Seppo Murto.                     all over the world.

The Helsinki University Chorus (YL), founded in             at home in popular music. Throughout its existence,
1883, is the oldest Finnish-language choir in Finland.      YL has worked with the leading Finnish composers,
The worldwide reputation which YL enjoys today              and some of Sibelius’s most famous works for male
is due to its extensive foreign tours and numerous          choir were commissioned and premièred by the
recordings. The choir made the first of many European        choir. Ever since the reign of its first conductor, P.J.
tours in the 1930s and has also undertaken several          Hannikainen, the choir has been directed by key
long tours in North America and in the Far East.            figures in Finnish music such as Heikki Klemetti,
The repertoire of YL extends from mediæval music to         Selim Palmgren, Martti Turunen, Ensti Pohjola,
the very latest modern works, and the choir is equally      Heikki Peltola and, since 1980, Matti Hyökki.

The Jubilate choir of 40 singers was founded in 1968        Class in the EBU ‘Let the Peoples Sing’ competition
by its present conductor, Astrid Riska. Its repertoire      and followed this in 1998 with first prize in the Guido
includes a range of styles from Gregorian chant to          d’Arezzo competition in Italy. Jubilate has collabo-
20th-century works, but with a strong partiality for        rated with a number of Finnish orchestras, including
Finnish music. Jubilate has appeared in many parts          the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki
of Europe and in Israel, Japan and the United States.       Philharmonic Orchestra and the Avanti! Chamber
In 1990 it won the first prize in the Chamber Choir          Orchestra.

It is often said that Orphei Drängar’s most impor-          In 1951, Eric Ericson was appointed conductor
tant tradition is renewal. Since the choir was founded      – a post he held until 1991. Ericson introduced a
in 1853, OD has striven to develop and find new              large quantity of new music to the repertoire, both
outlets for the male-voice choir as an instrument           Swedish and international pieces, and worked
of musical expression. Its determination to be an           purposefully to create a flexible, muscular choral
élite choir was clear from the outset, and by the           sound. During this period a conscious effort was
late 1880s the choir was already undertaking long           made to extend and renew the male choir reper-
foreign tours. In 1910 Hugo Alfvén was appointed            toire, and this process is continuing under Ericson’s
as the choir’s conductor, and during his 37 years in        successor Robert Sund. OD has undertaken success-
this position the choir developed towards becoming          ful concert tours to the Far East, the United States,
what he termed a ‘vocal orchestra’ – a large, pow-          Canada, Mexico, central Europe, England and the
erful body of sound with the potential to hold its          Nordic countries.
own in competition with the expressive range of a
symphony orchestra.
                                             The Essential SIBELIUS
                                          Artist Biographies

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra (Sinfonia Lahti)
has, under the direction of its chief conductor Osmo
Vänskä, developed into one of the most notable in
Europe. Since 2000 the orchestra has been based
at the wooden Sibelius Hall (with internationally
renowned acoustics by Artec Consultants from New
York). The orchestra has undertaken many out-
standing recording projects for BIS, winning two
Gramophone Awards, the Grand Prix du Disque from
the Académie Charles Cros, two Cannes Classical
Awards and a Midem Classical Award. In 2004 the
orchestra gained a platinum disc for its recording
‘Sibelius – Music from Timo Koivusalo’s film’; it has
also earned several gold discs, for example for its
recordings of the original version of Sibelius’s Vio-
lin Concerto (1992) and Finnish Hymns (2001). The          Vienna and at Symphony Hall in Birmingham, and
orchestra has played at numerous music festivals,          has also toured in Germany, Russia, Spain, Japan,
including the BBC Proms in London and the White            the USA and China. In 2003, Japanese music critics
Nights festival in St. Petersburg. The orchestra has       voted the orchestra’s performance of Sibelius’s Kull-
performed in Amsterdam, at the Musikverein in              ervo as Japan’s best classical concert of the year.

The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (Göte-                   Under Neeme Järvi, its principal conductor from
borgs Symfoniker) was founded in 1905, and now             1982 until 2004, the GSO became a major musical
numbers 109 players. One of the first of the orches-        force and since the 2003/04 season Järvi has
tra’s conductors was the great Swedish composer            continued to work with the orchestra as principal
Wilhelm Stenhammar (appointed principal conduc-            conductor emeritus. Succeeding him is the Swiss
tor in 1906) who contributed strongly to the Nor-          conductor Mario Venzago. Principal guest conduc-
dic profile of the orchestra, inviting his colleagues       tors are Christian Zacharias (classical repertoire) and
Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius to conduct their own        Peter Eötvös (modern and contemporary repertoire).
works. Subsequent holders of the post include
                                                           The list of prominent guest conductors includes
Sergiu Comissiona and Sixten Ehrling.
                                                           Wilhelm Furtwängler, Pierre Monteux, Herbert von
                                                           Karajan, Myung-Whun Chung, Herbert Blomstedt,
                                                           Alexander Lazarev and Kent Nagano.
                                                              For BIS the orchestra has recorded the complete
                                                           symphonies of Sibelius, Stenhammar and Svendsen,
                                                           as well as works by Nielsen, Schnittke and Eduard
                                                           Tubin – discs that have won several international
                                                           awards. In recognition of the orchestra’s role as an
                                                           ambassador of Swedish music, as well as its high
                                                           artistic level, in 1997 the GSO was appointed the
                                                           National Orchestra of Sweden. The orchestra makes
                                                           major international tours every season. Destinations
                                                           include the USA, Japan and the Far East as well as
                                                           the major European musical centres and festivals,
                                                           including the BBC Proms and the Salzburg Festival.

Shared By: