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October 20, 2013 Meri Englund & Paavali Jumppanen
 

Photograph of Meri Englund, violin

Meri Englund, violin

Finnish violinist Meri Englund has served as concertmaster of Tapiola Sinfonietta since 2003. She has also worked as concertmaster for the Finnish Radio Orchestra and is a member of the Finnish Chamber Orchestra. Throughout her successful career as chamber musician, soloist and concertmaster she has established herself as a respected and versatile musician in Finland and worldwide.

Mrs. Englund started her musical journey playing piano first at age three, then was fascinated by violin at the age of six and started her violin studies at the Espoo Music Institute. In 1993, she was accepted into the prestigious Sibelius Academy and studied under Jaakko Ilves, Kaija Saarikettu and Mi-Kyung Lee. During 1996–97, she studied at the Gothenburg Academy of Music and Drama with professor Milan Vitek. Meri received her Master’s degree with distinction from the Sibelius Academy in 2004 and has attended master classes with Ana Chumachenko, Leonidas Kavakos, Pinchas Zukerman and Igor Ozim. In 2000, she won First Prize in Finland’s national Kuopio Violin Competition.

Meri Englund enjoys performing in a wide variety of styles and venues around the world. Besides taking part in a number of chamber music festivals in Finland, she has held solo engagements with numerous Finnish orchestras. Internationally, she has performed in most European countries as well as Japan. This summer she was also invited to perform at La Jolla SummerFest in San Diego. In a career spanning over a decade, she has had the privilege to perform with some world-renowned musicians including Ana Chumachenko, Tabea Zimmermann, Ralf Gothóni, Olli Mustonen and Pekka Kuusisto. Future engagements for the coming year include chamber music concerts and solo performances in the United States, China, Hong Kong and Finland.

Mrs. Englund has been especially highly acclaimed for her soulful interpretation of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. Her latest performance of the concerto was with her home orchestra Tapiola Sinfonietta and conductor Leif Segerstam.

Currently Mrs. Englund lives with her family in San Diego, California. When not playing the violin, she enjoys the outdoors and free time with her family, husband and two children. Aside from music, she is interested in cooking and enjoys sharing good food with friends and family.

Meri Englund plays a Cremonese Lorenzo Storioni-school violin from the late 18th century, with deep appreciation towards Finnish Cultural Foundation and Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation who provided important financial support for this special instrument.

 

Photograph of Paavali Jumppanen, piano

Paavali Jumppanen, piano

Finnish pianist Paavali Jumppanen’s New York debut in 2001 at the 92nd Street Y, presented by Young Concert Artists, garnered reviews of “fresh and exciting” playing and “immense power and an extraordinary range of colors.” Mr. Jumppanen has since toured extensively in the U.S. performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, where he has since his debut concert in 2001 performed frequently. His New York appearances have included performances at the Metropolitan Museum, Morgan Library and at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. In 2002, he made his New York concerto debut with the New York Chamber Symphony conducted by Gerard Schwarz at Alice Tully Hall.

In the recent years, Mr. Jumppanen has dedicated much of his time to exploring music of the Viennese Classical Period. He has often performed the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle and recently completed a multi-year project of recording the Sonatas cycle, the first part of which will be released in March 2014 (Ondine). After one of his Beethoven recitals the Boston Globe remarked:

“The sheer, overflowing energy of his musicianship held one’s attention throughout this impressive performance and the result was a bracing and enjoyable reminder of how path-breaking Beethoven’s music was.”

Mr. Jumppanen spent the 2011-12 season in residence at the Music Department of Harvard University in Cambridge where, in addition to deepening his understanding on Viennese 18th century music, he was able to realize his longtime aspiration to study musicology and music theory. During the 2010-11 season Mr. Jumppanen performed the complete Piano Sonatas by Mozart at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Violinist Corey Cerovsek and Paavali Jumppanen received the MIDEM Prize of Cannes in February 2008 for “Best Chamber Music Disc of the Year” for their recording Beethoven: 10 Violin Sonatas (Claves).

During the 2013-14 season Mr. Jumppanen appears with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, performing the five Piano Concertos by Beethoven. In addition he will perform with the Helsinki and Turku Philharmonic orchestras in Finland, and return to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston to begin a two-year project focusing in works by Schumann and Stockhausen. He will also perform recitals in Germany, Switzerland, France, and Italy. Furthermore, the current season includes a tour of Australia with the Australian Chamber Orchestra as well as appearances at the Chanel Nexus Festival in Tokyo and Messiaen Festival in France.

Paavali Jumppanen was born in 1974 in Espoo where at the age of five he began piano lessons at the Music Institute. In 1992 he entered the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and from 1997 to 2000 studied with Krystian Zimerman at the Basel Music Academy in Switzerland. In Basel Mr. Jumppanen also studied the organ, fortepiano, and clavichord. In addition to his institutional studies, Russian born pianist Konstantin Bogino has been an important mentor for Mr. Jumppanen throughout his studies and career.

After winning first prize at Helsinki’s Maj Lind Competition in 1994, Mr. Jumppanen has become regular soloist of many of Finland’s leading orchestras. He frequently appears with the Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Lahti Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed extensively in Europe, Japan, and Australia, appearing with the Melbourne Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Stuttgart Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra as well as appearances at numerous festivals including the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland and the La Roque d’Anthéron Festival in France. In 2015 Mr. Jumppanen will begin serving as the artistic director to PianoEspoo Festival, the most prominent international piano festival in his native Finland.

Mr. Jumppanen also frequently performs the classics of the avant-garde as well as contemporary works and regularly commissions works from Finnish composers. His recording of the complete Piano Sonatas by Pierre Boulez (DGG 2005) earned the praise of London’s Guardian, calling it “the best recorded disc of Boulez’s piano music so far.” Having worked with Pierre Boulez himself, Jumppanen has become a celebrated advocate of Boulez’s music. His repertoire also includes the large cycle for solo piano, Vingt Regards Sur l’Enfant Jėsus by Olivier Messiaen. His performance of the work at the Gardner Museum in Boston in 2010, subsequently selected as one of the top ten performances of the year by the Boston Globe, was reported by that esteemed newspaper to be “A rare wedding of intellectual penetration, coloristic imagination, and sheer virtuoso firepower.”

Read more about Paavali Jumppanen and listen to examples of his work at his management firm’s Web site at artsmg.com/Piano/PaavaliJumppanen.

 

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