Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Tarja Halonen recommends

Next Sunday 1st of December there will be a panel discussion at 2PM about equality in music with Wilhelm KvistEriikka Maalismaa, Kaarina Hazard, Juha Ahonen and yours truly moderated by Robin Lindeberg. And at 3PM TampereRaw will play a wonderful concert at Camerata at Musiikkitalo with the same topic, including my first piano quintet "Minna - Pictures from the life of Minna Canth". Oh yeah and our former president Tarja Halonen (in the picture) recommends this concert, so I guess you should come and listen! đŸ˜

Maria Itkonen, former president Tarja Halonen and me. Photo by Anna Angervo

Monday, 11 November 2019

New York debut!

It's Monday and a new exciting week is here; including two performances of my opera Djurens planet, in Oulu and Viitasaari and my first piece ever played in the USA! My friend Matti Pulkki will give my solo accordion piece "Shapes" it's US premiere on Tuesday at 7:30 PM at ASF + Scandinavia House! He is also going to give a lecture about writing for accordion (also including talking about "Shapes") at the Manhattan School of Music on Thursday! Friends in New York, hope you can go! I would if I could!

Friday, 8 November 2019

World premiere of "Requiem for our Earth" by Lyran

Yesterday my 30 minute piece "Requiem for our Earth" got its world premiere by Akademiska Damkören Lyran conducted by Jutta Seppinen, and what a world premiere it was! I had been stressed about this piece for ages because I definitely had gone way beyond my comfort zone: electronics, lights, moving choir, a new video projection by Marek Waldemar Pluciennik - so many things that potentially could go wrong - and everything went simply PERFECTLY! So happy and grateful to have the privilege to compose such a large scale work and get it performed by amazing performers to a sold out venue! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!

And getting so wonderful reviews by both HS – Helsingin Sanomat and Hbl - Hufvudstadsbladet makes me feel even more flabbergasted! "The highlight of the metropolitan area's concert season" Susanna VĂ€limĂ€ki wrote and Wilhelm Kvist's heartwarming words "My instant impression is that the piece is the most important thing I have seen in a long time"!
THANK YOU!đŸ€©đŸ€©đŸ€©đŸ€©đŸ€©đŸ€©đŸ€©đŸ€©đŸ€© 

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

"Our house is on fire"

"Our house is on fire. I'm here to say our house is on fire." -Greta Thunberg
My new piece "Requiem for our Earth" for female choir and electronics contains parts of Gretas speech in Davos January 2018, snippets from different speeches by Pope Francis as well as bleaching coral. It contains whistling and lights. It contains video projection by Marek Pluciennik. World premiere next week 7th of November! And this concert also includes an other world premiere by composer Perttu Haapanen. The whole concert is sung by the wonderful Akademiska Damkören Lyran and conducted by the fantastic Jutta Seppinen. Come and see for your self next week! Welcome!

Friday, 25 October 2019

Djurens planet autumn 2019

Happy world opera day to everyone! After seven great performances of my third children opera "Vickan & VÀinö" by Opera Box Helsinki it's time to head next week to The Finnish National Opera for more performances of my second children opera "Djurens planet"!

Photo by Heikki Tuuli
Most inspiring story of last week: my friend has a 2 year old daughter who saw my opera Djurens Planet last spring. The 2 year old daughter likes the scene of the dragon (which she calles "Kra Kra") so much that she wants to watch it everyday from an iPad! đŸ˜ Hearing that makes me feel like my job does make a difference after all. ❤️
Photo by Heikki Tuuli

Djurens planet more performances coming up again in the following weeks!
29.10 at 6 PM, Children from Granhultsskola, at Almi Hall, The Finnish National Opera
30.10 at 6 PM, Children from Rudolf Steinerskolan i Helsingfors, at Almi Hall, The Finnish National Opera

31.10 at 6 PM, Children from MĂ„rtendalsskola, at Almi Hall, The Finnish National Opera
1.11 at 6 PM, Children from GrÀnnÀsskolan, at Almi Hall, The Finnish National Opera
4.11 at 6 PM, Children from Hyvinge svenska skola, at Almi Hall, The Finnish National Opera
5.11 at 6 PM, Children from Boxby skola, at Almi Hall, The Finnish National Opera
7.11 at 6 PM, Children from Mikaelsskolan, at Sigurd SnÄre Salen, EkenÀs
12.11 at 6 PM, Children from Oulun normaalikoulu, at Oulun normaalikoulu, Koskela
14.11 at 6 PM, Children from Haapaniemenkoulu, at Haapaniemenkoulu, Viitasaari
19.11 at 6 PM, Children from Svenska samskolan i Tammerfors, at Svenska samskolan i Tammerfors, Tampere
21.11 at 6 PM, Children from Vatialan koulu, at Monitoimihalli, Kangasala
26.11 at 6 PM, Children from Björneborgs svenska samskola, at Björneborgs svenska samskola, Pori
28.11 at 6 PM, Children from Kristinestads skola, at Kristinestad

Photo by Heikki Tuuli

Monday, 14 October 2019

Premiere week!

Today's HS – Helsingin Sanomat tells us PREMIERE WEEK is here! New bilingual children opera  Vickan & VĂ€inö set up by Opera BOX at Helsinki Aleksanterin teatteri! TERVETULAO! VÄLKOMMEN!
Music by yours truly
Libretto & stage directing by Marina Motaleff-Kelly
Scenography & costume design: Tarmo Tanttu
Soprano: Hedvig PauligAnna Sandström
Tenore: Ville SalonenTopias Lundell
Barytone: Markus NieminenAku Rantama
Accordion: Janne Valkeajoki
17.10.2019 at 10 AM
17.10.2019 at 12 PM
17.10.2019 at 6 PM
18.10.2019 at 10 AM
18.10.2019 at 12 PM
18.10.2019 at 6 PM
19.10.2019 at 1 PM

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Quintet "Minna" on the Radio again

Last March my first Piano Quintet "Minna - Pictures from the Life of Minna Canth" was performed by the amazing musicians of TampereRaw! It was broadcast back then  by the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle. The radio programme "Aikamme suomalaista musiikkia" ("Finnish music of our time") is playing the recording in their latest program, so it is again online and can now be streamed all around the world for the next month! A presentation of Minna (in Finnish) begins at about 8:25 min and the actual piece begins at 11:50 min. Have a listen!

The program also contains pieces by my talented colleagues Jennah Vainio and Veli Kujala. For Finnish speaking friends I recommend you to listen to the very interesting commentary by the composer Aki Yli-SalomĂ€ki

Find the program online by clicking here!

Photo by Marthe Veian