The musicians are, reports Chairman of the FRSO Orchestra Committee Jussi Särkkä, very pleased. “The partnership between the Orchestra and Lintu has worked extremely well: the concerts have been highly-focused and the programme planning has, from the Orchestra’s point of view, been varied and interesting.” The variety will continue in the concerts for the 2014/2015 season, the repertoire ranging from orchestral tone poems by Richard Strauss and great vocal works to major premieres and English music for viols.
Hannu Lintu feels it is important for the thriving collaboration with the Orchestra to be given more time. “I’m impressed by the FRSO’s desire and ability to throw itself wholeheartedly into new projects. We have reached mutual understanding over many musical issues and sound quality, so it’s good we can continue our partnership over a longer term.” The Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle) is likewise very satisfied that Lintu’s contract has been extended. According to Yle Director General Lauri Kivinen, Hannu Lintu has conspicuously assumed his post as Chief Conductor of the Radio Symphony Orchestra and his due responsibility for the FBC’s cultural mission in the Finnish media field. “He has brought the FRSO a bold and varied repertoire and his excellent contacts with Finnish composers are greatly helping to make Finnish music known.”
Variety and stars for the 2014/2015 season
In planning the programme for the 2014/2015 season, Hannu Lintu says he wanted to exploit the FRSO’s versatile stylistic skills and the liberal attitude of its audiences. The concerts will therefore feature such works as colourful orchestral tone poems by Richard Strauss, symphonies by Shostakovich, premieres, music of the Baroque, and Haydn’s mighty Creation. As its conductors, the Orchestra has invited such celebrated international maestros as Herbert Blomstedt and Kent Nagano. Its collaboration with its Honorary Chief Conductors Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Sakari Oramo will continue, and Esa-Pekka Salonen will be coming along to conduct a performance of Stravinsky’s Firebird. Also among the guests will be such shining vocal stars as Karita Mattila, Nina Stemme, Sandrine Piau, Christian Gerhaher, Michael Petrenko and Soile Isokoski. Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin and Tabea Zimmermann, viola will both be playing some Bartók, and pianist Olli Mustonen will join the FRSO in launching a series of Prokofiev piano concertos.
Four premieres and numerous first Finnish performances
At the season’s opening concert on 3 September, the FRSO will give the world premiere performance of Matthew Whittall’s The Architecture of Happiness. This will be followed in December by a new work by Perttu Haapanen. Premiere performances will be given in the spring of Minna Leinonen’s Scatterings and Colin Matthews’ orchestrations of songs by Sibelius. Receiving their first hearing in Finland will be Shostakovich’s opera Orango at the Helsinki Festival, Karawane for choir and orchestra by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kaija Saariaho’s Circle Map and organ concerto Maan varjot (Earth’s Shadows), and the second piano concerto by Magnus Lindberg.
Visits to Sibelius Jubilee Year events
In September, the FRSO conducted by Joshua Weilerstein will visit the International Radio Orchestra Festival in Bucharest. The soloist will be Jonathan Biss, a pianist renowned for his interpretations of Beethoven. In Stockholm the FRSO will appear under Hannu Lintu at the Sibelius–Nielsen Festival on 22 April 2015.