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Hannu Lintu to continue as FRSO Chief Conductor until 2021

Radion sinfoniaorkesteri ja Hannu Lintu
Radion sinfoniaorkesteri ja Hannu Lintu Picture by: Yle/Tiina-Maija Lehtonen radion sinfoniaorkesteri

2016/2017 season looks to the future via the ‘Finland 100 Years’ jubilee

Hannu Lintu, who began as Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2013, will continue in his post until 2021. The new agreement beginning in 2018 incorporates a further two-year option. “I’m pleased that we’ve arrived at a shared vision of the FRSO’s future during my first three years as Chief Conductor,” says Lintu. “This being the case, an extension could not be a more natural option.”

Yle CEO Lauri Kivinen values long-term collaboration with Hannu Lintu as regards the orchestra’s sustained regeneration and artistic development. “As the modern figurehead of the FRSO, Hannu Lintu has joined the ranks of the great Finnish conductors. He is dynamically leading the orchestra forwards and has broad-mindedly opened up new opportunities for exploiting the media to the gratification of all in Finland.” Maestro Lintu in turn applauds the Yle management for its commitment to the FRSO. “The dialogue has been fruitful and as a result, the Yle Board of Directors will be presented with a new strategy for the orchestra in the course of the spring. A vision is emerging in which the FRSO and Yle are resolutely committed to coherent plans for the future and especially the honing of the orchestra’s international success factors.”

The FRSO will be aiming increasingly at a close, open and effective audience relationship: at its concerts, on tour and via the Yle channels. “The FRSO is an orchestra for everyone in Finland, that is seen and heard and of which we can be proud. On the initiative of CEO Kivinen, an instrument bank is also to be established for the orchestra, implementing new partnership models,” Lintu reveals.

The FRSO has enjoyed growing popularity in recent years, judging from both the number of concert-goers it attracts and its highly-acclaimed records and tours. Last year, 97% of the tickets for concerts at the Helsinki Music Centre were sold, and its concerts attracted 1.4 million online and TV followers. Each concert was heard on the radio by 100,000 listeners. The CD of Sibelius’s Lemminkäinen Suite and the DVD of the TV series Sibelius, Lintu and the FRSO were singled out by the prestigious Gramophone magazine. The tour to Austria in January was praised in the local press. “I’m very proud of the orchestra and the years ahead will, I am sure, provide audiences all over Finland with some fine musical moments,” says Hannu Lintu.

Lang Lang, Karita Mattila as Sieglinde, and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Rite of Spring

The 2016/2017 season looks to the future via the ‘Finland 100 Years’ jubilee. FRSO concerts will be highlighting Finnish Modernist pioneers Väinö Raitio, Uuno Klami, Aarre Merikanto and Ernst Pingoud.

At the start of the autumn season, Chinese pianist Lang Lang will be the soloist with the FRSO at the Helsinki Festival. On 7–8 September Karita Mattila, Simon O’Neill and Mika Kares will sing in Act 1 of Wagner’s opera Die Walküre. Esa-Pekka Salonen will conduct Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Kent Nagano, renowned for his readings of Bruckner, will lead the orchestra through the 8th Symphony. Among the Finnish guest conductors will be John Storgårds and Osmo Vänskä, plus FRSO honorary conductors Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Sakari Oramo.

Teodor Currentzis, Artistic Director of the Perm State Opera and Ballet Theatre, will make his FRSO debut with a programme of Mahler. Other new acquaintances will be conductors Gustavo Gimeno and Nicholas Collon. Violinist Leonidas Kavakos will play Beethoven and Daniil Trifonov a Piano Concerto by Ravel. Percussionist Martin Grubinger will be the soloist in the Percussion Concerto, Sieidi, by Kalevi Aho.

Premieres of two Finnish Wind Concertos

The first of the season’s five Yle commissions to be premiered is Winter calm and Summer storms for mezzo-soprano and orchestra by Eero Hämeenniemi. Two of the premieres are Wind Concertos, one for trombone by Jukka Tiensuu and the other for bassoon by Jaakko Kuusisto. At the Musica nova Helsinki festival of contemporary music, the FRSO will perform an orchestral work by Sauli Zinovjev, Telekinesis by Tyondai Braxton commissioned jointly by the Southbank Centre and Musica nova Helsinki, and on 5 May an orchestral work by Sebastian Fagerlund. The first performances in Finland will be given of Kaija Saariaho’s Harp Concerto and Magnus Lindberg’s song cycle Accused and second Violin Concerto. The soloist in the latter will be Frank Peter Zimmermann, who gave the Concerto its world premiere performance.

Recordings of Sibelius, Tüür and Prokofiev

The close, highly-successful collaboration between the FRSO, Hannu Lintu and the Ondine label continues. The forthcoming season will see the release of some Sibelius songs with Anne-Sofie von Otter and the Clarinet Concerto and Concerto for Clarinet and Violin by Erkki-Sven Tüür. The recording of the complete cycle of Prokofiev Piano Concertos with Olli Mustonen will be released in two volumes, and BIS will record the Guitar Concerto and some orchestral works by Sebastian Fagerlund.

All the FRSO concerts in the season series can be seen and heard live on the Yle channels, on Yle Radio 1 and at yle.fi/rso.

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