32nd Edition of Avanti’s Summer Sounds festival program released!

XXXII Edition of Avanti’s Summer Sounds: “Chantefables – Songs and Sagas” 

Wed 28 Jun – Sun 2 Jul, Porvoo and Loviisa

Sonatas, juggling, free concerts and criticism of consumerism – Avanti’s Summer Sounds 2017 offer all this and a lot more!

Avanti’s 32nd Summer Sounds Festival will be spanning five days in late June and early July. An already-traditional head start on the festival will be made on 28 June at Pernaja Church, while the rest of the festival concerts take place in Porvoo on 29 June – 2 July. There will be 14 concerts in total, and the tickets are already available for purchase with some great offers. This year, composer Lotta Wennäkoski coordinates the festival programme.

Programme Planned by Composer Lotta Wennäkoski

“It has been an absolute joy putting the programme together, not least because I have followed Avanti! as a fan and listener since the 1980s. Later, I had the privilege to collaborate with this unique bunch of artists on a piece of my own, and now it happens that I am in charge of a whole festival programme,” says composer Lotta Wennäkoski, the Artistic Director of this year’s Summer Sounds.

“To me, Avanti! has always stood for supreme skill, high artistic quality, explosive energy and fearless impulsiveness. Versatility and multiformity have always gone hand in hand with these elements, and I think that it has been especially at the Summer Sounds where Avanti! has always come to the fore at their most daring. This year, we will travel from the late Renaissance to today – a temporal journey of 400 years! – with an emphasis on songs and stories. Welcome to the world of butterflies, crickets, songs and stories that open to a variety of dimensions,” Wennäkoski describes.

Lotta Wennäkoski was the artistic co-ordinator of The Tampere Biennale Festival in 2008–2010 and the composer-in-residence for Tapiola Sinfonietta during the season 2010–2011. Her music has been performed widely in Finnish and international concert halls and festivals, including The Helsinki Festival, Musica Nova, Märzmusik Berlin, Warsaw Autumn, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and The Other Minds Festival. She has also composed a number of commissioned works for the likes of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Versatile and Multiform

This year’s programme comes not only in different styles but in different shapes as well: in addition to more conventional solo instruments, Avanti! will be fronted by some more unusual soloists – including a juggler and a Foley artist. Perhaps the most notable names to join the orchestra this summer are Polish soprano-composer Agata Zubel and Kersten McCall, German flutist for the prestigious Dutch Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The whole programme is now available on www.avantimusic.fi/en/suvisoiton-ohjelma-2/.

The festival will commence on Wednesday 28 June at the atmospheric Pernaja Church, a perfect venue for intimate chamber music. In addition to Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello, three contemporary pieces will be heard in the concert – all in arrangements by Avanti! Quartet and John Storgårds.

The opening concert at Porvoo Art Factory’s Avanti Hall on Thursday 29 June will witness the collision of “the screeching and squirming” violin concerto, written by Agata Zubel and interpreted by John Storgårds, and the percussive thunder of the orchestra. Composer Ville Raasakka’s anti-consumerist “Hypermarket and Hypercommodity” is a concerto for material items, piano and chamber orchestra. Targeting hyperconsumerism, the piece draws sonic elements from the various material items used in transporting, packing and purchasing goods, such as plastic bags, shopping baskets and banknotes. Pianist Emil Holmström will be the soloist. The other half of the concert is comprised of György Ligeti’s “Ramifications“, a classic of micropolyphony, and Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella Suite“, a fresh expedition into love, respect and the past. Avanti! will be conducted by Dima Slobodeniouk.

The festival Thursday will close at the Factory Hall of the Porvoo Art Factory. In a late-night piano recital, Joonas Ahonen will focus on American music through both intense and meditative examples.

What will happen when Avanti!, conducted by John Storgård, will be joined by a soprano, a juggler and a sound-magician? That we will find out on Friday 30 June at the Porvoo Art Factory. Georges Aperghis’s “La Nuit en tête” is a brooding nocturne for soprano Agata Zubel and chamber orchestra, while “Jong” by Lotta Wennäkoski limelights juggler Sakari Männistö as a soloist. The concert will also see a premiere from Sami Klemola with Foley artist Heikki Kossi fronting Avanti!. Kossi is a sound wizard who specialises in conjuring up sounds of footsteps and creaking doors for film.

The Friday night will be finished off with folk sounds at restaurant Zum Beispiel. The Artistic Director Lotta Wennäkoski, who proclaims herself a friend of Hungarian folk music, will host the evening and has also promised to grab her violin and take the stage.

On Saturday 1 July, the Cultural House Grand will host a children’s concert with Mimmit – a irrepressible orchestra led by two siblings and known from children’s TV. A medley of music, dance and visual elements, this concert has a 100 % feel-good guarantee.

Composer-soprano Agata Zubel is both the star and the originator of the piece “Not I“. Inspired by a Samuel Becket monologue and opening the festival Saturday at the Avanti Hall, the composition stages a struggle with the self with its writer tossing and turning both as a singer and a mouthpiece of Becket’s words. “Soie” by Wennäkoski is a flute concerto that draws its textures – sometimes as soft as silk, sometimes as coarse as linen – from the world of textiles. Flutist Kersten McCall will be heard as a soloist.

Saturday evening sees singer Emma Salokoski tackle Eva Dahlgren songs from album “Jag vill se min älskade komma från det vilda” – Dahlgren’s 1995 collaborative work with conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, arranger Anders Hillborg and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. A number of Salokoski’s own pieces will also be heard in Finnish orchestral arrangements. The concert will be conducted by Anna-Maria Helsing.

The final concert, conducted by John Storgårds, will be held at the Porvoo Art Factory on 2 July. In Tristan Murail’s “L’esprit des dunes“, electronical winds sweep through the Gobi Desert and the Tibetan mountains. Lotta Wennäkoski’s “Verdigris“, written in honour of Jean Sibelius’s 150th anniversary, nods to the great composer’s symphonic poem “En saga (A Fairytale)“. The cherry on the cake will be Symphony no. 4 by Brahms.

Free Urban Concerts for Everyone

This year’s Summer Sounds will see Avanti! hosting free concerts in the Porvoo city centre again. Launched last year to great success, the concerts are intimate and accessible titbits from the festival programme. 100 % Avanti!-quality easily accessible to all Porvoo city-dwellers! Some picks from this year’s free programme include Polish sung poetry by duo Agata Zubel-Joonas Ahonen, the energetic and intensive trio Süle-Lahti-Nikula, and the fruits of young composers’ labour, prepared at the festival workshops. The free concerts will take place at the Art Factory, The Little Church, Cultural House Grand and Haaga-Helia.

Born in 1986? Welcome to the Festival for Free!

Founded in 1986, the Summer Sounds Festival invites all born the same year (1986) to the festival for free.
“We want to offer people living the hectic life of a thirty-something a free moment from the hamster wheel. If you were born in 1986 you will receive a free ticket to a concert of your choice by sending an email to our office, liput@avantimusic.fi,” encourages Maati Rehor, Avanti’s Executive Director.

For early birds, tickets to Porvoo Art Factory concerts are available at a 32% discount until 20 March. Use code AIKALAISET at Lippupiste ticket shops.

Further information on the campaign on www.avantimusic.fi/tickets

Tickets sales begin on 14 Feb

More info on www.avantimusic.fi/tickets. Tickets available online at www.lippu.fi.


Festival busses

Festival busses run from Helsinki straight to Porvoo Art Factory and back. More info on www.avantimusic.fi/en/festaribussi-2/


Chamber Orchestra Avanti!

Formed in 1983, Chamber Orchestra Avanti! is the brainchild of conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, flutist Olli Pohjola and conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Since the beginning, Avanti!’s core philosophy has been aiming at an outstanding artistic level in an outstanding company. Open-minded and open-armed, Avanti! has, over the years, performed music that would never have reached Finnish concert halls under other circumstances. The orchestra’s Artistic Director is clarinettist Kari Kriikku.

Avanti! offers music to the broad-minded and takes the listener to new spheres: what used to sound familiar soon sounds fresh and new; what at first sounded new now sounds uncannily familiar. Avanti! moves across musical periods and genres in different incarnations, always as devoted to artistic quality.

Summer Sounds

Avanti’s annual Summer Sounds Festival was founded in 1986. The festival offers a cross-section in the orchestra’s role: in the centre of the festival is, of course, Avanti! itself in different line-ups. Even though there is perhaps some emphasis on new music, Baroque music will be heard alongside premiering pieces. The city of Porvoo has also forged an intimate connection with the festival. Over the years, the festival has seen a number of prestigious Artistic Directors from violinist Pekka Kuusisto to conductor Hannu Lintu and composer Kaija Saariaho. The festival is supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the City of Porvoo and The Finnish Cultural Foundation.


Avanti! visits Sodankylä Midnight Sun Film Festival 16.6.2017

As our annual Friday silent film, the renowned

Avanti! chamber orchestra, led by world famous Canadian conductor Gabriel Thibaudeau, present Thibaudeau’s new composition of Rupert Julian classic The Phantom of the Opera (1925) at the Sodankylä Midnight Sun Film Festival on Friday June 16th. Lon Chaney, the man with a thousand faces, haunts the Paris Opera House as the deformed Phantom. As a rare treat, opera singer Reetta Haavisto performs the soprano solo.

Read more from MSFF web site.

Buy tickets 25 €


Sat May 27th 2017 at 7 pm
Musiikkitalo, concert hall

Olari Elts, conductor
Karita Mattila, soprano

Karita Mattila was catapulted to international attention when she won the singing contest Cardiff Singer of the World in 1983. As chance would have it, Avanti! was founded the same year, and the paths of these two veritable phenomena of Finnish music have crossed later, too. In May, Mattila and Avanti! conducted by Olari Elts join forces in an end-of-season concert that will also see the premiere of a new orchestral work by composer Lauri Kilpiö. The piece has been commissioned by Pro Musica Foundation, which also supports the concert.

“The driving sonic forces of my upcoming orchestral piece are mostly timbres and textures, some of which are formed by noises of an indefinite pitch. Irrespective of this, my piece is not sound art but motive-driven music. What this means is that it is composed of a limited amount of musical entities that recur, develop, change and become juxtaposed in the course of the piece. Equally important to me is that my music has long arcs, intensity and moments of climax. All these are basically symphonic qualities. Indeed, one could say that I aim at composing music that is symphonic in nature but without melodic themes.

Is my piece, then, a symphony? I do not know yet; we shall have to wait and see. But does this question even matter that much?” – Lauri Kilpiö.

The pieces to be performed by Mattila portrait the feelings of love and longing in the lightness of spring. French composer Henri Duparc’s songs are filled with elegant saudade and sensuality. The damsel in Jean Sibelius’s song ‘Flickan kom ifrån sin älsklings möte’ falls victim to an infidel lover. In Rydberg’s ‘På verandan vid havet’ the pregnant silence expresses omnipresent longing, whereas in ’Våren flyktar hastigt’ by Runeberg the mere memory of spring encourages to love. Contentment of the heart, then again, shines through Robert Schumann’s symphony “Spring”: for the that time newly-wedded composer the season is swarming with signs of romance.


NOTE: The concert program has changed. The information is updated on Jan 23th 2017.


Lauri Kilpiö: new work

Henri Duparc:
L’invitation au voyage (Charles Baudelaire)
Chanson triste (Jean Lahore)
Phidylé (Leconte de Lisle)

Jean Sibelius:
På verandan vid havet op. 38/2 (Viktor Rydberg)
Flickan kom från sin älsklings mote op. 37/5 (Johan Ludvig Runeberg)
Våren flyktar hastigt op. 13/4 (Johan Ludvig Runeberg)

Robert Schumann: Symphony no 1 B flat major “Spring” Op. 38
Andante un poco maestoso – Allegro molto vivace
Scherzo (Molto vivace)
Allegro animato e grazioso


The concert is produced with the support of Pro Musica Foundation.


Tickets 59,00 – 22,50 € from www.ticketmaster.fi or 55 – 20 € from Musiikkitalo’s ticket office

Taite ry & Avanti!: Neijonnälkä 29.9.–1.10.2017

Fantastic music and powerful operatic narrative!
The opera company Taite ry and Avanti! Chamber Orchestra will perform two operas by Väinö Raitio in the stage of Almi Hall: Väinämöisen kosinta (Väinämöinen’s wooing) will be orchestrated for the first time ever, while Lyydian kuningas (The King of Lydia) is a rarely seen gem of Finnish opera. The performance will also include extracts from Raitio’s incidental music to the play Asaria. This is an evening of memorable combination of fantastic music and imposing drama.


Annami Hylkilä, soprano
Juha Hostikka, baritone
Markus Nieminen, baritone
Ilkka Hämäläinen, tenor
Anu Hostikka, soprano
Tanja Kauppinen-Savijoki, soprano
Riikka Rantanen, mezzo-soprano

Performances at the Finnish National Opera Alminsali:
Fri Sept 29th 2017 at 6 pm, premier Buy tickets
Sat Sept 30th 2017 at 6 pm Buy tickets
Sun Oct 1st 2017 at 3 pm Buy tickets
Duration approx. 1 h 15 mins, no intermission

Ticket prices, including the service fees:
Normal 36 € / pensioners 32 € / unemployed and students 18 €
Buy tickets here

Music: Väinö Raitio
Sets and costumes: Mark Väisänen
Text: Eino Leino
Conductor: Tuomas Hannikainen
Director: Johanna Freundlich

RITE 14.3.2017

Tue March 14th 2017 at 7 pm
Porvoo Cathedral

Lauri Ahokas, conductor
Juho Laitinen, electronic cello

Rite returns! This time, Avanti! takes the much-lauded concert phenomenon to the atmospheric Porvoo Cathedral. Rite brings together old and new music and takes advantage of the solemn space and peculiar acoustics of the church milieu. The concert will culminate in concerto “Tarinaoopperabaletti” (Story Opera Ballet) for electronic cello, composed by Jukka Tiensuu for cellist Juho Laitinen.

Of well-known baroque-era names, the programme includes Henry Purcell’s ‘The Queen’s Funeral March’ and Marin Marais’s piece “Sonnerie de Ste-Geneviève du Mont de Paris”, which the audience will know from the biopic All the Mornings of the World.

The title “rite” does not only refer to and describe the programme but the form of the whole concert, as well. From to the flamboyance of baroque and its well-known pearls, the concert takes us to futuristic atmospheres of the 1900s, along with a number of rarely performed pieces from the 1950s. Capping off the concert will be Jukka Tiensuu’s concerto for electronic cello, premiered last spring.

Everything one needs in life one finds in the embrace of music.
Just the thing for cradle, for funeral, for resurrection.
Excitement, reassurance, jubilation, acquiescence.
Electrifying cellos, glorious trumpets. Dance and sighs and the thunder of bells.
Ancient and brand new – all in sweet symbiosis.
(Jukka Tiensuu)


Giacinto Scelsi: Quattro pezzi per tromba sola I
Henry Purcell: The Queen’s Funeral March
Pierre Henry: Variations pour une porte et un soupir: 4. Eveil
Jukka Tiensuu: Kalaasi
Pierre Henry: Variations pour une porte et un soupir: 8. Comptine
Henry Purcell: Pavane & Chacony
Otto Luening: Low Speed
Giacinto Scelsi: Quattro pezzi per tromba sola II
Marin Marais: Sonnerie de Ste-Geneviève du Mont de Paris
Jukka Tiensuu: Concerto for electronic cello and ensemble


The concert is part of Taidetehtaan Klassikot concert series.
Single tickets 27,50 € or Taidetehtaan Klassikot season ticket 78,50 € from www.lippu.fi


Musica Nova: In the spirit of Ligeti 12.2.2017

Sun Feb 12th 2017 at 2 pm
Musiikkitalo, Paavo-hall

Clement Power, conductor

In the Spirit of Ligeti closes the festival Musica Nova, delving into the pervasive Ligetian influence in the works of his son and major students.  Avanti! will be conducted by British Clement Power.

Lukas Ligeti’s piece ‘Curtain’ marries European modernism and African rhythms. Inspired by visual arts, the piece applies the technique of layering to music in a way that justifies comparisons to animation artist William Kentdrige. Ligeti paints on the melodic and harmonic canvas provided by the string quartet, creating an intriguing tension between the quartet and the larger ensemble.

“Thall” (“mask” in Korean), the last part of Unsuk Chin’s cosmigimmicks, is a tribute to György Ligeti. In the centre of this musical pantomime is the guitar. Using only of a few repetitive microtones, the guitar plays a pseudo melody that changes according to the harmonies of other instruments – just like the expression on a mime artist’s face.

Benedict Mason, another important student of Ligeti’s, too, nods to his mentor in his piece “Hinterstoissener traverse”. By restricting itself to the use of only one note, g, this extremely minimalistic piece manages to direct its attention fully to the exploration of rhythm and dynamic.

The concert is a part of Finland’s largest-scale contemporary music festival Musica Nova Helsinki. In 2017, conductor André de Ridder acts as the Artistic Director of the festival.



Benedict Mason: Hinterstoissener traverse (1986)

Unsuk Chin:  cosmigimmicks (2012)
1. Shadow Play
2. Quad
3. Thall

Lukas Ligeti:  Curtain (2015)

Duration 1h.


Tickets 28,00 / 17,50 € from www.ticketmaster.fi  or 25 / 15 € from Musiikkitalo’s ticket office.



KLANG: Play on! 9.12.2016

Fri 9.12.2016 at 7:30 pm
Helsinki Music Centre, Sonore-hall

Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor

Klang 2016 sees Avanti premiere pieces by the composition students of the Sibelius Academy.
The programme consists of three pairs of compositions, each penned by two aspiring writers. While facing the challenge of overall coherence and ensuring that their piece is in unison with that of their pair’s, the composers have also a unique chance to explore the range of instrumentation possibilities that the large ensemble opens up. For seamless, vignette-like transitions, they will have to enter into a dialogue and have the readiness to meet each other halfway. Where does one’s identity begin and end, or can two become one?

Mioko YokoyamaWalter Sallinen: new work
Saara LindahlDante Thelestam: new work
Jaime BelmonteAleksejs Pegusevs: new work

Tickets 17,50 / 11,50 / 6,50 € from Ticketmaster or 15 / 10 / 5 € from the Music Centre’s ticket sales.



Raise your glass to the viol 31.10.2016

Mon 31.10.2016 at 7 pm
Club G LIVELAB (Pieni Roobertinkatu 16, Helsinki)

Jukka Rautasalo, leader and viol
Tuuli Lindeberg, soprano
Anthony Marini, violin and tenor viol
Ilkka Heinonen, jouhikko and violone
Matias Häkkinen, harpsichord and pump organ

In a public house, one may find oneself in the company of rowdy sailors and coquettish harlots. If you wish to avoid trouble, it is best to stay out of the way of drunken soldiers and hot-headed brawlers. Of course, one must be watchful of pickpockets, beggars and tricksters, too.
Respected musicians held different sorts of soirées in urban taverns. Playing host to a new sort of entertainment – the public concert – such as The Mitre Inn in London and Zimmermann’s Coffee House in Leipzig were zones free from the influence of the clergy and the court.
This was life in the 17th century, the golden age of the viol.
In October, we will take our viols to the familiar scene of their ancestors: the pub. Where we go from there – let that be determined by the clientele and the atmosphere!

Tickets 20 / 15 € from http://www.glivelab.fi/


The Sound of Welfare 20.9.2016

Tue 20.9.2016 at 7 pm
Cable Factory, Merikaapelihalli

Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
Jaakko Kuusisto, conductor
Johanna Rusanen-Kartano, vocal
Jaakko Kortekangas, vocal
Petri Bäckström, vocal
Otaniemen Kaiku, choir
Pasi Heikura, host

The welfare state has taken ill as the commonplace goes. Can art provide the remedy?
Simultaneously with cuts being introduced, arts are being hailed as a form of therapy and funded with this end in mind. But should welfare music be cheery and simple? Can it be played in minor or does this fail to produce the greatest happiness to the greatest number? Could it be that a sign of true social welfare is art that is autonomous and free from all predetermined purposes?

It is a fact that music can heal many maladies. Numerous studies have shown the positive effect of music on intelligence, learning and happiness. Of course, music may also allure you to deviate from the straight and narrow. In this concert, Avanti will both indulge in warning examples and demonstrate music’s healing power.

Carl Nielsen: At the Bier of a Young Artist op. 58
Giuseppe Verdi: Traviata. Act lll, prelude
Eduard Hermes: Metsämiehen Juomalaulu
Francis Poulenc: Banalités, nro 2, Hôtel
Kirmo Lintinen: Fitness ooppera, Leon aaria
René Leibowitz: Marihuana variations non sériéuses
Franz Schubert: Erlkönig
W.A.Mozart:  Bastien und Bastienne, aria “Diggi, Daggi, Shurry, Murry…”


Peter Maxwell Davies: Eight songs for a mad king, nro 1, The Sentry
Hildegard von Bingen: Ovirtus Sapientiae
Marain Marais: Sappikivileikkaus
Pjotr Tshaikovsky: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Sean Beeson: Hoitavaa musiikkia
W.A.Mozart:  Sinfonia no 34 in C-major, K 338 Allegro vivace, Andante di molto (piu tosto allegretto), Finale: Allegro vivace

Tickets 27,50 / 17,50 €, www.lippu.fi