MAY 6 - 12, 2011 By Saskia Constantinou SASKIA’S CHOICE 73 AROUND THE WORLD Sir John Eliot Gardiner Jump-starting the festival Since his New York debut in 2001, Paavali Jumppanen has received rave reviews wherever he has performed and will open this year’s Pharos Chamber Festival F innish pianist Paavali Jumppanen will perform Beethoven sonatas tonight at the Shoe Factory to kick off the Pharos Chamber Festival which this year has concerts in Kouklia and Nicosia. We managed to catch up with him ahead of his highly anticipated concert where he spoke about his passion for the great composer. “I’m going to record the late sonatas in July and when asked to return to Cyprus, thought these would be a good selection. They are a great programme in their own right, an eternal legacy of Beethoven, a great spiritual journey and a trilogy of unbelievable sonic beauty.” “We learn at university about balanced programming of epochs and styles, but this trend seems to have changed lately with a demand for complete cycles. “I like mixed programmes as long as the combinations are fruitful. Schoenberg with Wagner and Mozart go well, Bach goes well with Schumann, Beethoven with Chopin and so on. But cycles are a great tool to delve deeper into a composer’s world. When I performed the complete Beethoven Piano sonatas in a cycle, I was astonished to learn that the sonatas, which were composed just a couple of years apart, had a completely different energy to them. The Appassionata Op. 57 for example, with its colossal dramatic power was a huge departure from his previous writings and this discovery gave me a completely different perspective on the work. These subtle nuances get lost when there is only one work of a composer performed. So, mixed programmes and retrospectives are good to do.” It’s not only Beethoven but the Viennese and Romantic repertoire which particularly attracts Jumppanen. “Mozart and Beethoven were favourites when I was growing up. The Viennese classical composers had a potent abil- Paavali Jumppanen ity to create in their music significances which speak directly to the listener. That is what keeps the music fresh and credible through all these centuries and which will continue into the future. Although I perform modern and contemporary music, there is no need to discard old musical wisdom, especially when it gives listeners and performers great joy.” Winning the Maj Lind Competition at 19 was a turning point as it led to a number of performance opportunities. Jumppanen’s career had a similar start in New York winning the Young Concert Artists international auditions. “Several of the concert series I visited on my first US tour in 2001, I still perform in, so it was lucky and quite auspicious.” Jumppanen is currently writing a book of essays on the evolution of compositional style. “I’ve been writing my own programme notes for a long time, and while preparing for the Beethoven cycle, they basically exploded and became more than pro- gramme notes. I wanted to allow myself to elaborate and make use of the literature which I’ve studied, so the book was a natural extension. In fact, next season will be a sabbatical from performing and will be one of writing”, he says, smiling. Jumppanen believes that truly lazy people accomplish the most, as they have a constant feeling of not having done enough. “I like being disciplined – I play a lot, but I like the outdoors and do normal things like biking and jogging when I’m home. I also do Nordic hiking several times a year, ski in the winter, fish and kayak in the summer…well, more hiking.” Classical musicians vary greatly in their choice of relaxation music and Jumppanen is constantly surrounded by classical music. “When I travel, I go to festivals and listen to a lot of concerts, the Mahler and Brahms symphonies are particular favourites and I adore pianists such as Arrau, Gilels and Schnabel.” • The former Minister of Culture, Jean-Jacque Aillagon has honoured Sir John Eliot Gardiner with France’s highest accolade, the Legion d’Honneur for services to music in France. Sir John was presented with the award during a ceremony at the Palais de Versailles on April 14th which included a tree planted in Gardiner’s name in the palace gardens. As the founder and artistic director of the English Baroque Soloists, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and the Monteverdi Choir, Gardiner is often credited with ‘bringing French music back to the French’ as this music has played a major role throughout his extensive recording career. The orchestra and choir were recently voted “the greatest choir in the world” by Gramophone magazine and have just completed a run of performances of Weber’s Der Freischutz. This series is part of a five year creative partnership where ensembles perform operas originally premiered at the iconic venue of Opera Comique de Paris. • American composer Nico Muhly will present his Concerto for electric violin with Thomas Gould and the UK ensemble Aurora Orchestra. Muhly is recognised as an exceptional talent in contemporary music and is influenced by great minimalists, electronic fusions and, at the same time, the early English choral music. He has worked with a wide range of artists including Bjork, Glass, Grizzly Bear and Anthony and the Johnsons, reaching across musical genres and boundaries. For his UK arrival in the summer, his album Seeing is Believing will bring together four original compositions and three orchestral arrangements of vocal works by William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons. The album will be launched with two special concerts this week and will be followed by the premiere of Two Boys at ENO on June 24. Composer John Rutter, who lent his expertise for the recording hears in Muhly “someone from one century and one continent commenting on a previous century and previous continent. It’s really the old world and the new world interacting in a very exciting way.” LOCAL EVENTS Although seemingly The International Pharos Chamber Music Festival Althou mingly DON’ will begin tonight with a piano recital of Beethoven away, T far aw it is piano sonatas by Paavali Jumppanen on May 6 at a good idea goo M I SS COMPETI IT to put June TION the Shoe Factory, Nicosia. The festival, now in its 11th year, will then move to the Royal Manor House, 2 into your y Win tickets to the Pha Festival ros diary. The Kouklia on May 24 for five consecutive nights of fine send an e mail to saskia@cy legendary jazz chamber music led by highly spirited and talented Daishin ishin ja .cy with the answe Kashimoto, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. pianist Bruce r to this q uestion: How man The varied and balanced programme will include Mozart, Barth will join yc there be in oncerts will Arensky and a fantastic arrangement for string trio of forces with bassist Kouklia fo r the Pharos Ch Flo Moore and Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Be part of this internationally amber Fe stival? renowned festival, which attracts over 2,000 visitors drummer Stephen Keogh at the Shoe annually. Guided by a visionary spirit and dedicated to Factory, Nicosia for an artistic excellence and innovation, the festival makes the n high art of chamber music accessible with performances unforgettable programme of authentic jazz tunes. Book mme of the highest standards. Tickets are available from www. online now – or call 7000 9303 harostickets org 9303. or by telephone 7000 9304. Booking is essential as seating is extremely limited.