Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
Avanti! Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1983 at the initiative of conductors Esa-Pekka
Salonen and Jukka-Pekka Saraste and flautist Olli Pohjola to satisfy a need for
high-quality ensemble work by enthusiastic and highly skilled musicians. It was also
recognized that without such an ensemble, a great deal of contemporary music and other rare
repertoire would remain unperformed.
Avanti! has responded admirably to the challenge that it set itself, and many new musical
ideas in Finland have been channelled through it. It is an ensemble that varies in size
from a solo player to a symphony orchestra. It specializes in no particular genre; rather,
it is proud to be a specialist in all styles with a strong sense of responsibility for the
music of today.
Besides the winter season's concert series in Helsinki, the orchestra has held a music
festival of its own every summer in Porvoo since 1986. For the earliest festivals, various
ideas were pooled; there are still traces of the original unfettered vision in the
unexpected twists in the repertoire. Since the late 1990s, the festival has invited a
different artistic director each year. Cellist Anssi Karttunen, the first, has been
followed by Sakari Oramo, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kari Kriikku, John
Storgårds, Magnus Lindberg, Jouni Kaipainen, Hannu Lintu, Kaija Saariaho, Oliver Knussen,
Kirmo Lintinen, Seppo Kimanen, and Pekka Kuusisto.
Avanti! is constantly on the move and has become one of the most active ambassadors of
Finnish music abroad. International engagements take the orchestra regularly around the
Clarinettist Kari Kriikku has been the artistic director of Avanti! since 1998.
Visit avantimusic.fi for more information.
Hannu Lintu is artistic director and chief conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic
Orchestra. In 2010, he was appointed chief conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony
Orchestra; his tenure will begin with a year as chief guest conductor in the 2012-2013
season. Mr. Lintu is also principal guest conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
in Dublin. Previously, he has held artistic director positions with the Helsingborg
Symphony Orchestra and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mr. Lintu's recent engagements have included appearances with the Cincinnati Symphony,
Indianapolis Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Toronto Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony,
and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony orchestras; Stuttgarter Philharmoniker; RTVE Symphony
Orchestra; and the Hong Kong and Royal Flemish philharmonic orchestras. Highlights of the
2011-2012 season include engagements with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa),
Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra
(Taiwan), and a cycle of the complete Beethoven symphonies with the Iceland Symphony
Orchestra. He also returns to the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orchestre de
Chambre de Lausanne, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC.
Also making regular appearances as an opera conductor, Mr. Lintu has worked regularly with
the Finnish National Opera and will conduct Tannhäuser with Tampere Opera in
spring 2012. With the Finnish National Opera, he has conducted several productions,
including Wagner's Parsifal directed by Harry Kupfer, Bizet's Carmen,
Aulis Sallinen's King Lear, Kalevi Aho's Before We Are All Drowned, and
Mikko Heiniö's new opera The Hour of the Serpent. He has also worked with the
Estonian National Opera, Savonlinna Opera Festival, and at The Grant Park Music Festival in
Mr. Lintu has made several recordings for Ondine, Hyperion, and Naxos, as well as two
recordings for Danacord. His newest recording features Schumann's complete works for piano
and orchestra with Angela Hewitt and will be released in 2012. Other recent recordings
include works by Jouni Kaipainen with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, and Schumann,
Dietrich, Gernsheim, and Volkmann with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.