Performance Tuesday, November 12, 2013 | 7:30 PM

Olli Mustonen

Zankel Hall
Olli Mustonen is a multifaceted artist in the modern world of classical music, expressing his creative endeavors as a composer, conductor, and concert pianist. Hailed as “a pianist of formidable technique and idiosyncratic style … given his exceptional range of touch and hypersensitivity to dynamics” by The New York Times, the Finnish phenomenon comes to Carnegie Hall for an intimate recital of works by Bach, Shostakovich, and Rachmaninoff.


  • Olli Mustonen, Piano


  • BACH Partita No. 5 in G Major, BWV 829
  • SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Sonata No. 2 in B Minor, Op. 61
  • RACHMANINOFF Thirteen Preludes, Op. 32

  • Encore:
  • RACHMANINOFF Prelude in G-flat Major, Op. 23, No. 10

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Olli Mustonen

    Olli Mustonen has a unique place on today's music scene. Following the tradition of great masters such as Rachmaninoff, Busoni, and Enescu, Mr. Mustonen combines the roles of his musicianship as composer, pianist, and conductor in an equal balance that is quite exceptional.

    Mr. Mustonen performs in all the world's musical capitals, appearing as soloist with the Berliner Philharmoniker, The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, among others, with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Valery Gergiev, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Mr. Mustonen has also conducted all the major Finnish orchestras, as well as the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Camerata Salzburg, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, and NHK Symphony Orchestra.

    At the heart of both his piano performance and conducting career is his life as a composer. Mr. Mustonen has a deeply held conviction that each performance must have the freshness of being a first, so that audience and performer alike encounter the composer as a living contemporary.

    Over the course of the last three seasons, Mr. Mustonen undertook a complete cycle of the Beethoven piano concertos as soloist-conductor with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. This season, he is a featured artist at the Metropolis Festival, where he will appear as pianist, conductor, and composer. In 2012, Mr. Mustonen made a triumphant conducting appearance with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of his Symphony No. 1, "Tuuri." His Symphony No. 2, "Johannes Angelos," was commissioned by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and will receive its world premiere with the composer as conductor next season.

    Mr. Mustonen's recording catalogue is broad-ranging and distinctive. His release on Decca of preludes   by Shostakovich and Alkan received the Edison and Gramophone awards for best instrumental recording. Now signed to Ondine, his most recent releases include Respighi's Concerto in modo misolidio with Sakari Oramo and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and a critically acclaimed disc of Scriabin's piano music.

    More Info


Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues in D Minor
Olli Mustonen, Piano

At a Glance

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH  Partita No. 5 in G Major, BWV 829

Bach wrote his partitas to bolster his reputation as the new director of music in Leipzig and cantor for the St. Thomas Church. The resulting six partitas became some of the most important keyboard works of the Baroque era, showing off Bach's contemporary grasp of the latest musical styles and giving us a glimpse into those intriguing cultural times.

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH  Piano Sonata No. 2 in B Minor, Op. 61

Shostakovich's Piano Sonata No. 2 is a dark and difficult work completed in 1943 after the composer was evacuated during the Siege of Leningrad. His teacher Leonid Nikolayev, to whom the work is dedicated, had died in October 1942, an event that affected Shostakovich profoundly.

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF  Thirteen Preludes, Op. 32

With his Op. 32, Rachmaninoff completes his set of 24 preludes in the tradition of those before him, placing himself among the ranks of Bach, Chopin, Alkan, Scriabin, and Debussy in alloying key, harmony, technique, and expression.

Program Notes
This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos III: Keynotes.