Finnish pianist Paavali Jumppanen’s performance was called “fresh and exciting” with “immense power and an extraordinary range of colors” at his New York debut presented by Young Concert Artists in 2001 in the 92nd Street Y’s renowned Kaufman Concert Hall. Mr. Jumppanen has since toured extensively in the United States including performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston where he has performed frequently since his 2001 debut there. He has also played extensively in Europe, Japan, and Australia, appearing with the Melbourne Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra as well as at numerous festivals including Finland’s Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and the La Roque d’Anthéron Festival in France.
Having dedicated much time to exploring music of the Viennese Classical Period, Mr. Jumppanen has often performed the complete cycle of Beethoven Piano Sonatas. Of one recital, the Boston Globe reported that “the sheer, overflowing energy of his musicianship held one’s attention throughout this impressive performance and the result was a bracing and enjoyable reminder of how path-breaking Beethoven’s music was.” Mr. Jumppanen recently completed a multi-year project of recording the cycle (Ondine); the fifth and final CD was released in 2016.
Among Mr. Jumppanen’s expanding discography the three Piano Sonatas by Pierre Boulez occupy a special place. The young pianist met with Mr. Boulez in Paris in 2001 performing for him the notoriously difficult Second Sonata. The composer was vastly impressed and invited Mr. Jumppanen to record the three sonatas under his guidance. The recording (DGG, 2005) earned praise in London’s Guardian, which pronounced it “the best recorded disc of Boulez’s piano music so far.”
Recent performances have included all five Piano Concertos by Beethoven with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and a national tour with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra as a soloist in the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto. During the previous season, Mr. Jumppanen gave the world premiere of the Piano Concerto by Seppo Pohjola with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Helsinki and the Nordic premiere of the Dynamic Triptych by John Foulds with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. In May 2016 Mr. Jumppanen leada project focusing in works by Debussy, Crumb, and Beethoven at the Australian National Academy in Melbourne.
During the 2016–17 season Mr. Jumppanen appears at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston performing a three-concert cycle of music by Debussy, Boulez, and Bartók. During the spring 2017 he tours in Australia and performs a tandem concert at the Portland International Piano Series with a program including a number of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas and the complete Preludes by Debussy. At the Musica Nova Helsinki festival, Mr. Jumppanen will give the world premiere of a concert-length triptych for piano and electronics composed for him by Perttu Haapanen. The season’s orchestral performances include concertos by Beethoven, Mozart, and Schumann. In January 2017 Mr. Jumppanen performs a Bach program on the organ in his hometown Espoo, to mark the beginning of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Mr. Jumppanen spent the 2011–12 season in residence at the Music Department of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was able to realize his longtime aspiration to study musicology and music theory while deepening his understanding of Viennese 18th century music. During the 2010–11 season Mr. Jumppanen performed the complete cycle of Mozart Piano Sonatas at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. A recording with violinist Corey Cerovsek of the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano & Violin received the Midem Prize of Cannes as the best chamber music disc of 2008.
Paavali Jumppanen was born in Espoo. In 1979, at the age of five, he began piano lessons at the Music Institute. He entered the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki in 1992. From 1997 to 2000, he studied with Krystian Zimerman at the Basel Music Academy in Switzerland where he also studied the organ, fortepiano, and clavichord. Russian born pianist Konstantin Bogino has served as an important mentor to Mr. Jumppanen throughout his studies and career.
Since winning first prize in Helsinki’s Maj Lind Competition in 1994, Mr. Jumppanen has become regular soloist of Finland’s leading orchestras. He frequently appears with the Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio, and Lahti symphony orchestras. Since 2015 Mr. Jumppanen holds the position of Artistic Director for PianoEspoo festival, the widely-known international piano festival in his native Finland.
Mr. Jumppanen frequently performs the work of contemporary composers as well as the major repertoire of the avant-garde. He regularly commissions works from Finnish composers. Mr. Jumppanen has given a number of performances of Olivier Messian’s virtuosic concert-length solo piano cycle, Vingt Regards Sur l’Enfant Jėsus. His 2010 performance of the work at Boston’s Gardner Museum was selected as one of the top ten performances of the year by the Boston Globe which reported it be “a rare wedding of intellectual penetration, coloristic imagination, and sheer virtuoso firepower.”
Follow Paavali’s blog at www.paavalijumppanen.com
MAY 12, 2017
FRI 7 PM
PIANO & PIZZA with PAAVALI, a free event for piano students ages 12-22.
Join Paavali for an informal session to discuss the life of a concert pianist, repertoire and other subjects. For those under 16, parents should pick up their children at 8:30pm.
NOTE: All programs subject to change
MAY 13, 2017
SAT 4 PM
- Preludes, Book 1
- Piano Sonata Op. 27, No. 2 in C-sharp minor "Moonlight"
- Piano Sonata Op. 81a in E-flat Major "Les Adieux"
MAY 14, 2017
SUN 4:00 PM
- Preludes, Book 2
- Piano Sonata Op. 54 in F Major
- Piano Sonata Op. 57 in F minor "Appassionata"