Anssi Karttunen

cello

contact

Maike Charlotte Fuchs

mf(at)karstenwitt.com

+49 30 214 594-220

General Management

CR Irmeli Jung

Dates

21.02. 20:00
Bürgerpalais Stutterheim

Pablo Ortiz,  Manzi
11x6 - Hommages à Pascal Dusapin
Kaija Saariaho,  Prés for violoncello and electronik
Kaija Saariaho,  Spins and Spells
Thierry Pécou,  Mada la baleine for electric cello and electronics
Anssi Karttunen,  Electronic improvisation

Anssi Karttunen, violoncello

biography

Anssi Karttunen has always been on the cutting edge of classical music performance and is one of the most innovative cellists in today’s international music scene. He started learning the cello as a 4-year-old in Finland, a uniquely fertile ground for music and musicians, and subsequently built up a worldwide reputation both as a soloist and chamber musician. In his repertoire, he takes a fresh look at the work of well-known composers and brings forgotten masterpieces to the public ear, as well as his own original transcriptions. He plays on modern, classical, and baroque cellos, as well as the violoncello piccolo.

Anssi Karttunen is a passionate advocate of contemporary music. He has performed over 160 world premieres, collaborating with such composers as Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho, Rolf Wallin, Luca Francesconi and Tan Dun. An astounding 29 concertos have been written for him. He premiered Magnus Lindberg’s Cello Concerto No.1 with the Orchestre de Paris (1999) as well as his Cello Concerto No. 2 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (2013), Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Mania with Avanti! (2000), Martin Matalon’s cello concerto with the Orchestre National de France (2001) and Luca Francesconi’s Rest with the RAI Torino (2004). Kaija Saariaho wrote the concerto Notes on Light for Karttunen, which he premiered with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, who commissioned the work, in February 2007. He subsequently performed the concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio, NDR Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and the New World Symphony. Future premieres will include works by Denis Cohen, Pascal Dusapin, Jérôme Combier, Betsy Jolas, Oliver Knussen, Fred Lerdahl, Magnus Lindberg, Thierry Pécou and Sean Shepherd, as well as a very special project with the Led Zeppelin legend John Paul Jones.

Anssi Karttunen has worked with world-renowned orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, BBC Symphony, NHK Orchestra, Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Ensemble Modern, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and many more. He also performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician at Europe’s most important music festivals, including Edinburgh, Salzburg, Lockenhaus, Berlin, Venice, Strasbourg and Helsinki. His Zebra Trio, with violinist Ernst Kovacic and violist Steven Dann, performs concerts on both sides of the Atlantic. He also enjoys a close collaboration with pianist Nicolas Hodges and choreographer Diana Theocharidis.

His recordings traverse a broad musical spectrum, including Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano on period instruments, 20th century solo pieces, and concertos performed with the London Sinfonietta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen. He has released recordings of concertos by Lindberg, Saariaho, and Salonen on Sony Classical and a DVD of Tan Dun's The Map for cello, video and orchestra on Deutsche Grammophon. Two of Anssi Karttunen’s recordings were nominated for a Gramophone Award in 2013: a CD of Magnus Lindberg’s chamber music works, recorded with the composer and the clarinettist Kari Kriikku on Ondine; and Henri Dutilleux’ Tout un monde lointain, recorded with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Esa-Pekka Salonen on Deutsche Grammophon, which was chosen as the best contemporary recording of 2013. His recent recordings include his own transcriptions of Bach and Telemann; Brahms’ String Quintet for Toccata Classics; and two tango CDs, released on Petals and Albany.

Born in 1960, Anssi Karttunen studied with Erkki Rautio, William Pleeth, Jacqueline du Pré and Tibor de Machula, among others. From 1999 until 2005 he was principal cellist with the London Sinfonietta. He was the Artistic Director of the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra between 1994 and 1998 the Suvisoitto Festival in Porvoo, Finland from 1994 until 1997. He was the artistic director of the Helsinki Biennale in 1995 and 1997 and the Festival Musica Nova Helsinki in 2015.

He frequently gives masterclasses, for example at Carnegie Hall in 2012 with Kaija Saariaho and at the 2012 Cello Biennial Amsterdam. At the University of Berkeley, he taught and performed as a Regents’ Lecturer in the autumn of 2015. In 2008, he initiated the annual Creative Dialogue workshop at Santa Fe in collaboration with the Sibelius Academy. He started teaching at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris in the autumn of 2014. Anssi Karttunen plays on a Francesco Ruggeri cello.

2017/2018 season

This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorised by the artist management.

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repertoire

G. Aperghis Bloody Luna (for Cello and Ensemble)
C.P.E. Bach Concertos for Cello and Orchestra A major, A minor
B. Bartok Rhapsodie Nr. 1
L. v. Beethoven Triple Concerto
M. Bellamy Within Dreams I (2004)
L. Berio Ritorno degli Snovidenia
E. Bloch Schelomo
Voice in the Wilderness
L. Boccherini Concertos for Cello and Orchestra in B-flat major and G major
J. Brahms Double Concerto
B. Britten Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 68
M. Bruch Kol Nidrei
A. Caplet Epiphanie
E. Carter Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (2000)
Y.-K. Chung Farewell my Concubine (for Cello, Jinghu and chinese Orchestra)
L. Dallapiccola Dialoghie
J.-L. Darbellay Concerto for Cello and Orchestra*
P. Dusapin Celo (1996)
Outscape (2015)
H. Dutilleux Tout un monde lointain
A. Dvorak Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
Klid
more...

* = works written for Anssi Karttunen

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Reviews

The second cello concerto by Magnus Lindberg, with the excellent soloist Karttunen, is a masterpiece of balance; Karttunen doesn’t miss an opportunity in each movement to demonstrate his comprehensive ability.
klassik.com, Michael Loos, 13/06/2016

For the soloist, the piece [Dutilleux’s …tout un monde lointain] is a virtuoso workout, with runs that span the instrument’s range, ghostly harmonics and an emphasis on the cello’s very highest range. He threw himself into an energetic, intense performance, handling all of the work’s technical challenges.
Miami Herald, David Flesher, 11/04/2016

Respite was provided by “Notes on light” for cello and orchestra, written by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. Anssi Karttunen displayed every possible playing technique of the cello with presence and confidence.
Saarbrücker Zeitung, 27/05/2014

…this is also brilliantly mature cello writing that takes full advantage of Karttunen's natural grace unruffled by even the most extreme virtuosic demands. Mainly, Lindberg exploits the cellist's mastery of nuance.
Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed, 20/10/2013

…Karttunen’s virtuosity and versatility are clearly on show, but so too is his shining, beautifully clean tone. A must for anyone curious to hear what 30 modern minds can subject a cello to.
The Strad, Edward Bhesania

Ms. Saariaho composed “Notes on Light,” an unconventional cello concerto, last year for the brilliant soloist here, the Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen. (…) As always in a Saariaho score, color is primary, and Mr. Karttunen showed a mastery of myriad colorings in his rhapsodic performance.
The New York Times, 16/08/2008

The new 15-minute work has thick chords and delicate trills that seem to fill the air with heady, languid sensuality. Yet it still has power, and the virtuosity on display was arresting, given that Lindberg is a superb pianist and Karttunen perhaps the most impressive cellist on the scene today.
Los Angeles Times, 10/08/2006

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Audio

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Video

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Discography

Mystery Variations

Mystery Variations

on Giuseppe Colombi’s ChiaconaChiacona per basso solo by Giuseppe Colombi, and 30 variations by contemporary composers
Anssi Karttunen
Toccata Classics, 2013, TOCC0171

Henri Dutilleux: Correspondances

Henri Dutilleux: Correspondances

Correspondances; “Tout un monde lointain…»; The Shadows of Time
Anssi Karttunen, cello; Barbara Hannigan, soprano; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France / Esa-Pekka Salonen
Deutsche Grammophon, 2013, 0289 479 1180 7

Kaija Saariaho: Notes on Light

Kaija Saariaho: Notes on Light

Notes on Light; Orion; Mirage
Karita Mattila, soprano; Anssi Karttunen, cello; Orchestre de Paris / Christoph Eschenbach
Ondine, 2008, ODE 1130-2

Contemporary Music for Cello and Piano

Contemporary Music for Cello and Piano

Carter – Kaipainen – Denisov – Heininen – Bergman
Anssi Karttunen, cello; Tuija Hakkila, piano
Finlandia, 1988, 1576-53362-2

Debussy – Enescu – Janáček – Kodály

Debussy – Enescu – Janáček – Kodály

Anssi Karttunen, cello; Tuija Hakkila, piano
Finlandia, 1990, 1576-53395-2

Concertos by Hindemith, Merikanto, Lindberg, Zimmermann

Concertos by Hindemith, Merikanto, Lindberg, Zimmermann

Anssi Karttunen, cello; London Sinfonietta / Esa-Pekka Salonen
Finlandia, 1990, 4508-95865-2

Haydn: Flute Trios

Haydn: Flute Trios

Trios for fortepiano, flute and cello
Tuija Hakkila, fortepiano; Mikael Helasvuo, flute; Anssi Karttunen, cello
Finlandia, 1992, 544142

Kaija Saariaho: Spins and Spells – Près – Petals

Kaija Saariaho: Spins and Spells – Près – Petals

Anssi Karttunen, cello
Petals, 1998, Petal 001

Bach/Telemann: Works on violoncello piccolo

Bach/Telemann: Works on violoncello piccolo

Anssi Karttunen, violoncello piccolo
Petals, 1998, Petal 002

Kaija Saariaho: Château de l’âme

Kaija Saariaho: Château de l’âme

Graal Théâtre; Château de l’âme; Amers
Gidon Kremer, violin; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Dawn Upshaw, soprano; Members of the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Anssi Karttunen, cello; Avanti! Chamber Orchestra / Esa-Pekka Salonen
Sony Classical, 2001, SK 60817

Esa-Pekka Salonen: La Variations

Esa-Pekka Salonen: La Variations

La Variations; Five Images After Sappho; Giro; Mania; Gambit
Anssi Karttunen, cello; Dawn Upshaw, soprano; London Sinfonietta; Los Angeles Philharmonic / Esa-Pekka Salonen
Sony Classical, 2001, SK 89158

The music of Magnus Lindberg

The music of Magnus Lindberg

Cantigas; Cello Concerto; Parada; Fresco
Christopher O’Neal, oboe; Anssi Karttunen, cello; Philharmonia / Esa-Pekka Salonen
Sony Classical, 2002, SK 89810

Beethoven: Complete works for cello and fortepiano. Vol. 1

Beethoven: Complete works for cello and fortepiano. Vol. 1

Anssi Karttunen, cello; Tuija Hakkila, fortepiano
Warner Classics, 2003, Apex 0927-49595-2

Beethoven: Complete works for cello and fortepiano. Vol. 2

Beethoven: Complete works for cello and fortepiano. Vol. 2

Anssi Karttunen, cello; Tuija Hakkila, fortepiano
Warner Classics, 2003, Apex 2564060626-2

Beethoven: Complete works for cello and fortepiano. Vol. 3

Beethoven: Complete works for cello and fortepiano. Vol. 3

Anssi Karttunen, cello; Tuija Hakkila, fortepiano
Warner Classics, 2004, Apex 256461144-2

Fauré/Duparc

Fauré/Duparc

Sonatas
Anssi Karttunen, cello; Tuija Hakkila, piano
Saphir, 2005, 001048

Friedrich Cerha

Friedrich Cerha

Bruchstück, geträumt; Neun Bagatellen; Instants
Klangforum Wien; Sylvain Cambreling; Zebra Trio; WDR Sinfonieorchester Cologne; Peter Rundel
KAIROS, 2011, KAI0013152

Magnus Lindberg: Chamber Works

Magnus Lindberg: Chamber Works

Trio for clarinet, cello and piano; Santa Fe Project (Konzertstück); Partia; Dos Coyotes
Kari Krikku, clarinet; Anssi Karttunen, cello; Magnus Lindberg, piano
Ondine, 2012, ODE-1199-2

Johannes Brahms by Arrangement, Volume One: String Quintets

Johannes Brahms by Arrangement, Volume One: String Quintets

String Quintet in F minor, Op. 34; String Quintet in B minor, Op. 115
Zebra Trio (Ernst Kovacic, Steven Dann, Anssi Karttunen); Krysia Osostowicz, violin; Richard Lester, cello; James Boyd, viola
Toccata Classics, 2012, TOCC 0066

Kaija Saariaho: Trios

Kaija Saariaho: Trios

Mirage; Cloud Trio; Cendres; Je sens un deuxième cœur; Serenatas
Steven Dann, viola; Pia Freund, soprano; Tuija Hakkila, piano; Mikael Helasvuo, alto flute; Florent Jodelet, percussion; Anssi Karttunen, cello; Ernst Kovacic, violin
Ondine, 2012, ODE 1189-2

Toshio Hosokawa: Orchestral Works 1

Toshio Hosokawa: Orchestral Works 1

Moments of Blossoming; Lotus under the moonlight; Chant
Stefan Dohr, French horn; Momo Kodama, Piano; Anssi Karttunen, Cello; Royal Scottisch National Orchestra / Jun Märkl
NAXOS, 2014, 8.573239

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Links

You can find further information, photos and videos on Anssi Karttunen’s own website and on his official Facebook page.

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