Maike Charlotte Fuchs
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In May, Wergo will release a portrait CD including Anssi Karttunen’s recordings of Hans Werner Henze’s English Love Songs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Oliver Knussen. It is not only the three artists who shared a long-lasting friendship and working relationship; Hans Werner Henze and Anssi Karttunen were and are long-lasting companions for us, too. In 2004, Anssi Karttunen was one of our first artists, impressing us with his insatiable musical curiosity, which most recently has led to a collaboration with Led Zeppelin legend John Paul Jones. We had the pleasure of working with Hans Werner Henze in the preparations for the concerts in celebration of his 80th birthday in 2006, and continued our relationship until his death in 2012. He was one of the first composers for whom we worked, laying the foundation for a particularly important focus of our activities. For our magazine, Anssi Karttunen reminisces on his encounter with Hans Werner Henze and Oliver Knussen, and on the special rehearsal work for the English Love Songs....
An outstanding soloist, chamber musician, pedagogue, artistic director and essayist – and in all these things a musical bridge-builder and partner to musicians, composers and artists alike from various fields: Anssi Karttunen forges his own path. His journey started in Finland at a very special time. “I was born into a lucky generation,” he explains. “This was a time when the windows to the world were more open than before and perhaps even more so than later on. There were many like-minded people my own age who were interested in being more than just one thing; the cellist, the pianist or the conductor. We saw that being a musician can mean many things.” This lucky generation includes Anssi Karttunen’s contemporaries Esa-Pekka Salonen, Magnus Lindberg and Kaija Saariaho, with whom he started his voyage of discovery....