Photo: Heikki Tuuli

Finnish pianist, conductor and composer Olli Mustonen will reveal his newest composition Taivaanvalot at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw aan’t Ij on Thursday 26th September. Mustonen will perform alongside renowned tenor Ian Bostridge and internationally acclaimed cellist Steven Isserlis, a long-time collaborator of Mustonen’s. The piece will be given its UK premiere by the trio only a few days later at the Wigmore Hall in London on Monday 30th September.

Taivaanvalot (translated as Heavenly Lights) is a described by the composer as a Symphony for Tenor, Cello and Piano with text originating from the ‘Kalevala’, a Finnish national epic compiling oral folklore, poetry, ballads and mythology into a continuous narrative. One of the most influential pieces of writing in Finnish history, this text is frequently utilised by Sibelius, a composer close to Mustonen’s heart, in pieces such as his Choral Symphony and the Lemminkäinen Suite.

Using an English translation by Ketih Bosley, Mustonen hopes that, “with the help of music it might be possible to convey some of those untranslatable, at times even hypnotic and shamanistic qualities of this poetry to an audience not fluent in our unusual language.”

This piece is the first of two composition premieres for Mustonen this season. His new string sextet, commissioned by the Beethoven Festival Bonn, will be premiered in February 2020, again by Mustonen himself and a host of other musicians including Tabea Zimmermann.

For further information about the Wigmore Hall performance please click HERE.

For further information about the Muziekgebouw performance please click HERE.