Kimito Island Music Festival Artists 2022
Jan Söderblom was born into a family of musicians in Helsinki in 1970. Now a conductor and violinist, he began giving concerts at an early stage in his violin studies.
Aside from solo appearances at a young age, successful touring with New Helsinki Quartet and his growing interest towards orchestral musicianship built the foundation for Söderblom's versatile and innovative career.
Conductor studies at Sibelius Academy (1997-2001) led to intensive projects with Finnish as well as other top orchestras.
As a violin soloist he has shared the stage with several Finnish orchestras as well as e.g. Swedish Radio Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and many others.
Söderblom has been the Artistic Director of several Finnish music festivals; alongside the Finnish Chamber Orchestra he is currently in charge of the artistic planning of Kauniaisten musiikkijuhlat.
Söderblom has played as guest concertmaster for several orchestras and joined e.g. Camerata Salzburg and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra on stage as guest member. Since 2015 Söderblom is the first concertmaster of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.
Sonja Korkeala was born in Finland. She is a violinist, professor for violin at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, Primaria of the Rodin-Quartett. Since 2007 Sonja Korkeala is artistic director of the Kimito Island Music Festival, in cooperation with her twin sister Katinka Korkeala, who founded the festival in 1999.
She studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with Ari Angervo and Prof. Tuomas Haapanen and at the Liszt Academy in Budapest with Maria Vermes. Sonja Korkeala continued her studies with professor Ana Chumachenco at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, where she finished her studies with the masterclass degree. She won several prizes, among others at Concertino Praga 1984, 1985 in Kuopio (Finland), 1988 in Gorizia (Italy) and 1991 at the "Konzertgesellschaft" in Munich.
Since 1993 Sonja Korkeala is first violinist of the Rodin string quartet, which has its own concert series in the Max-Joseph-Saal at the Munich Residenz since 1997. The Rodin-Quartett recorded many CDs with the Amati Records.
Sonja Korkeala has performed at numerous festivals, e.g. Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Savonlinna Opera Festival, Amiata Piano Festival and she has collaborated with musicians among others András Adorján, Adrian Brendel, Eduard Brunner, Ana Chumachenco, Christoph Hartmann, Helena Juntunen, Sharon Kam, Radu Lupu, Siegfried Palm, Alfredo Perl, Christoph Richter, Hariolf Schlichtig, Ingolf Turban, Jörg Widmann, Marko Ylönen and Wen Xiao Zheng.
In 1994 she became assistant teacher of Prof. Ana Chumchenco at the "University of Music and Performing Arts Munich", then since 2000 she has taught her own class at the same institute. Since 2011 she is professor at the "University of Music and Performing Arts Munich". She made a name for herself as teacher of highly giftet young violinists. Her pupils included Julia Fischer, Arabella Steinbacher, Lena Neudauer, Mariella Haubs, Daniel Röhn, Veronika Eberle and many others.
Alfredo Perl has established himself as one of today’s leading pianists. Chilean by birth, he studied with Carlos Botto in Santiago, Günter Ludwig in Cologne and Maria Curcio in London. Since his first public performance at the age of nine, he has given numerous concerts throughout the world and has been a prize-winner at major competitions.
Perl performed a complete Beethoven Sonatas cycle at London’s Wigmore Hall, as well as in Santiago and Moscow, to huge public critical acclaim. The completion of the Wigmore Hall series coincided with the release of his Beethoven Sonata cycle with the Diabelli Variations. Perl has been said to play Beethoven "with sparkling freshness, extraordinary tenderness and unaffected brilliance. He demonstrates that, even in these prosaic times, the great tradition of Beethoven playing lives on." (Joachim Kaiser, Süddeutsche Zeitung). He has also recorded works for solo piano and for piano and orchestra by Franz Liszt, Schubert sonatas and the complete works of Ravel. The BBC label Opus Arte issued a DVD of his recording of Chopin Preludes op. 28.
Alfredo Perl made his debut in the International Piano Series at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1992 (a series to which he returned to several times), which was closely followed by his first recital at the Wigmore Hall. Perl has performed worldwide at major venues such as the Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, London’s Barbican Centre, Rudolfinum Prague, Munich’s Herkulessaal, the Cologne Philharmonie, Izumi Hall Osaka, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Sydney Town Hall and Opera House and the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire. He has also visited the Schwetzingen, Schleswig Holstein Musik, Rheingau, Bad Kissingen, and Bonn Beethovenfest festivals; the Bath International Music Festival; Harrogate Festival; Beirut Al Bustan Festival and the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt.
A remarkably versatile performer, Perl has performed with orchestras such as the London Symphony, BBC Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as the Hallé, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony. He has also appeared with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Wiener Symphoniker, Netherlands Philharmonic and Tokyo Symphony orchestras.
Alfredo Perl has recently taken up the baton and will be conducting several concerts with the Detmolder Kammerorchester, with whom he holds the position of Music Director.
Alfredo Perl is Professor at Detmold Music University. He has acted as jury member of the Bonn Beethoven Competition, the Scottish International Piano Competition and Busoni International Piano competition.
Hailed by The Strad magazine as the "new century's new talent, (one of) the stars of the next decade,” German violist Roland Glassl was launched into an international career as prizewinner of many prestigious national and international competitions.
Glassl was the first German to win the first prize at the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in England, where he was also awarded the Peter Schidlof Prize for the finalist with the most beautiful tone. Other awards include first prize at the II. Viola Competition of the German Viola Society, top prize at the 1st International Viola Competition Vienna, second prize at the Primrose Viola Competition, and first prize at the Washington International Competition for strings.
Concert tours have taken him through Europe, North- and South America, and China. Glassl has appeared at Wigmore Hall in London, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Peking, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Ravinia Festival in Chicago/ USA, Chamber Music International (CMI) in Dallas/ USA, the Caramoor Festival in New York, Musica Riva in Riva del Garda/ Italy, and Open Chamber Music in Prussia Cove/England.
As a soloist, Glassl has performed with conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Howard Griffiths, Sebastian Tewinkel, Hans Richter, Markus Poschnern and Alfred Eschwé and orchestras such as the Staatsorchester Mainz, the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, the China National Opera House Symphony Orchestra, the Georgian Chamber Orchestra, the German Philharmonic Orchestra Rhineland-Palatinate, the Pécs Symphony Orchestra, the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Chamber Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Glassl has collaborated with leading artists, including Julia Fischer, Michael Sanderling, Lisa Batiashvili, Miriam Fried, Pekka Kuusisto, Sharon Kam, Atar Arad, Leon Fleischer, Michael Tree, and Hariolf Schlichtig.
From 1999 to 2015 Roland Glassl was the violist of the Mandelring Quartet, recognised as one of the foremost quartets in the world with frequent engagements in virtually every major chamber music hall. The quartet’s numerous recordings, which span much of their wide-ranging repertoire, have garnered the German Music Critics’ Prize as well as multiple nominations for the International Classical Music Award.
Teaching has always been an important addition to his concert life for Roland Glassl. From 2004 to 2018, he succeeded Tabea Zimmermann as Professor for Viola at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. In 2018 he took over the position of Prof. Hariolf Schlichtig at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, returning to his roots.
Roland Glassl was born in Germany, into a luthier's family with a tradition of many generations of violin making. He currently performs on a viola made by his father, who was also his first violin teacher. Later, he continued his studies at the “Musikhochschule München” with Ana Chumachenco. After receiving his artist diploma with distinction, he came to the United States to study violin with Paul Biss and viola with Atar Arad at Indiana University. Fascinated by the deep, warm sound of the viola, he decided to devote himself to the instrument and its music.
Norbert Kaiser, born 1961 in Frankfurt, had clarinet, violin and piano lessons. In 1979, he was a prize winner in the national young musician competition. From 1980 to 1985 he studied clarinet in the Musikhochschule Detmold with Jost Michaels and Hans Klaus and piano with Werner Genuit and worked as an assistant from 1985 to 1986. After his final exam in 1984, he played as clarinettist of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (1984-1989) in many CD productions.
Norbert Kaiser made concert tours in Japan and South-America and, under the conductor Eliahu Inbal received the German Recording prize. Radio recordings as a soloist with the Hessische Rundfunk and Suedwestfunk (Baden-Baden), as well as appearances with the Frankfurt Soloists and the Quartet of the Hessischer Rundfunk were following. From 1989 to 2000, Norbert Kaiser was principal clarinet of the Stuttgart Opera Orchestra.
He worked internationally with renowned conductors like Sir Georg Solti, Carlo Maria Giulini, Eliahu Inbal, Herbert Blomstedt, Fabio Luisi and Fruebeck de Burgos. In 1989 he founded the “ Stuttgart Octett”.
He played solo concerts with the Stuttgart Opera Orchestra, the Ludwigsburg festival Orchestra and the Heilbronn Chamber Orchestra. As a teacher he gave master classes in the royal conservatory in Madrid, in the Oberstdorf music summer, “jeunesse musicale” in Weickersheim and in the Musikhochschule in Trossingen, Mannheim,Munich, Shenyang, Shanghai and Seoul (South-Korea) 2004 he was appointed guest professor for clarinet at the conservatory in Shenyang (China). He was renowned master classes for chamber music in Frenzwegen and at the International Bach Academy. In 1999 he was appointed professor for clarinet at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart.
After studying conducting in Weimar, he worked together with different professional and youth orchestras and from 1999 to 2001 he was principal conductor of the Thueringen youth orchestra. In 1996 he won a price at the international competition for conducting in Budapest. He also worked as a guest-conductor with Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Jenaer Philharmoniker, Orchestra of Gotha, Staatskapelle Weimar, Pecs Symphony Orchestra (Hungary) and Vratsa Symphonie Orchestra (Bulgaria). 1997/98 he was assistant conductor in the opera Stuttgart and opera Ulm (production “ Figaro “ W.A. Mozart).
The Finnish pianist Folke Gräsbeck was awarded I Prize in the nationwide Maj Lind Competition in Finland, as 17-year-old. He first studied at the Conservatory of Turku (home city), then proceeded to study with Maria Curcio-Diamand in London.
At the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki), he worked as a permanent Chamber Pianist during 1985–2017, achieved Master’s exam in 1997 and he held his Doctoral disputation in 2008. Folke Gräsbeck has performed more than 400 of Sibelius’s c. 600 compositions, and he plays more than 24 CDs included in the international CD series SIBELIUS EDITION, released by BIS Records. He has performed more than thirty different piano concertos as a soloist with orchestra. He has given performances as a recitalist, chamber player and Lied accompanist in many European countries, Mexico, USA, UAE, Japan, Egypt, Lebanon, China, Botswana and Zimbabwe, etc.. Folke Gräsbeck received the Cross of Merit of the Lion’s Order, awarded by the Finnish President Tarja Halonen in 2009, The Sibelius Medal 2014.
Hedvig Paulig and Folke Gräsbeck have given many concerts together, in UK, Norway and Israel (the Tel Aviv Sibelius Concert was included in the Felicja Blumenthal festival, and the concert at the Big Hall of the Jerusalem Theatre was directly broadcast). Their Sibelius CD ‘Nordic Love’ was released by the British SibeliusOne Society in 2017. Festival appearances in Finland at the Aino Ackté Festival, the Sibelius in Korpo Festival, Grankulla Musikfest, Lahti International Sibelius Weeks, etc. As the 150th Anniversary of the composer Armas Järnefelt was celebrated in 2019, Hedvig Paulig, violinist Jaso Sasaki and Folke Gräsbeck were responsible for the main festive event of the year, a Järnefelt concert in Helsinki at the House of Nobility.
St. Michel Strings
St. Michel Strings, based in the city of Mikkeli in eastern Finland, is a professional string ensemble of 12 full time musicians. St. Michel Strings dates back to 1903, when a small town of only a few thousand residents had a local music association that founded an orchestra. The ensemble had far higher aspirations than its amateur status. It eventually became a full time professional ensemble, and in 1990 became one of the cultural organizations publicly funded by the city of Mikkeli. From autumn 2012 to summer 2016, the orchestra's Music Director was Sasha Mäkilä. Conductors Erkki Lasonpalo and Daniel Raiskin acted as the orchestra's artistic partners during 2017–2019. Erkki Lasonpalo has been appointed chief conductor of the orchestra since 2020.
St. Michel Strings has won acclaim for its innovative programming of works for strings and is also known for its eagerness to collaborate with young composers from Finland and abroad. In order to diversify its concert offerings St. Michel Strings engages in numerous partnerships regularly performing joint concerts with other ensembles. The chamber configuration of the ensemble enables easy mobility. St. Michel Strings is capable of providing a full and authentic concert experience even without a conductor.
Among its recent accomplishments, St. Michel Strings participated in the prestigious Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea in summer 2013, and its recording Adagio, conducted by Grammy Award-winning conductor and composer José Serebrier, got Latin Grammy Award nomination. Recently St. Michel Strings has collaborated with soloists such as violinist Zia Hyunsu Shin, cellist Jian Wang and pianist Olli Mustonen. Celebration of the 150th anniversary of Jean Sibelius included St. Michel String’s tour in South Korea and China in March 2015 with Sibelius’ music.