Celebrated Finnish composer Lotta Wennäkoski will have four significant orchestral performances at the Concertgebouw this spring. Wennäkoski is one of the most sought-after Nordic contemporary composers.
Wennäkoski's works have been performed eg. by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
On March 20, 21 and 24 Soie for flute and orchestra will have its Dutch premiere by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Kersten McCall as a soloist. The concerts will be conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock.
Wennäkoski’s BBC commissioned work Flounce will be performed at the Royal Concertgebouw on April 8 by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Susanna Mälkki. The concert is part of Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s tour that also includes performances in Dortmund and Vienna. Flounce was commissioned by the BBC, for the 'Last Night of the Proms' in 2017 at the Royal Albert Hall in London by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo. Thus far Flounce has been performed in 14 concerts worldwide and already has nine upcoming performances this year. Besides Flounce, the concert programme at The Concertgebouw consists of Sibelius’ Symphony no. 2 and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Finnish soloist Pekka Kuusisto.
In 11 May 2019 Wennäkoski will premiere Zeng, her new double concerto for recorder and percussion at Muziekgebouw aant 't IJ with soloists Lucie Horsch (recorder) and Agostinho Sequeira (percussion).
Wennäkoski's work speaks through craftmanship
The music of Lotta Wennäkoski (b. 1970) is full of transparent timbres and dreamy glissandos. She likens the composition process to baking bread: there is an idea – a recipe – according to which the ingredients are added and the dough is kneaded. Her works are designed to make a statement and she considers it important for her music to engage in dialogue with society.
“Finnish composers are known for their craftmanship, for being good at what we do. I for one like to be known for the quality of my work than for other things. I like to toil and tinker away at my work”, Wennäkoski told in a 2017 interview for Music Finland.
Fennica Gehrman has published Wennäkoski’s main orchestral works. Ondine has released a profile album of her music in 2015, including Soie as well as orchestral works Hava and Amor Omnia Suite.
“[Flounce] was a witty scherzo which managed to weave some unexpected formal twists into a span of only five minutes, and strike the right upbeat note without sinking into cliché.” – Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph
“Finnish composer Lotta Wennäkoski has made a major addition to the flute concerto repertoire with Soie (2009).” – Erica Jeal, The Guardian