Available languages: EnglishHannu Lintu is a prominent conductor known for exploring neglected orchestral repertoire, as well as for promoting contemporary music. Though most of his work has been in his native Finland, his skill as a conductor has taken him throughout the world as a guest conductor. Lintu was born in Rauma, Finland, on October 13, 1967. He trained in piano and cello at the Turku Conservatory and the Sibelius Academy. He studied conducting with Atso Almila, Jorma Panula, and Eri Klas, and he participated in master classes with Ilja Musin and Myung-Whun Chung. In 1994, he won the Nordic Conducting Competition in Bergen, and in 1996, graduated with honors from the Sibelius Academy. Lintu was the chief conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra from 1998 to 2001, then served as chief conductor and artistic director of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra from 2002 to 2005. In 2005, he was the artistic director of the Summer Sounds Festival of the Finnish contemporary music ensemble the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. From 2009 until 2013, he served as chief conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and as the principal guest conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin. In 2010, Lintu was named chief conductor designate of the Finnish Radio Symphony, which he began in 2013. He is scheduled to leave this position following the 2020-2021 season. He was named chief conductor of the Finnish National Opera and Ballet in 2019, a role he's set to assume in 2022. In addition to performing with orchestras in Finland and Sweden, he's guest conducted across Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia. He has led many of the world's finest orchestras, including the Orchestre de Paris, Netherlands Radio and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Toronto, Boston, Detroit, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, and many others. Lintu has recorded for Ondine, Alba, Naxos, and Hyperion, among others. In 2019, he led the Finnish Radio Symphony on two Ondine albums: Sibelius: Kullervo and Kaija Saariaho: True Fire; Trans; Ciel d'hiver, the latter of which received a Grammy nomination. In 2020, Lintu released Witold Lutoslawski: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3, again leading the Finnish Radio Symphony.
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What a curious and charming piece of work the First Symphony by Witold Lutosławski is! Written in 1947, it is still borrowing from Stravinski, Bartók, Prokofiev and clearly Roussel, and yet it display the composer's own personal ideas, and his flawless skill in orchestration. But he had not yet made the dodecaphonic style his own, nor the principle of randomness which would be found later in 1961's Jeux vénitiens (Venetian Games). In his case, randomness refers to musicians or groups of musicians having the freedom to play their different parts when they feel like it, or when the conductor gives them a cue. But for sure, this piece's formal framework is still constrained: every performance will shed a different light on it, but it is still the same work. The album finishes with the Fourth Symphony, the composer's last, written between 1988 and 1991, performed in 1993 with Lutosławski himself conducting before his death a few months later. In this work he makes a clear return to his harmonic and melodic ideas, which at times approach Mahler or Bartók, even though the discourse remains decidedly modern. The contrast between the First Symphony, Jeux vénitiens and the Fourth Symphony could not be more spectacular, and it gives a brilliant picture of the evolution of a musical genius who embraced a wide range of influences, constantly adapting them to his own style. © SM/Qobuz