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Tapiola Sinfonietta

Text in englischer Sprache verfügbar
The Tapiola Sinfonietta is one of the exceptionally large number of top orchestral ensembles that flourish in Finland, five-and-a-half-million souls strong. It is the municipal orchestra of the city of Espoo; Tapiola is a district of that city, and the orchestra is based at Tapiola Hall in the Espoo Cultural Center. In 2022, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, under honorary conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow, backed pianist Alexandre Kantorow in a recording of works for piano and orchestra by Saint-Saëns, including the popular Piano Concerto No. 2. The Tapiola Sinfonietta was founded in 1987. With 43 members, the group applied itself to the beginning to Viennese Classical-era repertory, performing this music with an ensemble approaching the size originally used. As the orchestra's successes grew, however, the repertory broadened to include Scandinavian works, contemporary music, and more. The group's municipal functions are strong, including performances for school groups and in senior citizen housing complexes, but it has also made numerous foreign tours. The Tapiola Sinfonietta has proven to be an unusually reliable launchpad for international conducting careers. Its artistic directors have included Jorma Panula, Osmo Vänskä, and violinist-conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow, who was the artistic director from 1993 to 1999 and conductor from 2000 to 2006 and, according to the orchestra, "was of decisive importance to the shaping of the orchestra's current sound." Kantorow was named the orchestra's honorary conductor in 2011, and guest conductors have included Paavo Berglund, Hannu Lintu, and Masaaki Suzuki, among others. It is also notable that the orchestra's membership has been quite stable, enabling the group to perform frequently without any conductor at all. By 1997, the Tapiola Sinfonietta had begun to attract the attention of top classical labels. It has recorded often for both the BIS and Ondine labels. It has recorded premieres of works by Einojuhani Rautavaara, Kaija Saariaho, and Magnus Lindberg. In 2017, the orchestra joined pianist Yevgeny Sudbin for a recording of Beethoven's first two piano concertos, and it was featured, along with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, on a recording of works by composer Matthew Whittall the following year. In 2019, the orchestra and Kantorow backed the conductor's son, Alexandre Kantorow, on a recording of Saint-Saëns' Piano Concertos Nos. 3, 4, and 5 on the BIS label. These same forces returned in 2022, this time offering Saint-Saëns' Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2, along with other works for piano and orchestra. As of the early 2020s, the Tapiola Sinfonietta has released more than 70 recordings.
© James Manheim & Keith Finke /TiVo
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