Finnish pianist Paavali Jumppanen's New York debut in 2001 at the 92nd Street Y, presented by Young Concert Artists, garnered reviews of “fresh and exciting” playing and “immense power and an extraordinary range of colors.” Mr. Jumppanen has since toured extensively in the U.S. performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, where he has performed frequently since his debut concert in 2001. His New York appearances have included performances at the Metropolitan Museum, Morgan Library and at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall. In 2002, he made his New York concerto debut with the New York Chamber Symphony conducted by Gerard Schwarz at Alice Tully Hall.
In recent years, Mr. Jumppanen has dedicated much of his time to exploring music of the Viennese Classical Period. He has often performed the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle and, following one of his Beethoven recitals, the Boston Globe reported how “the sheer, overflowing energy of his musicianship held one’s attention throughout this impressive performance and the result was a bracing and enjoyable reminder of how path-breaking Beethoven’s music was.” Mr. Jumppanen has recently completed a multi-year project of recording the Sonatas cycle. The first part of the recording was released in 2014 (Ondine) to critical acclaim. The remaining volumes of the recording will appear in 2015 and 2016.
Recent performances have included a rendering of the five Piano Concertos by Beethoven with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and an Australian tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, performing piano quintets by Dvorak and Shostakovich. During the 2014-15 season Mr. Jumppanen will return to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston to continue a two-year project focusing on works by Schumann and Stockhausen begun in the spring 2014. He will also perform as a soloist in the Fourth Piano Concerto of Beethoven on a national tour with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra as well as perform recitals in Switzerland and Australia.
The year 2015 marks anniversaries of two composers with particular attachment to Mr. Jumppanen, the 150th anniversary of his countryman Jean Sibelius as well as the 90th anniversary of the French composer Pierre Boulez, whose music Mr. Jumppanen has championed since recording the three Piano Sonatas by Boulez upon the composer’s request. The two composers’ music will be featured in Mr. Jumppanen’s recital programs in 2015.
Mr. Jumppanen spent the 2011-12 season in residence at the Music Department of Harvard University where, in addition to deepening his understanding of Viennese 18th century music, he was able to realize his longtime aspiration to study musicology and music theory. During the 2010-11 season Mr. Jumppanen performed the complete Piano Sonatas by Mozart at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The recording of complete Sonatas for Piano & Violin by Beethoven (Claves) performed by Mr. Jumppanen and violinist Corey Cerovsek received the Midem Prize of Cannes in February 2008 for best chamber music disc of the year.
Paavali Jumppanen was born in 1974 in Espoo, where at the age of five, began piano lessons at the Music Institute. In 1992 he entered the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and from 1997 to 2000 studied with Krystian Zimerman at the Basel Music Academy in Switzerland. In Basel Mr. Jumppanen also studied the organ, fortepiano, and clavichord. In addition to his institutional studies, Russian born pianist Konstantin Bogino has been an important mentor for Mr. Jumppanen throughout his studies and career.
After winning first prize at Helsinki’s Maj Lind Competition in 1994, Mr. Jumppanen has become regular soloist of many of Finland’s leading orchestras. He frequently appears with the Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Lahti Symphony Orchestra. He has performed extensively in Europe, Japan, and Australia, appearing with the Melbourne Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Stuttgart Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra as well as appearances at numerous festivals including the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland and the La Roque d’Anthéron Festival in France. In 2015 Mr. Jumppanen will begin serving as the artistic director to PianoEspoo festival, the most prominent international piano festival in his native Finland.
Mr. Jumppanen frequently performs the classics of the avant-garde as well as contemporary works and regularly commissions works from Finnish composers. His recording of the complete Piano Sonatas by Pierre Boulez (DGG 2005) earned the praise of London’s Guardian, calling it “the best recorded disc of Boulez’s piano music so far.” His repertoire also includes the large cycle for solo piano, Vingt Regards Sur l’Enfant Jėsus by Olivier Messiaen. His performance of the work at the Gardner Museum in Boston in 2010, subsequently selected as one of the top ten performances of the year by the Boston Globe, was reported by the Boston Globe to be “a rare wedding of intellectual penetration, coloristic imagination, and sheer virtuoso firepower.”
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