The theme of the concert season is Italian Spring, but the program also includes other examples of the most fascinating works of orchestral music.

Performances of The Magic Flute are still going on with full audiences at the Oulu Theatre, but in February The Oulu Symphony Orchestra’s concert season will also commence in the Madetoja Hall. Mediterranean cadences can be enjoyed throughout the spring season, as almost every concert will include music inspired either by Italy or by spring.

The opening concert of the season (A Symphony for Spring, Thurs 9.2.) will feature both: Robert Schumann’s first symphony, with the moniker Spring, Jean Sibelius’ rarely performed orchestral work Kevätlaulu (Spring Song) as well as the piano concerto Soirée by Nino Rota, known as Italian film director Federico Fellini’s go-to-composer. This concert sounding with atmospheric, romantic and cinematic melodies will feature the American piano virtuoso Mackenzie Melemed as soloist. Melemed, who now lives in Finland, became familiar to Oulu Symphony Orchestra audiences already in 2018,.

The second season concert in February (Over the Boundaries Thurs 16.2.) will present to the audiences in Oulu the brand new work, a violin concerto, by the true musical multi-talent Marzi Nyman, best known as a guitarist. The violin concerto by Nyman, who is a master of all genres of music, had its premiere last September performed by Tapiola Sinfonietta, but the performance in Oulu will be the premiere of the version enlarged for a symphony orchestra. As in the Tapiola concert, Antti Tikkanen will feature as the solo violinist. In addition, the program will feature music by Igor Stravinsky and Claude Debussy. The first concerts of the season will be conducted by Chief Conductor Rumon Gamba.

“The jazz-flavored concert will commence with Debussy’s deliciously harmonic and sweetness-laden depiction of spring”, Gamba describes. “After that we will move on into the mind-bending, splendid, and rhythmically playful world of Marzi Nyman’s new violin concerto. After the intermission, perhaps one of the grooviest pieces of classical music, with perhaps the least groovy name, will be performed: Symphony in Three Movements; a little appetizer of Stravinsky’s music, which we’ll get to hear more of later on in the spring.”

In February we will also get to enjoy the Oulun Vanha Musiikki (Oulu Old Music) festival, which will once again present some of the classics from the height of Renaissance and Baroque music, from the 16th to 18th centuries. The Oulu Symphony Orchestra will present baroque pearls in the Oulu Cathedral on Thursday 23.2. A Dancing Pearl String will offer a unique opportunity to see the internationally acclaimed British dancer Steven Player, who will interpret the series of dances by the Sun King’s court composer Jean-Féry Rebel through bodily movement. The concert will also feature, among others, music by Georg Friedrich Händel and Jean-Philippe Rameau. Bjarte Eike, a specialist in Baroque music who is always looking for new ways to approach classical music, will be guesting as conductor. He is widely recognized as a master of the old style, but enjoys combining also other forms of art in concerts, as will be the case also in Oulu.

Text: Oulu Symphony
Photo: Antti Tikkanen, c Noora Isoeskeli