The Quatuor Danel has been at the forefront of the European music scene for more than twenty years, and with their bold, vibrant, and concentrated performance style caused a sensation with their debut North American tour in 2015-16. Subsequent tours have taken the Quartet to the major series and cities in the United States and Canada, including concerts at New York’s Frick Collection and The Clarice Smith in Maryland, and in San Francisco, Montreal, and Washington, D.C. The Quartet’s singular voice, uncompromising depth, and utter commitment to the group’s interpretations set the Danel apart from every other string quartet performing today.
The ensemble is famous for its deeply personal interpretations of the string quartet cycles of Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Shostakovich, and Weinberg, and their lively and fresh vision of traditional quartet repertoire has won them lavish praise from both the public and the press. In addition, Russian composers have a vital place in the Quatuor Danel’s repertoire: they have championed the string quartets of Shostakovich, and their recently reissued recording of the complete cycle is considered one of the benchmark interpretations of these quartets. Uniquely among string quartets, the Danel has worked closely with both Valentin Berlinsky from the Borodin Quartet as well as Irina Shostakovich to refine the deeply personal interpretations of Russian music for which they are revered in Europe. Their long personal relationship and exceptionally close work with Dmitri Shostakovich’s widow Irina informed these performances in a specific and profoundly personal way, offering a very rarely accessed glimpse into Shostakovich’s genius.
Over the past three years the Quatuor Danel has recorded the previously unknown quartet oeuvre of Mieczyslaw Weinberg, the neglected contemporary of Shostakovich, for the CD label CPO. The Quartet will continue to offer this breathtakingly beautiful repertoire in coming seasons. In addition, they have collaborated with major contemporary composers such as Wolfgang Rihm, Helmutt Lachenmann, Sofia Gubaidulina, Pascal Dusapin, and the stars of the younger generation including Jörg Widmann and Bruno Mantovani.
The Quartet’s upcoming concerts will take them to the major halls in Brussels, Amsterdam, Moscow, Paris, London, Madrid, Vienna, Berlin, Beijing, Tokyo, and New York. The Quatuor Danel is a regular guest at the major European festivals, and performed at the Ottawa ChamberFest in both 2016, 2018, and 2019. Recent and upcoming recording projects consist of the three Tchaikovsky quartets, the Quartet and Piano Quintet by Franck with pianist Paavali Jumppanen, and a longer-term project combining all the string quartets of Haydn with late Beethoven.
At the very heart of the Quatuor Danel’s work lies their ambassadorship for young musicians in general and string quartets in particular. As the artist-in-residence at the University of Manchester (England) since 2005, the Quartet works closely with students, with teaching and master classes as a fundamental part of their activities.
The Quatuor Danel is sponsored by SPEDIDAM (Society of Receipt and Distribution of the Royalties for Artists in Music and Dance), an artist society that manages the rights of artists (including musicians, members of choruses, or dancers) in recording, broadcasting, and the use of recorded performances.
In the brief span of recent seasons, the imaginative and versatile Finnish virtuoso Paavali Jumppanen has established himself as a dynamic musician of seemingly unlimited capability who has already cut a wide swath internationally as solo recitalist, orchestral collaborator, recording artist, artistic director, and frequent performer of contemporary and avant-garde music. Mr. Jumppanen has performed extensively in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Australia and is known for his remarkable expressivity and intense musical curiosity. He has shared the stage with many great conductors, among them David Robertson, Sakari Oramo, Susanna Mälkki, Osmo Vänskä, and Jaap van Zweden. He has commissioned numerous works and collaborated with pivotal composers such as Boulez, Murail, Dutilleux, Penderecki, as well as his own generation of Finnish composers. In particular he also been praised by the Boston Globe for the “overflowing energy of his musicianship” and by The New York Times for playing of “power and an extraordinary range of colors.”
During the 2019–20 season, Mr. Jumppanen concertised in the United States, China, and various European countries. During the fall 2019 he performs as the soloist of several concertos by Mozart and Beethoven in Finland, appearing with the Ostro Botnian Chamber Orchestra, the Joensuu Symphony and the Kymi Sinfonietta. In November, he performs as the soloist of the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra in the Helsinki Music Centre in the final concert of the PianoEspoo Festival. This grand program–Akademie 1808– recreates the full program of Beethoven’s epic matinee in Vienna from the year 1808. Mr. Jumppanen performs as the soloist in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto and the Choral Fantasy. Other performances during the season include appearances with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Benjamin Schwartz and performances at the Rusk Chamber Music Festival in Jakobstad, Finland.
During the spring 2020 Mr. Jumppanen presents various programs celebrating Beethoven’s 250th anniversary. A concert series called Beethoven’s Story curated by Mr. Jumppanen for the House of Nobilities in Helsinki features an impressive roster of visiting artists appearing alongside Mr. Jumppanen in performance of the Viennese master’s music. He also performs the composer’s 32 Piano Sonatas in the city of Porvoo, Finland, and appears in a series of chamber music concerts focusing in Beethoven’s music in New York with the musicians of the Orchestra St. Luke’s.
In June 2017, Mr. Jumppanen curated the Väyläfestival – a new nine-day arts festival containing a variety of music, performance, photography, and lectures. The vision behind the event was to found a rostrum for the creative forces of the rural areas of northern Europe and promote artistic collaboration among different genres. The festival took place in locations along the shores of the Tornio and Muonio Rivers in northern Scandinavia, crossing the national border between Sweden and Finland. The second and third editions in 2018 and 2019 presented folk groups, Sami music, avant-garde jazz, visual arts, literature, and classical music. Since 2015 Mr. Jumppanen has also held the position of Artistic Director for PianoEspoo Festival, the widely-known international piano festival in his native Finland.
Building an impressively expanding discography, Mr. Jumppanen recently completed a multi-year project of recording the complete cycle of Beethoven Piano Sonatas with Ondine Records. His recording with violinist Corey Cerovsek of the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano & Violin for Claves Records received the Midem Prize of Cannes as the best chamber music disc of 2008. His debut recording was the three Piano Sonatas of Pierre Boulez recorded for Deutsche Grammophon in 2005 upon the composer’s request. The Guardian praised the recording as “the best recorded disc of Boulez’s piano music so far. Mr. Jumppanen’s most recent recording, the complete Préludes by Debussy, was released to critical acclaim in January 2018. The recording has earned much praise in the international press, the Diapason in France giving it full five stars and issuing a warmhearted “warning for Jumppanen’s colleagues due the height on which he set the bar in the beginning of the Debussy anniversary”.
During the 2018–19 season Mr. Jumppanen appeared as the soloist of the two piano concertos by Brahms in Helsinki, appearing with the Tapiola Sinfonietta conducted by Mario Venzago and the Helsinki Philharmonic conducted by Susanna Mälkki. Other recent highlights have included a solo recital at the prestigious Frick Collection in New York, for which Mr. Jumppanen chose the unusual program of selections from William Duckworth’s remarkable Time Curve Preludes, generally considered to be the first “post-Minimalist” composition, as well as the complete Études of Debussy (Books I and II) and Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F minor, “Appassionata.” The American composer William Duckworth, who died in 2012, was a collaborator of Mr. Jumppanen and personally coached him as well. In 2017 he performed a three-concert cycle of music by Debussy, Boulez, and Bartók presented in the memory of the late Pierre Boulez at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. That year he also toured in Australia and premiered a concert-length triptych for piano and electronics composed for him by Perttu Haapanen at the Musica Nova Helsinki festival.
Other particularly memorable performances from recent years include all five Piano Concertos by Beethoven with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and the world premiere of the Piano Concerto by Seppo Pohjola with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Helsinki and the Nordic premiere of the Dynamic Triptych by John Foulds with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. In 2016 Mr. Jumppanen led a project focusing on works by Debussy, Crumb, and Beethoven at the Australian National Academy in Melbourne.
A frequent performer at venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Mr. Jumppanen has appeared with the Melbourne Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra as well as numerous festivals including Finland’s Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and the La Roque d’Anthéron Festival in France. Mr. Jumppanen has been a regular soloist with Finland’s leading orchestras since early in his career, often appearing with the Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio, and Lahti symphony orchestras. A frequent performer at France’s Festival Messiaen, Mr. Jumppanen has given a number of performances of Olivier Messiaen’s virtuosic concert-length solo piano cycle, "Vingt Regards Sur l’Enfant Jesus." His 2010 performance of the complete cycle at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was selected as one of the top ten performances of the year by The Boston Globe, which termed the event “a rare wedding of intellectual penetration, coloristic imagination, and sheer virtuoso firepower.”
Paavali Jumppanen was born in Espoo. In 1979, at the age of five, he began piano lessons at the Music Institute. He entered the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki in 1992. From 1997 to 2000, he studied with Krystian Zimerman at the Basel Music Academy in Switzerland where he also studied the organ, fortepiano, and clavichord. He has also been mentored by Russian-born pianist Konstantin Bogino throughout his career. In 1994 he won the first prize in Helsinki’s Maj Lind Competition, and in 2000 he was awarded first prize in the Young Concert Artists’ International Auditions in New York. From 2011 to 2012 Mr. Jumppanen had a residency with the Harvard University Music Department, where he was able to realize his longtime aspiration of studying musicology and music theory while deepening his understanding of Viennese 18th century music. Mr. Jumppanen writes a popular blog called Paavali’s Studio. In 2017 The Wall Street Journal published an article by Paavali Jumppanen, telling the fascinating story of the “Appassionata” by Beethoven, Mr. Jumppanen’s favourite piece of music.
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