Hannu Lintu Returns to the US to Conduct in Dallas, Detroit, St. Louis and Washington D.C. in 2017-18
Hannu Lintu's 2017-18 season comprises prestigious guest engagements and compelling concert programmes in North America, including the world premiere of Matthew Whittall's new piano concerto for Angela Hewitt and dates with the Dallas, Detroit, St. Louis and National Symphony Orchestras.
Hannu Lintu, Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, has won international critical acclaim for his profound interpretations of a diverse range of repertoire from Beethoven and Berio to Schumann and Sibelius. The Finnish conductor, who marks his 50th birthday in October, is set to celebrate the centenary of his homeland's independence throughout 2017-18 with a series of guest dates with leading ensembles in the United States and Canada. "I always look forward to working in North America," he comments. "I have built very good relationships with several orchestras there and always enjoy making music with them."
Lintu returns to work with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for four concerts at the Morton H Meyerson Symphony Center on Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 September. They open with Sibelius's Finlandia, musical emblem of Finland's national independence, before turning to Dvorák's Violin Concerto with Hilary Hahn as soloist. The programme also comprises young Canadian composer Samy Moussa's A Globe Itself Infolding, an 11-minute meditation for organ and orchestra, and Shostakovich's Symphony No.1. "You would hear Finlandia played at a special celebration or festivity but never in the frame of an ordinary symphonic programme in Finland," observes Hannu Lintu. "I love the idea of combining Sibelius's symphonic poem with Samy Moussa's new piece for organ, Hilary Hahn's take on the Dvorák Violin Concerto and the work that brought international attention to the young Shostakovich."
Hannu Lintu moves from Dallas to Ottawa for a concert with the National Arts Center Orchestra on Thursday 5 October, presented as part of the National Arts Center's Ideas of North festival. The programme places Sibelius's The Oceanides and Symphony No.2 as companion pieces to Matthew Whittall's The Nameless Seas. Angela Hewitt, with whom Lintu has a close musical rapport, will perform the latter's demanding solo piano part in its world premiere performance. "Matt Whittall is Canadian but has lived in Finland for many years," the conductor recalls. "Getting Angela Hewitt to play a huge new concerto is a big thing. The next natural step would be for us to make a recording of the piece, especially as Matt has now created several works that are calling to be recorded."
Hannu Lintu's transatlantic travels take him to Washington D.C. for three performances with the National Symphony Orchestra on Thursday 1, Friday 2 & Saturday 3 February. Their all-Russian programme begins with Tchaikovsky's 'Symphonic Fantasia after Shakespeare', The Tempest. Kirill Gerstein joins them as soloist in Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.2, and the concert closes with Stravinsky's ballet The Fairy's Kiss, written in 1928 in homage to Tchaikovsky. "It's a great programme," notes Lintu. "I live around 100 km from the Russian border, my father was born in an area that's now in Russia, and Russian music is very close to my heart."
Following acclaimed appearances over the past seasons, Lintu returns to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for three concerts on Thursday 12, Friday 13 & Saturday 14 April. His programme pairs Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No.1, with Ray Chen as soloist, and Schumann's Symphony No.1 'Spring'. The concert on Friday 13 will be broadcast live online as part of the orchestra's DSO Live series, available worldwide.
Russian music is set to occupy the conductor again during his final visit to the United States in 2017-18, providing the substance of two concerts with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on Friday 20 & Saturday 21 April. He has chosen Mussorgsky's Night on the Bare Mountain as preface to a programme comprising Tchaikovsky's Nocturne for cello and orchestra in D minor Op.19 No.4 and Variations on a Rococo Theme, and Rachmaninov's choral symphony The Bells. Narek Hakhnazaryan, gold medallist and cello first prize at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition, will perform the solo part in both Tchaikovsky works. "I have wanted to make music with Narek for some time but this is the first opportunity we've had to work together," comments Hannu Lintu. "And we have the wonderful young lyric soprano Pelageya Kurennaya in The Bells. She comes from a Cossack village in southern Russia and is now a member of the Mariinsky ensemble in St Petersburg. Remember the name. Few people know her yet but she will be a star!"