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29.2.2024 11:40

Tampere Biennale programme published!

The programme for the Tampere Biennale, 10–14 April 2024, has been published. The festival is held every two years and focuses on Finnish contemporary music. The theme this year is ‘Worlds in Metamorphosis’. Curated by Minna Leinonen, the programme features encounters between fantasy and reality, past and present, visible and invisible.

The Tampere Biennale once again offers a rich serving of world premieres and rarely performed orchestral and chamber music works by interesting composers. The Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra presents an impressive concert of symphonic dimensions in the Small Auditorium at Tampere Hall, with world premieres of works by Paola Livorsi and Heidi Hassinen. The same venue hosts an exceptional gathering of top-notch Finnish musicians in a programme of contemporary classics and new works, as Marko Ylönen, trusted performer of works by the late Pehr Henrik Nordgren, brings the composer’s Quartet to Tampere on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

The Tampere Philharmonic presents a program title ‘From Wasteland to Wonderland’ in the Main Auditorium at Tampere Hall, with a varied menu of recent creations and contemporary classics. Piia Komsi stars as the soloist in Alice in Wonderland: Puzzles and Games by Korean-born composer Unsuk Chin.

Birgitta, an opera by Hannu Pohjannoro to a verse libretto by Johanna Venho, is a modern reading of the visions of the Medieval mystic St Brigid. The opera is given a concert performance by Tampere Cappella and Tampere Raw at Alexander’s Church. Key Ensemble presents a choral programme on the theme of peace at Tampere Cathedral.

The international guests this year are Crash Ensemble, Ireland’s leading contemporary classical group, visiting Tampere for the first time. Their captivating programme includes Irish works and two Finnish ones: Ciel étoile by Kaija Saariaho and a new work commissioned by the Tampere Biennale from Antti Auvinen.

The lunchtime concerts of the Tampere Biennale are held in museums this year. Eva Alkula & Reetta Näätänen appear at Museum Milavida along with Johanna Suvenmetsä, Olli Hirvanen and Johanna Vento. Cellist Sirja Nironen and reciter Antti Tiensuu appear at a promenade concert at the Sara Hildén Art Museum.

Nightly club concerts round out the festival programme. Accordionist Niko Kumpuvaara, sax player Joonatan Rautiola and controversial award-winning cartoonist Ville Ranta join forces as Ranta illustrates evocative contemporary works live at G Livelab Tampere. The likewise award-winning Hietsu is Happening! comes to TTT-Klubi, while the Old Customs House (Tullikamarin Pakkahuone) hosts a concert by the experimental defunensemble, whose programme includes an intriguing piece by Francesco Filidei scored for toilet paper.

This year’s speciality is a fusion of narrative, dance and music conceived by Minna Leinonen, Tammerkoski Sound Story, which is performed four times during the festival. This takes the form of a unique and surprise-filled sonic experience on a walk through the urban landscape along Tammerkoski rapids, built around a mystery story written by Salla Simukka and read by Seela Sella. The music and sound design are by Tytti Arola and Þorkell Nordal, and the choregraphy is by Samuli Roininen.

Leinonen’s ideas and music are also behind the singing sculptures on Hämeensilta bridge, with the iconic statues being given a voice for the duration of the Tampere Biennale. The sound design is by Jussi Suonikko. Further urban art can be found on Frenckell square, where the Frenckell carillon plays a piece commissioned by the Tampere Biennale from Mioko Yokoyama. At the Finlayson Terde, the interactive sound installation Naiad showcases the unique relationship between and the history of the Tammerkoski rapids and the city of Tampere.

As always, the festival concludes with a Family Day, this time at Culture House Laikku, featuring composition and instrument workshops for children and two concerts for the whole family.

The sneak preview of the Tampere Biennale on 27 March 2024 features the opening of the composition theme year of the Association of Finnish Music Institutes, the first performance of the piece written for the Frenckell carillon and performances by students of the Pirkanmaa Music Institute.

More information can be found on Tampere Biennale's website!

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