The Helsinki Spring Light Chamber Music Festival was founded in 2009 to celebrate the coming of spring to the city with a series of performances of the world’s most beautiful chamber music. Now in its fourth year, for 2012 artistic directors Anastasia Injushina and Ralf Gothóni have arranged a chamber music series that welcomes the top names in international classical music as well as presenting outstanding Finnish musicians.
Held on four nights in the wonderful Temppeliaukio Kirkko, or the Church in the Rock, one of the highlights of the 2012 series will be the 4 concert performances by the Borodin Quartet, who have been recognised for over 65 years for their insight and authority in the chamber music repertoire, particularly regarding their performances of Beethoven and Shostakovich. Indeed, their affinity with Russian repertoire was enhanced by a close relationship with Shostakovich, who personally supervised the Quartet’s study of each of his quartets, and today their interpretations are widely regarded as definitive. However, the Borodin Quartet are equally at home with music ranging from Mozart to Stravinsky, and in recent seasons the ensemble has returned to a broader repertoire, including works by Schubert, Prokofiev, Borodin and Tchaikovsky. During the course of the Helsinki Spring Light Chamber Music Festival they will perform pieces by Shostakovich, Brahms and Schubert.
The concert series begins on Tuesday the 8th of May at 7pm, with three performances:
Franz Schubert: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen D 965 “The Shepherd on the Rock” – with Vjatseslav Novikov (piano), Kaisa Ranta (soprano), Niina Selin (clarinet);
Franz Schubert: Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat major D 898 – with Vjatseslav Novikov (piano), Ana Chumachenko (violin), Robert Cohen (cello).
Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 in C minor op. 110 – performed by the Borodin Quartet.
The second concert is on Thursday 10th May at 7pm, with performances of:
Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata No. 4 in C minor BWV 1017 – with Anastasia Injushina (piano) and Ana Chumachenko (violin);
Max Reger: String Trio No 2 op. 141b – with Susanna Yoko Henkel (violin), Trey Lee (cello), Kim Kashkashian (viola);
Johannes Brahms: Piano Quintet F minor op. 34 – performed by Anastasia Injushina (piano) and the Borodin Quartet.
The third concert night is Friday 11th May at 7pm with performances of:
Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 12 in C minor D 703 “Quartett-satz” – by the Borodin Quartet ;
Max Bruch: Eight pieces for clarinet, viola and piano op. 83 – with Henri Sigfridsson (piano), Niina Selin (clarinet), and Kim Kashkashian (viola).
Arnold Schönberg: Verklärte Nacht op. 4 “Transfigured Night” – with Svetlin Roussev (violin), Susanna Yoko Henkel (violin), Robert Cohen (cello), Trey Lee (cello), Kim Kashkashian (viola), Matti Hirvikangas (viola).
The final night of concerts is Sunday 13th May at 7pm:
Antonín Dvořák: Terzetto in C major op. 74 – with Ana Chamachenko (violin), Svetlin Roussev (violin), Kim Kashkashian (viola);
Mikhail Glinka: Grand Sextet in E flat Major – with Henri Sigfridsson (piano), Susanna Yoko Henkel (violin), Svetlin Roussev (violin), Matti Hirvikangas (viola), Trey Lee (cello), Teemu Kauppinen (double bass);
Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C major D 956 – performed by the Borodin Quartet with Robert Cohen (cello).
Known for its excellent acoustics, many concerts are held in Helsinki’s Church of the Rock. In addition to Helsinki Spring Light Chamber Music Festival, the Finnish Chamber Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonics and Sibelius Academy, among others, have also performed in Temppeliaukio kirkko.