Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen made his sensational Music@Menlo debut with a program highlighting the theme-and-variations form. Bringing together music by Mozart, Grieg, Handel, and Brahms, Pohjonen’s thoughtfully curated recital explored how composers across the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras approached the same compositional technique to achieve a broad, expressive palette.
Music@Menlo is an internationally acclaimed three-week summer festival and institute that combines world-class chamber music performances, extensive audience engagement with artists, intensive training for preprofessional musicians, and efforts to enhance and broaden the chamber music community of the San Francisco Bay Area. An immersive and engaging experience centered around a distinctive array of programming, Music@Menlo enriches its core concert programs with numerous opportunities for in-depth learning to intensify audiences’ enjoyment and understanding of the music and provide meaningful ways for aficionados and newcomers of all ages to explore classical chamber music.
Juho's debut CD on the Dacapo label features the world's first recordings of two works by Danish composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen: his Plateaux pour piano et orchestre with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Ed Spanjaard and his suite for solo piano entitled For Piano.
Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen (b. 1932), one of the most important composers in Scandinavia, is both famous and notorious for simple, contrastful music that often borders on both the entertaining and the absurd. The contrastful and simple are also evident in the first recordings of the two works on this release: the piano concerto Plateaux pour piano et orchestre followed by Holmgreen’s most expansive solo piano piece For Piano. The pianist in both works is the young Finn, Juho Pohjonen. The piano concerto is with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Dutch conductor Ed Spanjaard