Ralf Gothóni, conductor

Ralf Gothóni (born in Finland, living in Spain) has a many-sided career as solo pianist, chamber musician and conductor all over the world. He became well-known for his unconventional way of music -making, not only as a pianist, but as a musician with unusual thinking about music and the wholeness of musicianship.

His performances as a pianist include appearances at prestigious music festivals - Salzburg, Berlin, Prague, Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, La Roque de Antheron, Ravinia, Tanglewood and more - and performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, the Japan Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the Chicago, Detroit and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, among others. He appears annually in numerous concerts both as soloist and conductor, conducting from the keyboard. He has played world premieres of more than a dozen piano concertos; in Autumn 2004 he premiered conducting from the keyboard John Taverners piano concerto "Pratirupa" in London and in 2005-06 he premiered new concertos by Aulis Sallinen and Curtis Curtis-Smith. Mr Gothóni is also very active as a chamber musician; he is regular guest artist at major chamber music festivals.

Mr. Gothóni has recorded almost 100 albums for several international labels. Among them are the critically acclaimed recordings on the Ondine label of piano concertos by Britten, Einojuhani Rautavaara and the one-hour piano concerto (Choros XI) by Villa-Lobos. In the last years he has recorded several CDs with music by Alfred Schnittke and Aulis Sallinen, both as soloist and conductor.

Ralf Gothóni was named the principal conductor of the legendary English Chamber Orchestra in September 2000, in 2001-2006 he had the position of the Music Director of the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Seattle and since 2004 he is the guest conductor of Deutsche Kammerakademie. He has held many artistic posts: chief conductor of the Finlandia Sinfonietta (1989-94), principal guest conductor of the Turku Philharmonic (1995-2000), artistic director of the famous Savonlinna Opera Festival (1984-1987) and in 1996 and 1998 he was the initiator and the artistic director of the Forbidden City Music Festival in Beijing. In 2007 he initiated a musical bridge between Finland and Egypt by organizing a festival where his northern colleagues performed with Egyptian musicians.

Very close to his heart is also the contact with young musicians. He is the artistic supervisor of Savonlinna Music Academy which is a Summer institute for chamber music, lied and opera. He has held the position of professorship at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki 1992-2007, at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg (1986-96), at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule in Berlin (1996-2000) and as a visiting professor at the Royal College of Music in London (2000-) and in Escuela Superior de la Musica in Madrid (2006-). Besides giving master classes around the world, he has also spent many summers as a faculty member at the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia, Chicago. In the last years he has also been invited as juror at major international piano competitions.

The list of his compositions includes three chamber operas, the chamber cantata The Ox and its Shepherd and a Concerto Grosso version of it for violin, piano and strings. In 2003 his chamber orchestra arrangement of Hugo Wolf´s Italian Songbook got its premier in Stuttgart and in 2004 a new song cycle Peregrina was premiered also in Stuttgart.

Ralf Gothóni is also an essayist; his first book "The Creative Moment" was published in Finland in 1998. His second book, "Does the moon rotate" was published in 2001. In 2003 was published a new book "With the grand piano", where Mr. Gothóni and the concert tuner Matti Kyllönen explain the technical problems of a concert piano.

Mr. Gothóni has been honored with several awards, including the Gilmore Artist Award in 1994, which is one of the biggest awards in classical music, Schubert Medal of the Austrian Ministry of Culture, the Order of Pro Finlandia and the Prize of Honour of the Cultural Foundation of Finland.

More information:
Ralf Gothóni (piano)
Official Website

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Carl Philipp Emanuel, Johann Christian &
Johann Sebastian Bach:
Keyboard Concertos

Anastasia Injushina, piano
Hamburger Camerata
Ralf Gothóni, conductor
ODE 1224-2

Released 02/2013

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Alfred Schnittke
Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra
Violin Concerto No. 3
Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano

Mark Lubotsky, violin
Irina Schnittke, piano
Virtuosi di Kuhmo
Ralf Gothoni, piano & conductor
ODE 893-2

Released 04/1997

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