Antti Siirala, piano
Antti Siirala, piano
First Prize winner of three international piano competitions, including the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition (2003), Finnish pianist Antti Siirala has established himself as one of the finest pianists of his generation. In addition to a stunning debut with the San Francisco Symphony playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 under Osmo Vänskä, his American engagements include the Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic and the New Jersey Symphony, among others. He has also performed with the Mostly Mozart Orchestra at Lincoln Center.
Worldwide, Mr. Siirala has appeared with the Bamberg Symphony, BBC/London, City of Birmingham Symphony, Finnish Radio Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, German Symphony Orchestra/Berlin, NDR Orchestra/Hannover, New Japan Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest/The Hague, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, St. Petersburg Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, WDR Orchestra/Cologne, Zurich Tonhalle and the orchestras of Melbourne and Queensland, among others. Conductors with whom Mr. Siirala has collaborated include Paavo Berglund, Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Stéphane Denève, Thierry Fischer, Mikko Franck, Michael Gielen, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Pietari Inkinen, Kristjan Järvi, Neemi Järvi, Fabio Luisi, Susanna Mälkki, Sakari Oramo, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Lan Shui, Osmo Vänskä, Mario Venzago, Hugh Wolff and Xian Zhang.
An enthusiastic recitalist, Antti Siirala was recently selected as one of four pianists to perform on the piano recital series of the Berlin Philharmonic (the others being Pierre Laurent Aimard, Lang Lang and Martin Helmchen). He has appeared at the Cologne Philharmonie, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Lucerne Festival, Schumannfest/Düsseldorf, Zurich Tonhalle, London’s Wigmore Hall, and major venues in Brussels, Milan, Detroit and New York. His debut recording of Schubert transcriptions for Naxos (2003) and his subsequent recording of works by Brahms for Ondine both received Gramophone Magazine’s “Editor’s Choice” award. Piano News awarded the Brahms disc its highest rating for interpretation.
In 2004, Mr. Siirala’s debut in Brussels exemplified his spontaneity and flexibility: asked to step in for the concert’s suddenly indisposed conductor, Mr. Siirala enthusiastically directed the orchestra from the piano in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Following the intermission, he further delighted the audience with a “splendid rendition” of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations in place of the scheduled Third Symphony of Brahms. He was immediately re-engaged for concerts with the Orchestre National and a recital at the Palais des Beaux Arts! Pianists for whom he has successfully stepped in include Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Hélène Grimaud and Ivo Pogorelich.
Though the compositions of Beethoven and Brahms are at the heart of Antti Siirala’s repertoire, his grasp of the entire stylistic spectrum is equally impressive. Especially committed to new music, he has premiered works by Walter Gieseler, Kuldar Sink, Uljas Pulkkis, and Kalevi Aho. Kaijo Saariaho’s first work for piano solo, Balladen, is part of his current recital program.