Paa­va­li Jump­pa­nen

“fresh and exci­ting playing” and “im­men­se power and an ext­raor­di­na­ry ran­ge of co­lors” NEW YORK TI­MES
“a rare wed­ding of in­tel­lec­tual pe­net­ra­tion, co­lo­ris­tic ima­gi­na­tion, and sheer vir­tuo­so fi­re­power“ BOS­TON GLO­BE

In the brief span of recent sea­sons, the ima­gi­na­ti­ve and ver­sa­ti­le Fin­nish vir­tuo­so Paa­va­li Jump­pa­nen has es­tablis­hed him­self as a dy­na­mic musician of see­mingly un­li­mi­ted ca­pa­bi­li­ty who has al­rea­dy cut a wide swath in­ter­na­tio­nal­ly as solo reci­ta­list, orc­he­stral col­la­bo­ra­tor, recor­ding ar­tist, ar­tis­tic di­rec­tor, and frequent per­for­mer of con­tem­po­ra­ry and avant-gar­de music. Mr. Jump­pa­nen has per­for­med ex­ten­si­ve­ly in the Uni­ted Sta­tes, Eu­ro­pe, Ja­pan, and Austra­lia and is known for his re­mar­kable expres­si­vi­ty and in­ten­se musical cu­rio­si­ty. He has sha­red the sta­ge with many great con­duc­tors, among them Da­vid Ro­bert­son, Sa­ka­ri Ora­mo, Osmo Väns­kä, and Jaap van Zwe­den. He has com­mis­sio­ned nu­me­rous works and col­la­bo­ra­ted with pi­vo­tal com­po­sers such as Bou­lez, Mu­rail, Du­til­leux, Pen­de­rec­ki, as well as his own ge­ne­ra­tion of Fin­nish com­po­sers. In par­ticu­lar he also been prai­sed by the Bos­ton Glo­be for the “overflowing ener­gy of his musicians­hip” and by the New York Ti­mes for playing of “power and an ext­raor­di­na­ry ran­ge of co­lors.”

Du­ring the 2018–19 sea­son, Mr. Jump­pa­nen concer­tizes in the Uni­ted Sta­tes, Chi­na, In­dia, and va­rious Eu­ro­pean count­ries. Du­ring the fall 2019 he ap­pears as the so­loist of the two pia­no concer­tos by Brahms in Hel­sin­ki, ap­pea­ring with the Ta­pio­la Sin­fo­niet­ta con­duc­ted by Ma­rio Venza­go and the Hel­sin­ki Phil­har­mo­nic con­duc­ted by Susan­na Mälk­ki. He per­forms solo reci­tals and cham­ber pro­grams at the Shang­hai Arts Fes­ti­val and the new­ly foun­ded SOTA fes­ti­val in Hy­de­ra­bad. Ha­ving pre­pa­red for the task for se­ve­ral years, he ta­kes on tour the for­mi­dable cycle by Bach, the Art of the Fu­gue. He also re­turns to Ba­sel, the city of his stu­dies in Switzer­land, with a per­for­mance of a pro­gram de­dica­ted to the me­mo­ries of the two giants of the French avant-gar­de, Clau­de De­bus­sy and Pier­re Bou­lez. This per­for­mance ta­kes place in the int­ri­guing arts sa­lon, Mai­son44. The high­lights of the spring sea­son inclu­de a tour with the vio­li­nist Eli­na Vä­hä­lä and an ap­pea­rance with the Tam­pe­re Phil­har­mo­nic Orc­he­stra, con­duc­ted by Chris­top­her Sea­man. In the Uni­ted Sta­tes, Mr. Jump­pa­nen per­forms reci­tals at the Phil­lips Col­lec­tion in Was­hing­ton DC, at the Buck­nell Uni­ver­si­ty in Penn­syl­va­nia, and at the Gard­ner Museum in Bos­ton.

In June 2017, Mr. Jump­pa­nen cu­ra­ted the Väy­lä­fes­ti­val – a new nine-day arts fes­ti­val con­tai­ning a va­rie­ty of music, per­for­mance, pho­to­grap­hy, and lec­tu­res. The vi­sion be­hind the event was to found a ro­strum for the crea­ti­ve forces of the ru­ral areas of nort­hern Eu­ro­pe and pro­mo­te ar­tis­tic col­la­bo­ra­tion among dif­fe­rent gen­res. The fes­ti­val took place in loca­tions along the sho­res of the Tor­nio and Muo­nio Ri­vers in nort­hern Scan­di­na­via, cros­sing the na­tio­nal bor­der between Swe­den and Fin­land. The second edi­tion in June 2018 pre­sen­ted folk groups, Sami music, avant-gar­de jazz, vi­sual arts, and clas­sical music. Since 2015 Mr. Jump­pa­nen has also held the po­si­tion of Ar­tis­tic Di­rec­tor for Pia­noEs­poo Fes­ti­val, the wi­de­ly-known in­ter­na­tio­nal pia­no fes­ti­val in his na­ti­ve Fin­land.

Buil­ding an impres­si­ve­ly ex­pan­ding disco­grap­hy, Mr. Jump­pa­nen recent­ly comple­ted a mul­ti-year pro­ject of recor­ding the comple­te cycle of Beet­ho­ven Pia­no So­na­tas with On­di­ne Records— the fifth and fi­nal CD ha­ving been re­lea­sed in 2016. His recor­ding with vio­li­nist Co­rey Ce­rov­sek of the comple­te Beet­ho­ven So­na­tas for Pia­no & Vio­lin for Cla­ves Records recei­ved the Mi­dem Prize of Can­nes as the best cham­ber music disc of 2008. His de­but recor­ding was the th­ree Pia­no So­na­tas of Pier­re Bou­lez recor­ded for Deutsche Gram­mop­hon in 2005 upon the com­po­ser’s request. The Guar­dian prai­sed the recor­ding as “the best recor­ded disc of Bou­lez’s pia­no music so far. Mr. Jump­pa­nen’s most recent recor­ding, the comple­te Pré­lu­des by De­bus­sy, was re­lea­sed to cri­tical acclaim in Ja­nua­ry 2018. The recor­ding has ear­ned much prai­se in the in­ter­na­tio­nal press, the Dia­pa­son in France gi­ving it full five stars and is­suing a warm­hear­ted “war­ning for Jump­pa­nen’s col­lea­gues due the height on which he set the bar in the be­gin­ning of the De­bus­sy an­ni­ver­sa­ry”.

Du­ring the 2017–18 sea­son Mr. Jump­pa­nen per­for­med a solo reci­tal at the pres­ti­gious Frick Col­lec­tion in New York, for which Mr. Jump­pa­nen cho­se the unusual pro­gram of se­lec­tions from Wil­liam Duckworth’s re­mar­kable Time Cur­ve Pre­lu­des, ge­ne­ral­ly con­si­de­red to be the first “post-Mi­ni­ma­list” com­po­si­tion, as well as the comple­te Étu­des of De­bus­sy (Books I and II) and Beet­ho­ven’s So­na­ta No. 23 in F mi­nor, “Ap­pas­sio­na­ta.” The Ame­rican com­po­ser Wil­liam Duckworth, who died in 2012, was a col­la­bo­ra­tor of Mr. Jump­pa­nen and per­so­nal­ly coac­hed him as well. In 2017 he per­for­med a th­ree-concert cycle of music by De­bus­sy, Bou­lez, and Bartók pre­sen­ted in the me­mo­ry of the late Pier­re Bou­lez at Bos­ton’s Isa­bel­la Stewart Gard­ner Museum. That year he also tou­red in Austra­lia and pre­mie­red a concert-length trip­tych for pia­no and elect­ro­nics com­po­sed for him by Pert­tu Haa­pa­nen at the Musica Nova Hel­sin­ki fes­ti­val.

Ot­her par­ticu­lar­ly me­mo­rable per­for­mances from recent years inclu­de all five Pia­no Concer­tos by Beet­ho­ven with the Lah­ti Symp­ho­ny Orc­he­stra and the world pre­mie­re of the Pia­no Concer­to by Sep­po Poh­jo­la with the Fin­nish Ra­dio Symp­ho­ny Orc­he­stra in Hel­sin­ki and the Nor­dic pre­mie­re of the Dy­na­mic Trip­tych by John Foulds with the Lah­ti Symp­ho­ny Orc­he­stra. In 2016 Mr. Jump­pa­nen led a pro­ject focusing on works by De­bus­sy, Crumb, and Beet­ho­ven at the Austra­lian Na­tio­nal Aca­de­my in Mel­bour­ne.

A frequent per­for­mer at ve­nues such as the Ken­ne­dy Cen­ter in Was­hing­ton, DC and the Isa­bel­la Stewart Gard­ner Museum in Bos­ton, Mr. Jump­pa­nen has also ap­pea­red with the Mel­bour­ne Symp­ho­ny, Oslo Phil­har­mo­nic, and the BBC Symp­ho­ny Orc­he­stra as well as nu­me­rous fes­ti­vals inclu­ding Fin­land’s Kuh­mo Cham­ber Music Fes­ti­val and the La Roque d’Anthé­ron Fes­ti­val in France. Mr. Jump­pa­nen has been a re­gu­lar so­loist with Fin­land’s lea­ding orc­he­stras since ear­ly in his ca­reer, of­ten ap­pea­ring with the Hel­sin­ki Phil­har­mo­nic, Fin­nish Ra­dio, and Lah­ti symp­ho­ny orc­he­stras. A frequent per­for­mer at France’s Fes­ti­val Mes­siaen, Mr. Jump­pa­nen has gi­ven a num­ber of per­for­mances of Oli­vier Mes­siaen’s vir­tuo­sic concert-length solo pia­no cycle, Vingt Re­gards Sur l’En­fant Je­sus. His 2010 per­for­mance of the comple­te cycle at the Isa­bel­la Stewart Gard­ner Museum was se­lec­ted as one of the top ten per­for­mances of the year by The Bos­ton Glo­be, which ter­med the event “a rare wed­ding of in­tel­lec­tual pe­net­ra­tion, co­lo­ris­tic ima­gi­na­tion, and sheer vir­tuo­so fi­re­power.”

Paa­va­li Jump­pa­nen was born in Es­poo. In 1979, at the age of five, he be­gan pia­no les­sons at the Music Ins­ti­tu­te. He en­te­red the Si­be­lius Aca­de­my in Hel­sin­ki in 1992. From 1997 to 2000, he stu­died with Krys­tian Zi­mer­man at the Ba­sel Music Aca­de­my in Switzer­land whe­re he also stu­died the or­gan, for­te­pia­no, and cla­vic­hord. He has also been men­to­red by Rus­sian-born pia­nist Kons­tan­tin Bo­gi­no th­roug­hout his ca­reer. In 1994 he won the first prize in Hel­sin­ki’s Maj Lind Com­pe­ti­tion, and in 2000 he was awar­ded first prize in the Young Concert Ar­tists’ In­ter­na­tio­nal Au­di­tions in New York. From 2011 to 2012 Mr. Jump­pa­nen had a re­si­dency with the Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Music De­part­ment, whe­re he was able to rea­lize his long­ti­me as­pi­ra­tion of stu­dying musico­lo­gy and music theo­ry whi­le dee­pe­ning his un­ders­tan­ding of Vien­ne­se 18th cen­tu­ry music. Mr. Jump­pa­nen wri­tes a po­pu­lar blog cal­led Paa­va­li’s Stu­dio. In 2017 the Wall Street Jour­nal publis­hed an ar­ticle by Paa­va­li Jump­pa­nen, tel­ling the fasci­na­ting sto­ry of the “Ap­pas­sio­na­ta” by Beet­ho­ven, Mr. Jump­pa­nen’s fa­vou­ri­te piece of music.

Follow Paa­va­li’s blog at paavalijumppanen.com.