By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — The young Finnish piano virtuoso Paavali Jumppanen will return to Pennsylvania as artist-in-residence at Bucknell University from Feb. 3 through 21.
During his residency, he will perform in three public concerts. He also will participate in outreach and educational activities with Bucknell and local community students.
"Since he first came to Lewisburg as part of winning the Pennsylvania Prize along with a First Prize in the 2000 Young Concert Artists International Auditions (and three other special prizes that day), he has become a favorite and favored guest," said Bill Boswell, executive director of Bucknell's Weis Center.
"He is an exceptional musician – I would use the word genius – but he is also a truly nice person, something that comes through in his playing, his teaching, and everything that he does.
"Local audiences have been thrilled with his performances when he has visited during the past seven or so years. He has played brilliant solo recitals, performed an all-Beethoven Sonata concert with violinist Corey Cerovsek in 2004, and, most recently, which was last year, he played not one but two piano concertos with the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra," Boswell said.
Jumppanen will begin his three-week residency with a Gallery Series concert on Feb. 3 in a rare performance of the complete Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus by Olivier Messiaen in the Rooke Recital Hall at 8 p.m.
"On Feb. 6, Paavali is performing with the Czech Symphony Orchestra – he is stepping in for the announced soloist who is indisposed – and, on Feb. 21, he will give a solo performance including sonatas by Beethoven and Liszt as well as pieces by the Finnish composer Jouni Kaipainen. Both the Feb. 6 and 21 concerts begin at 8 p.m. in the Weis Center," said Boswell.
Winner of the first prize in Finland's national Maj Lind Competition in Helsinki at the age of 19, Jumppanen has since performed as soloist with all of Finland's orchestras. Still in his early 30s, he has performed and continues to concertize around the world, in Asia, Australia, the United States, and all over Europe.
His recording work has been selective and monumental. With Corey Cerovsek he recorded all of the Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano. On Deutsche Grammophon, he released the complete Piano Sonatas of Pierre Boulez, a recording he made in Paris where he had the pleasure and honor of working with the composer.
For a more complete history of his accomplishments, visit Paavali Jumppanen.
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