BBC Proms 2006 - large presence of Ondine artists (10.08.2006)

This year's BBC Proms (concerts between July 14 and September 9, 2006) feature a large number of Finnish musicians, and altogether no less than twelve performers and composers with close ties to Ondine. Prominent Finnish artists include composer Magnus Lindberg, star soprano Soile Isokoski, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the maestros Sakari Oramo, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Osmo Vänskä. The list is completed by star conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy and Christoph Eschenbach, the ensembles Philadelphia Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris, and British composer Julian Anderson.

The particularly large presence of Finnish performers at this year's Proms led The Times to describe the "wealth of musical talent" in a profile of Finnish musicians on August 11 (entitled "The shape of Finns to come"). Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Esa-Pekka Salonen championed contemporary music in concerts taking place on July 26 and August 11. Saraste will also lead the UK première of Sculpture by Magnus Lindberg. Prior to the performance on August 25, a special pre-concert event will introduce the composer and his music to the audience. Magnus Lindberg is one of Europe's most talented young composers, whose latest recording on Ondine won the BBC Music Magazine Award 2006 (ODE 1038-2).

On August 14, Soile Isokoski sung Strauss's Four Last Songs in a performance praised by The Times ("legato spun to kingdom come, (...) singing of great limpid beauty", August 16) and The Daily Telegraph ("this performance was utterly spell-binding", August 15). Mrs. Isokoski was accompanied by Sakari Oramo and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. The recording of the songs by Soile Isokoski which Ondine released on CD won the The Gramophone Award in 2002 (ODE 982-2).

Christoph Eschenbach lead the Orchestre de Paris on July 16 and performed chamber music on the following day; he will return for two concerts with The Philadelphia Orchestra on September 3 and 4, as part of the orchestra's tour of European summer festivals.

On August 6 the much-awaited world première took place of this year's BBC Proms commission, the piece Heaven is Shy of Earth by British composer Julian Anderson whose debut recording on Ondine was officially released in the UK on the following day (ODE 1012-2).

For further information about the BBC Proms 2006 events, please visit the website of the BBC Proms 2006.

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