Antti, Minna, and Family from Helsinki
Finnish violinists Antti Tikkanen and Minna Pensola have been familiar and beloved faces at Staunton Music Festival since 2011. Often arriving here with daughters in tow, the couple take a moment during the pandemic shutdown to say hello from home in Helsinki.
Minna Pensola performs as a chamber musician, soloist and leader. She is a founding member of Meta4 string quartet which is the first prize winner of the Dimitri Shostakovich String Quartet Competition (Moscow 2004) and the Joseph Haydn Chamber Music Competition (Vienna 2007). She is also a co-founder of The Punavuori Chamber concert series, and runs a club for classical music in her home town Helsinki. She acted as an artistic director for the Sysmä Summer Sounds Festival in Finland years 2006-2012. Minna Pensola teaches violin at the Sibelius Academy and is tutor at the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA). Minna Pensola plays a Carlo Bergonzi violin (1732) kindly on loan from Signe ja Ane Gyllenberg Foundation.
Violinist Antti Tikkanen is a versatile musician whose dynamic career spans solo, chamber, as well as baroque performance. Antti was born in Oulainen, Finland, and he began to study the violin at the age of seven. He later studied in the Kuhmo Violin School, the Sibelius Academy, and for a short period he also studied at the Lyon Conservatory. He has performed with numerous Finnish orchestras, including the Finnish Radio Symphony, Tapiola Sinfonietta and the Helsinki Philharmonic, and appears at music festivals across Europe. Antti is also a founding member of the internationally acclaimed String Quartet Meta4, which burst upon the scene taking first prize at the 2004 Shostakovich String Quartet Competition in Moscow.
Noted music historian Tim Carter (UNC-Chapel Hill) provides a broad perspective from which to consider Vivaldi's ever-popular Four Seasons concertos. He is joined by Finnish violinists Minna Pensola and Antti Tikkanen, sharing impressions and recollections of their Four Seasons performances from SMF 2015.
During the 2015 Baroque Inside/Out concert, festival musicians offered period instrument performances of the complete Four Seasons concertos by Vivaldi. The fiery "Summer" Concert in G Minor featured soloist Minna Pensola. In HD with accompanying program notes.
Along with festival musicians, violinist Antti Tikkanen delivered a powerful and poised rendition of Vivaldi's "Winter" Concerto in F Minor from the Four Seasons. Recorded in HD at the live performance in August 2015, the video includes accompanying program notes.
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