Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

Susanna Mälkki & the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

Male Speaker: Where to?

Female Speaker 1: Carnegie Hall, please.

[orchestra music]

Female Speaker 2: Here are your tickets, enjoy the show.

Female Speaker 3: Your tickets, please. Follow me.


Jeff Spurgeon: On this broadcast from Carnegie Hall Live, we have a group of musicians who haven't been on this stage in 55 years. The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra last performed at Carnegie Hall in 1968. Back then, under the direction of Jorma Panula, Tonight, it's the Helsinki Orchestra's Chief Conductor Susanna Mälkki Leading the orchestra in works by fellow Finns, Jean Sibelius, and Kaija Saariaho. I'm Jeff Spurgeon and backstage with me is my colleague and fellow John Schaefer.

John Schaefer: Thanks, Jeff. It's funny how things have changed in the 55 years since this orchestra was last on this stage. 1968 you mentioned Jorma Panula was their conductor. He was the hot young conductor of the day. Now, he is the person who has single-handedly turned Helsinki into an assembly line of hot young conductors who have dispersed through Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Osmo Vänskä, the list goes on and on.

Jeff Spurgeon: There's another younger generation just beginning to come up, too. The contributions of the Finnish people to classical music in the last couple of decades have just been astonishing.

John Schaefer: Way out of proportion to the population of the country. Really, really impressive. There is, though, one non-Finnish performer, one American on this program, and that is the soloist in the Kaija Saariaho piece. That is the flutist, Claire Chase. She is a champion of contemporary composers. She's recorded several Saariaho works and that'll be the second piece on the program. Then after intermission, the final piece on this concert will be one of Sibelius's most popular pieces, his Symphony No. 2.

Jeff Spurgeon: The concert will start with a different work by Sibelius, one from the Lemminkäinen Suite. We're going to hear the fourth movement, Lemminkäinen's Return. This suite of pieces is based on a 19th-century collection of the epic poetry from the-- It's just the whole Finnish saga. It's called the Kalevala inspiration from Finnish folklore and mythology.

If you grew up in Finland, there's a good chance you know these stories. The Lemminkäinen tale is part of that book. Our hero, Lemminkäinen is in conductor Susanna Mälkki's words, a cross between Don Juan the womanizer, and Siegfried, the fearless character from Wagner's opera.

John Schaefer: This is one of many pieces that Sibelius wrote, drawn from that collection, known as the Kalevala, which is just full of entertainingly bad behavior. Lemminkäinen is the featured hero, or anti-hero of this suite, which is also known as the Four Legends of Lemminkäinen. As we said, he's a bit of a ladies' man, and after seducing many of the women on an island, he's run out of town by the male residents. The story also involves him trying to capture a magical swan who swims in a river around the underworld. This is The Famous Swan of Tuonela, which is another of Sibelius's most famous works, but it's a very mournful slow piece and not a great way to start a concert.

Lemminkäinen's Return, on the other hand, is a great way to start. Conductor Susanna Mälkki gave us a little bit of background on the work and picks up the story in the final section of the suite.

Susanna Mälkki: This last movement is his return. What has preceded this moment is that he's been out having fun and trying to seduce, of course, the most difficult woman to seduce. Indeed, what happens is that he's actually dead in Tuonela's river and then his mom rescues him and puts him back together. Then Lemminkäinen stands up and then off he rides on his horse back to the home regions.

This movement, basically is I'm back. For me, it's absolutely incredible. It's very virtuosic, but you can really feel how the horse is just going full speed through the forest. It's really, really a lot of fun and triumphant, for sure. It's also a great end piece for the Four Legends, but it's also a fantastic piece to open a concert with.

John Schaefer: That is conductor Susanna Mälkki. You heard her refer to the piece by its older name, Four Legends of the Kalevala, also known as the Lemminkäinen Suite. The finale of the suite is the opening piece on tonight's program here at Carnegie Hall.

Jeff Spurgeon: Speaking of openings, that was the stage door, and our concertmaster is up on stage now. The house lights are down and the Helsinki Philharmonic is going to tune up before we experience this great moment of Sibelius's music. The first of two Sibelius works on this concert.

Susanna Mälkki in talking about Lemminkäinen mentions that he experiences his demise, doesn't mention how it happens. He's cut up into many little pieces and thrown in the bottom of a river. It's his mother who pulls him back together. I guess we could dedicate this performance to all the mothers everywhere who put their sons back together one way or another. This is for you tonight. On stage now, Susanna Mälkki and the Helsinki Philharmonic ready to bring you music of Sibelius, Lemminkäinen's Return from The Lemminkäinen's Suite of Sibelius from Carnegie Hall Live.

[MUSIC - Sibelius: Lemminkäinen's Return by Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra]

[crowd applause]

John Schaefer: Now, this music by Sibelius. He wrote that piece as an ending, but it turns out to be a great curtain raiser on this concert from the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra with Susanna Mälkki conducting Lemminkainen's Return. The Finnish folk hero galumphing around the Finnish countryside on his horse at the end of the Lemminkainen Suite, also known as the Four Legends from the Kalevala, the Finnish folk epic. Susanna Mälkki called back to center stage. This orchestra, Jeff, has waited 55 years to be here at Carnegie Hall since their last visit, and that was a great way to announce their return.

Jeff Spurgeon: They got a wonderful reception from the audience, as you just heard as well. The next piece on our program is by a contemporary Finnish Composer Kaija Saariaho. She's very highly regarded in her own country and also internationally, an acclaimed composer around the world, huge list of compositions, symphonies, and electronic pieces, and chamber works and operas. Conductor Susanna Mälkki has performed a great deal of her music.

Susanna Mälkki: Kaija's work is really unique. She has created a sound world unlike any other. There are lots of really excellent composers around, but those who can really be very original, you recognize immediately her musical voice. That's something very special. Basically, what I've understood is that she's very interested in borderline of sound and silence and all those noises. It's really opening our ears to different kind of listening.

John Schaefer: That is Susanna Mälkki talking about Kaija Saariaho. I've had the chance to speak with her a couple of times over the years. She has a background, Jeff, as you alluded, to electronic music, and that has given her a keen ear for texture, for subtleties of texture. There's often in her music a twilit mood. There are little stirrings and rustlings and rumblings of sound that you can't always put your finger on who's doing that, where is it coming from.

I think we'll probably hear that in this next piece, which is called Aile du Songe. It is based on a collection of poems about birds. The piece is not about birdsong but rather about birds in flight and it features the flutist Claire Chase who is currently occupying the Debs Creative Chair this season here at Carnegie Hall.

Jeff Spurgeon: She has her own special role. They're on stage now, Susanna Mälkki and flutist Claire Chase to bring you this music of Kaija Saariaho from Carnegie Hall Live.

[MUSIC - Kaija Saariaho: Aile du Songe by Susanna Mälkki and Claire Chase]

[pause 00:37:23]

[crowd applause]

Jeff Spurgeon: The title of the work is Aile du Songe, dream wing. A concerto for flute and orchestra by the Finnish composer, Kaija Saariaho. The work was written in 2001, the performance you just heard by soloist Claire Chase, and the Helsinki Philharmonic conducted by Susanna Mälkki is the premier performance of the work in Carnegie Hall. Coming to you from Carnegie Hall Live. All the musicians on stage on their feet. The Helsinki Philharmonic, Claire Chase, Susanna Mälkki backstage. I'm Jeff Spurgeon alongside John Schaefer. John, I loved what you said about Kaija Saariaho's music, that it's a little at the edges. It's like the things that you see out of the corner of your eyes.

John Schaefer: Exactly. You could hear that, especially at the end, the final movement of that piece. You mentioned it's essentially a concerto for flute and orchestra. It's not a full orchestra. It's essentially just strings, harp, and a huge, but very subtly deployed percussion section.

Jeff Spurgeon: It was wonderful the way that Susanna Mälkki had the instruments at opposite ends of the stage. You might have heard to scale one note on the left. The next note on the right, the next note on the left. A beautiful atmosphere created just in the performance space itself.

John Schaefer: Claire Chase, back at center stage, and taking another bow before this very appreciative audience here at Carnegie Hall. Aile du Songe, A wing of dream or dream wing. An evocation, not of bird song, but of bird flight. Now both flutist and conductor are back at center stage here at Carnegie Hall. Music of Kaija Saariaho, and the bell textures, the tubular bells, the crotales, the glockenspiel, the celesta, I mean it's just a medley of these chiming, ringing sounds that creates an almost magical texture.

Jeff Spurgeon: As Susanna Mälkki said, Saariaho is interested in the borderline of sound and silence and all those noises. Really wonderful. As you said, John, a wonderful texture of sound in the performance that we just heard, and great praise too for Claire Chase from conductor Susanna Mälkki and the fact that she's a great ambassador for this particular work. She told us that.

Susanna Mälkki: Claire is also someone who knows Kaija personally and she's played lots of her music. She's perfect because she's open-minded, she knows exactly how to produce all these things and she has the musical imagination to understand why. I think that's the most important thing. It's not about just performing funny activities, but it's really understanding what is being asked for. She's just an extraordinary performer. I know her since many, many years now. She knows Kaija. She knows the orchestra. It's absolutely perfect and she's a fantastic ambassador for the piece.

Jeff Spurgeon: Conductor Susanna Mälkki, speaking of Claire Chase, who just performed the beautiful work of Kaija Saariaho, Dream Wing, in this concert with the Helsinki Philharmonic. Orchestra musicians mostly are offstage now. We're at intermission in this concert from Carnegie Hall and backstage with us is Claire Chase. Congratulations. What a wonderful and beautiful piece that is and you get to sing.

Claire Chase: I do. I get to sing. I have to sing.


John Schaefer: Although I would have used the word vocalize. There is some singing, but there's a lot of other--

Claire Chase: It's sort of scatting and some spitting.

John Schaefer: How much of that is directed and how much of that is improvised? Is it suggested? How specific is the score?

Claire Chase: Everything is notated rhythmically. The pitches are up to the performer. If, for instance, a man were to perform this piece, he would perform it in his register. She leaves that up to the performer.

Jeff Spurgeon: Much larger bird.

Claire Chase: Yes, much larger bird. Tonight we've got a very small bird. There are little fragments of text from this poem on which the piece is based by Saint-John Perse that you hear just tiny fragments at the end. When I spoke with her about it, she said it's not important for people to understand those as phrases. She wants to hear them as music and as colors. The rest of the stuff that's happening vocally in the fast section it's nonsense syllables but make sense to me. It's phonetically a mashup of Italian and French and Finnish.

Jeff Spurgeon: It sounded near the end as if you had a cadenza. Is that fair to say?

Claire Chase: It's a mini cadenza, which is also it's optional. You can do it, you can not do it. I decided to do it tonight because why not?

Jeff Spurgeon: Carnegie Hall, why not?


John Schaefer: Now, Claire, I've seen you play many members of the flute family over the years. When you walked by to go out there, I had to ask you about the flute you were playing tonight because something struck me as different about it and it turns out, it is--

Claire Chase: It's made of pure platinum.

John Schaefer: A platinum flute.

Claire Chase: Yes. It has a-

John Schaefer: Slightly yellow color.

Claire Chase: -a yellow color. It's one of the densest metals. That particular flute was owned by Doriot Anthony Dwyer. Great, great flutist.

John Schaefer: Boston Symphony.

Claire Chase: Boston Symphony, principal flutist, is the first woman to hold down a principal job in any major American orchestra. This flute has her spirit and her fierceness in it. There's a lot of girl power in that act because I feel incredibly privileged to play it.

Jeff Spurgeon: A weighty flute in more senses than one. You have a really unusual job title at Harvard. You are not a professor of music. You are a--

John Schaefer: Professor of the practice of music.

Jeff Spurgeon: Of the practice of music. What does that mean?

Claire Chase: It's actually a very old designation at Harvard.

Jeff Spurgeon: Really?

Claire Chase: -and it's meant for people who are out in the world in the practice of something whether it's law or the arts, or what have you. It's a position that I think in Harvard's eyes honors the fact that we are out there in the world as opposed to in academia doing our thing. My thing happens to be playing strange music. I guess I'm a professor of the practice of strange music.


John Schaefer: You've been practicing this music for quite a long time. Co-founder of ICE, the International Contemporary Ensemble. It's the 10th anniversary of your Density 2036 project which will conclude in 2036, the 100th anniversary of really the foundational piece of the contemporary flute repertoire, which is Edgar Varese's piece, Density 21.5, which referred to a metal, didn't it?

Claire Chase: A platinum flute. It was written for the inauguration of one of the first platinum flutes.

Jeff Spurgeon: The synchronicity here. I'm just reeling from it in this concert. It's just incredible. It's a huge project, this multi-year project. You're getting how many pieces commissioned out of this whole thing? Dozens and dozens.

Claire Chase: Some of the pieces are 10 minutes long and some of them are 70 or 80 minutes long. So it's not so much about number of pieces. As for me, it is structurally about each year of the project and there are 24 years of it. We're in year 10 now. There's a new program, roughly 60 to 80 minutes in length of new material that's developed each year and premiered that year and then, sent off into the world to be played by other flutists. We're celebrating 10 years this year by playing the whole--

John Schaefer: All 10 years. Yes.

Claire Chase: Yeah.

John Schaefer: Here in New York, it's The Kitchen at Westbeth.

Claire Chase: The Kitchen at Westbeth which is their new wonderful temporary space while they're having renovations in their theater and at Zankel here at Carnegie.

John Schaefer: At Zankel.

Claire Chase: It's an uptown, downtown pub crawl if you will.


John Schaefer: Over the course of these pieces, you are required to play everything from the huge contrabass flute to the tiny little piccolo and virtually everything in between.

Claire Chase: Yeah. Some of the pieces ask me to put down the flute entirely and be a performer in other ways. Each one stretches me. Each of the pieces in the repertoire stretches me in a different way.

Jeff Spurgeon: The composers must be delighted because you're letting them stretch too. So it's a great exercise for everyone.

Claire Chase: It's a mutual stretching and we hope for the listeners too.

John Schaefer: Is this upcoming – it starts next week, right?

Claire Chase: It starts the 18th.

John Schaefer: 18th.

Claire Chase: Is that next week already?  Heavens.

John Schaefer: It is. It's a week from Thursday.

Claire Chase: Delivering the news.

John Schaefer: Yes.

Claire Chase: It's a week from Thursday. Then yes.

John Schaefer: Is that a part of what you're doing here at Carnegie as the Debs Chair?

Claire Chase: Yes. It's the culmination of a year of programs that I've done here which have ranged from programs for zero to three-year-olds. We did a program on the stage of Carnegie Hall in January with zero to three-year-olds rolling around and playing instruments with us. It's ranged from that to this presentation with the Helsinki Philharmonic and sort of everything in between.

Jeff Spurgeon: You're on a wonderful journey and you took us on one tonight too. Such beautiful performance, so virtuosic. The end of that piece, I'm going to remember that, because it just stayed with you and it just evanesced. It was so beautiful.

Claire Chase: There's nobody like Kaija. There's nobody who creates colors like Kaija.

Jeff Spurgeon: Just wonderful. Claire Chase, thank you so much for spending some time with us, and thank you for sharing that performance. Real treasure. Thanks for being with us on Carnegie Hall Live.

Claire Chase: A pleasure.

John Schaefer: We've been talking with Claire a little bit about her residence here at Carnegie Hall. So many programs happen in this building beyond the first-rate concerts that we get in the three halls. They do produce children's programs. There are workshops of all kinds. There's songwriting with prisoners at Rikers Island. One of the Carnegie Hall initiatives that we've followed for several years now is the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, a program conceived by the executive and artistic director here at Carnegie Hall, Clive Gillinson. In just a few months, we'll bring you a live broadcast of that always-fine orchestra.

Jeff Spurgeon: In summer a group of young players from across the country, they've already been chosen for the ensembles this year. Ages 16 to 19, they come together to form the NYO-USA, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, a free program for all the participants. They work with professional section leaders from orchestras around the country, and then they tour either across the US or in other cities around the world as musical ambassadors for this nation and for Carnegie Hall. This summer, the program celebrates its 10th anniversary, and the orchestra will tour North America with Sir Andrew Davis and two great guest violinists, Gil Shaham and Hilary Hahn.

While we have some time left in this intermission of this concert by the Helsinki Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, let's hear a little bit of last year's NYO-USA concert, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States performing a bit of Mahler's Symphony No. 5 conducted by Daniel Harding.

[MUSIC - Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5 by Daniel Harding]

Jeff Spurgeon: Some of the powerful music of Gustav Mahler from his 5th Symphony and a performance by colloquially, a bunch of kids. The 16 to 19-year-old members of the National Youth Orchestra for the United States of America. Last year's rendition of that orchestra. A new group of young musicians is getting ready for their summer and their preparations to perform here at Carnegie Hall and then take a North American tour as part of the NYO at Carnegie Hall in this coming summer. This is Classical New York 105.9 FM at HD, WQXR Newark, and 90.3 FM WQXW Ossining.

I'm Jeff Spurgeon, alongside John Schaefer and we're with you tonight from Carnegie Hall Live with the Helsinki Philharmonic and Conductor Susanna Mälkki. John, this isn't your favorite Sibelius Symphony, the Two is not your favorite.

John Schaefer: It's not but it is certainly one of the most popular. I actually think Sibelius’s first two symphonies, you can hear echoes of Tchaikovsky in both of them.

Jeff Spurgeon: You find the later works a little more individual?

John Schaefer: Yeah, yeah.

Jeff Spurgeon: Oh, I love the second so we are in my sweet spot tonight.

John Schaefer: Well, as I say it is one of his most popular works, and if there is a whiff of essence of Tchaikovsky about it, well, that doesn't seem to bother anybody.

Jeff Spurgeon: You could do worse.

John Schaefer: Yeah.

Jeff Spurgeon: There’s nothing wrong with that.

John Schaefer: No. It's just interesting because Sibelius became such an iconic figure of Finnish identity over the course of his career and although the Symphony No. 4 is by no means a walk in the park rather the opposite, it is his most desolate, bleak symphony, it is also the most Finnish because it was the result of a great famine. They called it the Barkbröd Symphony where they made bread out of bark of trees out of desperation. And so Finns looked to Sibelius sort of the way Italians looked to Verdi at the time that Italy was sort of coalescing into its modern state.

Jeff Spurgeon: That is one of the reasons why Sibelius is important to Finland, that he is an expression in music of a kind of national identity. We asked Susanna Mälkki about the stature of Sibelius in Finland. She talked about and told us about him.

Susanna Mälkki: I think everybody knows his work, everybody knows Finlandia, everybody knows Christmas songs. I, for example, as a kid, I heard Sibelius before I knew it was Sibelius. Of course, it's music from the Romantic era but it's also it's such a great pride. It's difficult to describe how incredibly important it is for a small nation to have this kind of music. At Sibelius’s time, I don't know, the population was maybe 3 million, now we're 5.5 million but it's a small country. Then we have this musical identity which is so strong. It's quite unique and we love it. I've spoken many times, for example, with the musicians of the Helsinki Philharmonic and we play the symphonies all the time. It's such well-written music that we just never get tired of it. So, yes, maybe it's a cliche that the Finnish orchestra is touring with Sibelius, but we love it, you know.

John Schaefer: Susanna Mälkki talking about playing Sibelius with this orchestra. This orchestra has played more of Sibelius's music than any other composer.

Jeff Spurgeon: And premiered a great deal of it too.

John Schaefer: Premiered almost all of his major orchestral works, often with Sibelius himself conducting. Hugely, I mean, we do not have a similar an analogous person here in the States, simply because I guess we're just too big with too many diverse things going on but it would be as if Babe Ruth and Elvis Presley were these kind of iconic figures that all Americans know, Finns they have to know who Sibelius is, he's on their postage stamps.

Jeff Spurgeon: On their money

John Schaefer: He is on their currency. Yes. Here we are ready for a performance of his Symphony No. 2, which ironically, he wrote in Italy [laughs] but it is very much a beloved work in Finland, and indeed around the world. Susanna Mälkki is back at center stage here at Carnegie Hall to lead the Helsinki Philharmonic and Sibelius' Symphony No. 2.

[MUSIC - Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 by Helsinki Philharmonic] [applause]

John Schaefer: From Carnegie Hall, you've just heard the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Susanna Mälkki performing Sibelius's Symphony No. 2, a work that was premiered by this orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic, in 1902 with the composer Sibelius conducting. Over the past 140 years of the Helsinki Philharmonic's history, they've played this work more than any other. Jeff, they still seem to get a charge out of it.

Jeff Spurgeon: Susanna Mälkki appeared to be loving the music that was coming out of the orchestra, beaming, and yes, you can hear that the audience loved it too. They're on their feet. Back out for a curtain call goes Susanna Mälkki, who talked a little bit to us about how this piece ironically so Finnish in identity was not written in Finland.

Susanna Mälkki: Sibelius wrote it in Italy. You can hear that he was incredibly inspired by the Italian sun and this kind of warm D major you wouldn't necessarily get in Finland in November. This was definitely something that inspired him. In the second movement, we can feel the Finnish darkness though. There is a struggle and there's a lot of pain and difficulty, but then the music finds the energy.

We go through the scherzo, which starts a struggle which is definitely going to win some beautiful moments in the trio, and then ultimately we are taken into this finale, which is just so extraordinary. It's not directly connected to the history of the Finnish nation, but we like to think it is a little bit because it is something that gives us a boost of identity. The Second Symphony is of course his most performed work probably, and we are so, so very proud to be performing here.

Jeff Spurgeon: Conductor Susanna Mälkki speaking of the Second Symphony of Sibelius, just performed by the Helsinki Philharmonic. Now back on stage comes Ms. Mälkki. She was pointing out various members of the orchestra. You heard those ovations while she was talking about the symphony. Now once again the whole Helsinki Philharmonic is on its feet here in Carnegie Hall to conclude the program of two works by Sibelius. Lemminkäinen's Return opened the concert and then we heard music by Kaija Saariaho. Now Susanna Mälkki is on the podium. The orchestra is seated and so is the audience. We're going to get an encore in this concert from Carnegie Hall Live.

[MUSIC - Jean Sibelius: Valse Triste]


Jeff Spurgeon: An encore from the Helsinki Philharmonic, conductor Susanna Mälkki from Carnegie Hall live. Another work by Jean Sibelius, a famous one, his Valse Triste, Sad Waltz. Oh, there's a lot of beauty in my sadness.

John Schaefer: An uncommonly stormy reading of the piece just before the end. Quicker tempo and almost a Ravel's feel to it.

Jeff Spurgeon: Yes, that's appropriate to the context of the piece, which was actually written to talk about the woman who was anticipating the end of her life in a dreamlike state. You may hear it another way but that's one way to hear it. Susanna Mälkki just went back on stage and so did two other musicians.

John Schaefer: [chuckles] I'm sure they didn't walk out just to say goodbye.

Jeff Spurgeon: [laughs]

John Schaefer: Odds are we're going to hear yet another encore. It doesn't look like anybody in the house is leaving, so here at Carnegie Hall, we expect Susanna Mälkki, currently acknowledging the applause of the crowd, to turn and face the orchestra. I'll give you three guesses who the composer likely is.

Susanna Mälkki: Thank you so very, very much for this incredible reception. If you allow us to feel slightly patriotic this evening, we would like to finish this evening with Finlandia.

[applause] [MUSIC - Jean Sibelius: Finlandia]


John Schaefer: More music from Sibelius, the Finnish composer, played by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Susanna Mälkki. I don't think anybody in the hall could be surprised that the-


John Schaefer: -orchestra chose Finlandia as the work to conclude this program tonight, a work that has been adopted almost as an official anthem in Finland. Remember, Sibelius wrote this when Finland was not yet an independent country.

Jeff Spurgeon: Yes.

John Schaefer: It was still a part of Russia.

Jeff Spurgeon: In its first performances, some of the titles that were used for this work included Happy Feelings at the Awakening of Finnish Spring-

John Schaefer: [laughs]

Jeff Spurgeon: -or A Scandinavian Choral March. They couldn't be too explicit about its patriotic nature because, yes, it was under the Russian rule at that time.

John Schaefer: Yes, but it's become so deeply entwined with the Finnish character over the years and, as I say, has become something of an anthem in that country,-

Jeff Spurgeon: Certainly an anthem for this orchestra too.

John Schaefer: -and for this orchestra that was so closely associated with Sibelius himself. This concert actually is part of Susanna Mälkki's farewell tour with this orchestra. Her tenure as chief conductor ends this spring. She will be succeeded this summer by Jukka-Pekka Saraste. He'll begin in the summer of this year and will be the 14th chief conductor of this 140-year-old orchestra.

Jeff Spurgeon: That's a nice average of 10 years for each and a wonderful set of contributors. The orchestra is, as you've heard tonight, in wonderful condition. There are lots of onstage hugs now between the members of the orchestra. Clearly, they are pleased to be back in Carnegie Hall if any of them are back. The orchestra hasn't been here for more than 55 years, so this group is pleased to be here and certainly the association is pleased to be back as well.

John Schaefer: It's been an all-Finnish event at Carnegie Hall. Our thanks to Clive Gillinson and the staff here at Carnegie Hall. Our engineering crew included Edward Haber, George Wellington, Irene Trudell, and Duke Marcos. Our production staff, Eileen Delahunty, Laura Boyman, and Aimée Buchanan. I'm John Schaefer.

Jeff Spurgeon: I'm Jeff Spurgeon. Carnegie Hall is a co-production of Carnegie Hall and WQXR in New York.

[02:10:30] [END OF AUDIO]


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