Mika Väyrynen 50th Concert

Concert Report



Suomi 100 - Väyrynen 50 - Celebration Concert

music hallOn 11th October 2017, Finnish accordionist Mika Väyrynen presented a monumental concert in Helsinki titled 'Suomi 100 – Väyrynen 50' in honor of Finland's 100th Anniversary and his own 50th Birthday celebration.
Comprising several World Premieres, the magnificent program showcased some of Finland's most renowned composers who were in attendance for the event at the Helsinki Music Hall Camarata Threatre.
Mika Väyrynen has given hundreds of recitals in Finland, Europe, Asia and the United States. He is one of Finland’s internationally best-known and most highly appreciated accordionists.
mika vayrynenHe began his concert career in the mid-1980s and has appeared with almost every Finnish orchestra and at music festivals around the world.
In addition to his solo career, he has also performed as a chamber artist with many of the world's most distinguished musicians.

Mika's concert program was as follows:

  • Harri Wessman (born 1949)
    Premiere - Lamento in Memory of Jouni Kaipainen (2017)
  • Jouni Kaipainen (1956–2015)
    Gena, Op. 31 (1987)
    Vento, Op. 58 (1998)
    Placido, Op. 68 (2003)
  • Juha Salmesvuori (born 1965)
    Premiere - Memories and Friendship (2017)
  • Paavo Korpijaakko (born 1977)
    Premiere - Sonata No. 2 - "Dead on Time"
        1. Toccata. 2. Meditation, 3. Burning Papyrus (2017)
  • Eero Hämeenniemi (born 1951)
    Premiere - Velocità (2017)
  • Veli Kujala (born 1976)
    Premiere - La Storia Della Squolo Della Mia Vita
  • Lasse Pihlajamaa (1916-2007)

1. Harri Wessman (b.1949): Lamento in memoriam Jouni Kaipainen (2017, World Premiere)
Lamento (2017) by Harri Wessman (b. 1949). When Mika commissioned Wessman to write a piece for his concert, he requested a beautiful piece that might serve as a memoriam for his friend Jouni Kaipainen. Lamento reflects Kaipainen's structural intensity in style, while in spirit reflects a melancholic truth of how we all will leave this world at some stage, however, in the case of Jouni Kaipainen, just too soon.

2. Jouni Kaipainen (1956–2015): Gena, Op. 31 (1987)
Gena, Op. 31 (1987), Vento, Op. 58 (1998) and Placido, Op. 68 (2003) by Jouni Kaipainen (1956-2015). Gena was Kaipainen's his first accordion composition, but he stated writing it was such a pleasant experience, he knew it wouldn't be his last.

3. Jouni Kaipainen (1956–2015): Vento, Op. 58 (1998, dedicated to Mika Väyrynen)
Vento (wind) inspired Kaipainen to think of things that he had never been able to write before and is dedicated to Mika Väyrynen without whom Vento wouldn’t exist.

4. Jouni Kaipainen (1956–2015): Placido, Op. 68 (2003, dedicated to Mika Väyrynen)
Placido (calm), also written for Mika, was intended to be less technically demanding by comparison. However, as the piece developed, it became exceptionally challenging with large chordal passages and many separate polyphonic melodies which require exceptional ability to be able to clearly bring out all these elements.

5. Juha Salmesvuori (b. 1965): Memories and Friendship (2017, World Premiere)
Salmsvuori's 20 years of friendship with Mika was rekindled after an absence and this motivated him to compose Memories and Friendship. The middle part “Lullaby of Space” is dedicated to those friends that have already passed on, while the final part takes you “home” again reflecting the two motives that were introduced in the first part.

6. Paavo Korpijaakko (b.1977): Sonata nr. 2 - "Dead on Time" (2017, world premiere)
1. Toccata
2. Meditation
3. Burning Papyrus
Sonata No. 2 - "Dead on Time" (2017), by Paavo Korpijaakko. This work is the culmination of Paavo’s and Mika’s long, fruitful co-operation. Dedicated to Mika, the name refers to the ruthless times and people’s common sadness. In three movements, (1) Toccata is dynamic and rhythmic full of life while (2) 'Meditation' has a slow moving structure while (3) “Burning Papyrus” explains the name of the composition where the performer would keep playing, as the knowledge vanishes as the flames get bigger and the written music burns away.

7. Eero Hämeenniemi (b. 1951): Velocità (2017, World Premiere)
Velocita (2017) by Eero Hämeenniemi (b. 1951). Dedicated Mika with heartfelt congratulations on his 50th birthday, Hämeenniemi set out to make a playground for Mika’s energetic and dynamic musicianship.

8. Veli Kujala (b.1976): La storia della squolo della mia vita (2017, World Premiere)
Mika presented two encores including the World Premiere of La Storia Della Squolo Della Mia Vita by Veli Kujala and his own arrangement of the well known Nuoruusmuistoja by Lasse Pihlajamaa.

9. Composers on stage
At the conclusion of the Concert, the Composers in attendance were invited to the stage in appreciation of their contributions in composer news works for this momentous occasion.
10. Lasse Pihlajamaa (1916 - 2007): Nuoruusmuistoja (arranged by Mika Väyrynen)

kaipainen cd
Coinciding with the concert was the release of Mika's latest CD showcasing the complete solo accordion works of Jouni Kaipainen.
Mika wrote: "Jouni Kaipainen - Accordion Works" was published on Wednesday. This long project is now completed. CD can be bought from the Finnish Accordion Institute, Fuga and myself.

My sincere thanks to everybody who made this project possible.
To Lasse and Maire Pihlajamaa´s Fund at The Finnish Cultural Foundation for supporting my work.To Jouni Susiluoto for exellent cello playing. To Kimmo Mattila and The Finnish Accordion Institute for publishing this CD.

generalMy thanks to Jouni´s old friend Lauri Otonkoski for the text, to Kaapo Kamu and Helena Hannikainen for the photos, to Matti Ekman for recording, editing and mastering and to Susan Sinisalo for once again providing the excellent translations.

And most importantly, thanks to Jouni Kaipainen for his life, friendship and music!"

Following the concert, invited guests joined Mika in a reception and dinner. Surrounded by his friends, the composers and other dignitaries such as the Finnish General Pasi Välimäki (right) and former winner of Karajan competition Maestro Okko Kamu.
Mika was presented the CIA Merit Award by CIA officials Kevin Friedrich (Ambassador-USA), Herbert Scheibenreif (Vice President-Austria) and Kimmo Mattila (General Secretary-Finland).

merit awardThe CIA Merit Award acknowledges Mika's career as one of the foremost accordionists of today performing as a soloist, chamber musician and with Symphony Orchestra, his work as a recording artist, his role as an educator at the highest Academic levels such as his work at the Sibelius Academy and global Master Classes, and his work inspiring some of the world's leading composers to write for the accordion.
Pictured: Mika receiving the CIA Merit Award from Kevin Friedrich (CIA Ambassador) and Herbert Scheibenreif (CIA Vice President).

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