In the brief span of recent seasons, the imaginative and versatile Finnish virtuoso Paavali Jumppanen has established himself as a dynamic musician of seemingly unlimited capability who has already cut a wide swath internationally as solo recitalist, orchestral collaborator, recording artist, artistic director, and frequent performer of contemporary and avant-garde music. Mr. Jumppanen has performed extensively in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Australia and is known for his remarkable expressivity and intense musical curiosity. He has commissioned numerous works and collaborated with many pivotal composers such as Boulez, Murail, Dutilleux, Penderecki, as well as his own generation of Finnish composers. In particular he also been praised by the Boston Globe for the “overflowing energy of his musicianship” and by the New York Times for playing of “power and an extraordinary range of colors.”

Highlights of the 2017–18 season include a solo recital at the prestigious Frick Collection in New York, for which Mr. Jumppanen has chosen the unusual program of selections from William Duckworth’s remarkable Time Curve Preludes, generally considered to be the first “post-Minimalist” composition, as well as the completeÉtudes of Debussy (Books I and II) and Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F minor, “Appassionata.”  The American composer William Duckworth, who died in 2012, was a collaborator of Mr. Jumppanen and personally coached him as well.  Other engagements this season include a performance of Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto with the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and the veteran conductor Leif Segerstam, a close colleague of Mr. Jumppanen. The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Mr. Jumppanen’s native country, Finland.  He will celebrate the anniversary by performing a significant number of modern Finnish works throughout the season.  Mr. Jumppanen will appear at the PianoEspoo Festival performing Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata, by now a signature work of his repertoire, as well as Mozart’s Quintet for piano and winds with the musicians from the Tapiola Sinfonietta.  And lastly, he will spend a good part of the season at a retreat in Lapland, studying and preparing for performance the landmark cycle, the Art of the Fugue by Bach, which Mr. Jumppanen takes on tour in 2018. 

In June 20l7, Mr. Jumppanen curated the Väyläfestival – a new nine-day arts festival containing a variety of music, performance, photography, and lectures. The vision behind the event was to found a rostrum for the creative forces of the rural areas of northern Europe and promote artistic collaboration among different genres.  The festival took place in eight different locations along the shores of the Tornio and Muonio Rivers in northern Scandinavia, crossing the national border between Sweden and Finland. Since 2015 Mr. Jumppanen has also held the position of Artistic Director for PianoEspoo Festival, the widely-known international piano festival in his native Finland.

Building an impressively expanding discography, Mr. Jumppanen recently completed a multi-year project of recording the complete cycle of Beethoven Piano Sonatas with Ondine Records— the fifth and final CD having been released in
2016. His recording with violinist Corey Cerovsek of the complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano & Violin for Claves Records received the Midem Prize of Cannes as the best chamber music disc of 2008. His debut recording was the three Piano Sonatas of Pierre Boulez recorded for Deutsche Grammophonin 2005 upon the composer’s request. The Guardian praised the recording as “the best recorded disc of Boulez’s piano music so far. Mr. Jumppanen’s next recording, the complete Préludes by Debussy, is scheduled for release in January 2018.

During the 2016-17 season, Mr. Jumppanen performed a three-concert cycle of music by Debussy, Boulez, and Bartók at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. In the spring of 2017, Mr. Jumppanen toured in Australia and performed a tandem concert at the Portland International Piano Series with a program of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas and the complete Préludes by Debussy. At the Musica Nova Helsinki festival, Mr. Jumppanen premiered a concert-length triptych for piano and electronics composed for him by Perttu Haapanen. His 2016-17 orchestral engagements included concertos by Beethoven, Mozart, and Schumann.  In 2017 Mr. Jumppanen also appeared as an organist, having begun the year with a performance of a Bach program in his home town Espoo, to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Other recent performances include all five Piano Concertos by Beethoven with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and a national tour with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra as a soloist in the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto. During the 2015-16 season, Jumppanen he performed the world premiere of the Piano Concerto by Seppo Pohjola with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Helsinki and the Nordic premiere of the Dynamic Triptych by John Foulds with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. In May of 2016 Mr. Jumppanen led a project focusing on works by Debussy, Crumb, and Beethoven at the Australian National Academy in Melbourne.

A frequent performer at venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Mr. Jumppanen has also appeared with the Melbourne Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra as well as numerous festivals including Finland’s Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and the La Roque d’Anthéron Festival in France. Mr. Jumppanen has been a regular soloist with Finland’s leading orchestras since early in his career, often appearing with the Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio, and Lahti symphony orchestras. A frequent performer at France’s Festival Messiaen, Mr. Jumppanen has given a number of performances of Olivier Messiaen’s virtuosic concert-length solo piano cycle, Vingt Regards Sur l’Enfant Jésus. His 2010 performance of the complete cycle at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was selected as one of the top ten performances of the year by The Boston Globe, which termed the event “a rare wedding of intellectual penetration, coloristic imagination, and sheer virtuoso firepower.”

Paavali Jumppanen was born in Espoo. In 1979, at the age of five, he began piano lessons at the Music Institute. He entered the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki in 1992.  From 1997 to 2000, he studied with Krystian Zimerman at the Basel Music Academy in Switzerland where he also studied the organ, fortepiano, and clavichord. He has also been mentored by Russian-born pianist Konstantin Bogino throughout his studies and career. In 1994 he won the first prize in Helsinki’s Maj Lind Competition, and in 2000 he was awarded first prize in the Young Concert Artists’ International Auditions in New York. From 2011 to 2012 Mr. Jumppanen had a residency with the Harvard University Music Department, where he was able to realize his longtime aspiration of studying musicology and music theory while deepening his understanding of Viennese 18th century music.