Celebrated as one of Finland’s most outstanding pianists, Juho Pohjonen is widely praised for his stellar musicianship and distinctive interpretations of a broad range of repertoire from Bach to Salonen. His interpretations are known for their intensity, thoughtfulness and fearless musical conviction. A favorite of Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Pohjonen garnered high accolades for his most recent performances of Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 5 in G Major: “His playing is simply extraordinary. This was a night when a good view of the soloist’s hands was worth extra money. It was a performance worth recording of a work worth hearing.” (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Juho Pohjonen began the summer of 2016 with his Grant Park Festival debut, performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with conductor Carlos Kalmar. Other highlights of the summer include performances at the Santa Fe and La Jolla Music Festivals as well as the Moritzburg Festival in Germany. His 2016-2017 season includes his third invitation to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Robert Spano, as well as his debut with the Vancouver Symphony and conductor Constantin Trinks in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1. He continues his close association with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in a program of Mendelssohn and Schubert at Alice Tully Hall, performs a chamber program at the Library of Congress and gives recitals in New York City and Howland, New York. European highlights include a performance of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Piano Concerto with the Szczecin Philharmonic and Rune Bergman, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 with the Finnish Radio Orchestra and Tomas Djupsjöbacka, as well as a debut with the Antalya State Symphony and conductor Adrian Prabava, performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
Recent highlights include highly praised performances of Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Buffalo Philharmonic and conductor JoAnn Falletta as well as performances of the same work across England with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Kirill Karabits. Mr. Pohjonen opened last season with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in performances of the Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 5 and Jeffrey Kahane, and made his debut with Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich performing Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Piano Concerto with conductor Lionel Bringuier. In addition, he gave a stunning recital debut at the Ravinia Festival, performed Mozart in Seoul with the KBS Symphony Orchestra, as well as in Mexico’s Palacio De Bellas Artes with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional and a U.S. tour with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Recently, Mr. Pohjonen has also performed with Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Helsinki Philharmonic with Olari Elts, Bournemouth Symphony with James MacMillan and Iceland Symphony with Francois-Xavier Roth. He appears frequently with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, since being selected as one of the musicians to join the “CMS Two Residency Program for Outstanding Young Artists” from 2009-2012.
Mr. Pohjonen has given recitals in New York (Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center), Washington, D.C. (Kennedy Center), San Francisco, Vancouver, Detroit, La Jolla and in London (Wigmore Hall), Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Warsaw, Hong Kong, Antwerp, and at the Lucerne Piano, Gilmore, Savonlinna, Bergen and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festivals. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Danish National, Malmö, Finnish Radio Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Scottish Chamber and Philharmonia Orchestras, Bournemouth Symphony, Zagrebacka Filharmonija and Lahti Symphony, with which he toured Japan.
Mr. Pohjonen’s debut recording Plateaux features Scandinavian composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s piano concerto Plateaux pour Piano et Orchestre with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and solo piano piece For Piano. His sensational opening recital at Music@Menlo’s 2010 Festival was recorded for the Music@Menlo Live 2010 series. The albums, entitled Maps and Legends: Disc 8, features Mozart’s Sonata in A Major, K.331, Grieg’s Ballade in G Minor in the Form of Variations on a Norwegian Folk Song, Op. 24 and Handel’s Suite in B-flat Major.
Mr. Pohjonen’s studies began in 1989 when he entered the Junior Academy of the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki. He studied with Meri Louhos and Hui-Ying Liu at the Sibelius Academy where he completed his Master’s Degree in 2008. Mr. Pohjonen has also participated in several master classes of world-class pianists such as Sir András Schiff, Leon Fleisher, Jacob Lateiner and Barry Douglas.
In 2009, Juho Pohjonen was selected by Sir András Schiff as winner of the Klavier Festival Ruhr Scholarship. In addition, he has won numerous prizes in both Finnish and international competitions, including First Prize at the 2004 Nordic Piano Competition in Nyborg, Denmark, First Prize at the 2000 International Young Artists Concerto Competition in Stockholm, the Prokofiev Prize at the 2003 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition and a prize at the 2002 Helsinki International Maj Lind Piano Competition.
‘If we needed proof that exciting new talent is in the pipeline, there was the marvelous American debut of Juho Pohjonen at [Carnegie’s] Weill Recital Hall. Mr. Pohjonen offered a formidable mixed program, topped by thrilling accounts of two fiendishly difficult works by a fellow Finn, Esa-Pekka Salonen.’ –The New York Times
Juho Pohjonen last performed for Jolla Music Society in SummerFest 2016.