One of the brightest young instrumental talents to emerge from Finland, Juho Pohjonen has attracted great attention as one of the Nordic country’s most intriguing and talented pianists. Widely praised for his broad range of repertoire from Bach to Salonen, his interpretations are known for their intensity, thoughtfulness and fearless musical conviction.
Season highlights for 2012-2013 include performances with The Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Helsinki Philharmonic with Olari Elts, Bournemouth Symphony with James MacMillan, and Iceland Symphony with Francois-Xavier Roth. In the U.S. Mr. Pohjonen makes his debut at the Aspen Music Festival performing Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles with Maestro Robert Spano. He performs with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York and Chicago, and gives recitals in New York, Washington, D.C., and La Jolla. He plays Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 5 with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and again joins Maestro Spano at Carnegie Hall and Ensemble ACJW.
This past season Mr. Pohjonen made his debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival where he performed a solo recital and two, critically acclaimed, orchestral concerts featuring Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 with Jonathan Nott and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Mr. Pohjonen played Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra led by Thomas Søndergård and Schubert’s Quintet in A Major “Trout” with the San Francisco Symphony. Fall 2011 marked his first return to Carnegie Hall in a Zankel Hall program of Beethoven’s Sonata in D Major, Op. 28 “Pastoral,” Debussy’s Estampes and Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op. 28. As part of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two Residency Program for Outstanding Young Artists, Mr. Pohjonen has participated in a number of projects since 2009, and in Spring 2012 he took part in concerts in New York, Boston and Chicago performing works by Debussy, Fauré, Schumann and Saint-Säens.
Mr. Pohjonen has given recitals in Dresden, Hamburg, Helsinki, London (Wigmore Hall), New York (Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center), Washington, D.C. (the Kennedy Center), San Francisco, Vancouver, Alicante, Warsaw, Hong Kong 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, 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 a performance of 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 2010’s Music@Menlo Festival led to a recording for the Music@Menlo Live 2010 series entitled Maps and Legends: Disc 8. Works featured on the recording are 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 has 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 András Schiff, Leon Fleisher, Jacob Lateiner and Barry Douglas.
In 2009, Juho Pohjonen was selected by 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.