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Markku Luolajan-Mikkola

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola is a historically informed musician who plays various viols and historical cellos.



J.S. Bach: Complete Sonatas & Partitas, BWV 1001-1006
J.S. Bach: Complete Sonatas & Partitas, BWV 1001-1006
Phantasm's Markku Luolajan-Mikkola makes his solo Linn debut in style. 

CKD 548  

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola is a historically informed musician who plays various viols and historical cellos, on which he interprets a wide range of music: his repertoire ranges from the sixteenth century to the present day, and includes some of the most demanding pieces written for his instruments. He is also a pioneer: throughout his career he has embraced projects of a kind unprecedented in his home country, Finland; and his exceptionally creative and enquiring approach seeks to achieve musical expression over the simple recreation of historical musical performances and practices.

Luolajan-Mikkola has given more than a thousand concerts in 30 countries. His Gambaa!concert series, of nine different French Baroque music programmes in three countries, earned the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s Musical Act of the Year award in 2003. The series included the five suites by Antoine Forqueray as well as music from Marin Marais’ five books for bass viol and from the Nouveaux Concerts of François Couperin for treble viol. At the time of the release of this recording, Luolajan-Mikkola is touring Bach’s complete Cello Suites as well as his transcription of the violin Sonatas and Partitas. In 2015–17 he will have given a total of almost a hundred recitals in all the medieval churches of Finland.

Luolajan-Mikkola has a parallel interest in contemporary music, and believes that the future of early instruments lies not only in the music of dead composers but also in the hope that we might better understand ourselves and our time through the possibilities for expression and communication offered by those instruments. He finds inspiration in looking back to earlier times, when more or less all music performed was new; in that spirit, he has premiered more than 20 pieces, most of which he commissioned himself.

In addition to pioneering the Baroque cello and viola da gamba in Finland and founding several period ensembles there and abroad, Luolajan-Mikkola has introduced concert concepts such as Soitto kotiin (‘Home concerts’) at the Helsinki Festival in 2010 and Tule makoilemaan (concerts where the audience listens to live performances while relaxing on a mattress) with the Finnish Baroque Orchestra in 2012. Luolajan-Mikkola was president of the Finnish Soloists’ Association 2003–08 and artistic director of the Finnish Baroque Orchestra 2010–13, and in 2010 founded the BRQ Vantaa Festival, of which he is artistic director.

Luolajan-Mikkola’s 40 or so solo and chamber-music recordings have been enthusiastically acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. As soloist, he has received the National Janne Award, the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s special honour prize and the Classical Music Emma Prize. As a member of the viol consort Phantasm, he has won two Gramophone Awards, as well as other accolades, including the Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone and ‘Recording of the Month’ in BBC Music Magazine and Rondo.

Luolajan-Mikkola had begun to teach the modern cello at the Sibelius Academy in 1970s, even before his graduation there; he continued to teach it for a while during the 1980s, and many of his students from that period now play in leading European orchestras. He currently teaches both viol and Baroque cello at the Academy. In support of his belief that children best learn to appreciate music and culture in general when they are 10–18 years old, he has taught at the West Helsinki Music School since the 1980s.

Luolajan-Mikkola obtained his modern cello diploma from the Sibelius Academy in 1983 and earned postgraduate diplomas in both viola da gamba and Baroque cello at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague in 1992. During his years as a student, he was mentored by Arto Noras, Jaap Ter Linden and Wieland Kuijken. He would especially like to thank Paul Tortelier, Laurence Dreyfus and Seppo Laamanen for their encouragement.


For further information - www.luolajan-mikkola.fi/
Early Music Today
'The experiment is an interesting one...Cellists especialy will encounter much to intrgue them and will find of interest Luolajan-Mikkola's accompanying essay dealing with tuning issues and other important matters for the would-be transcriber.'


Klassisk Musikkmagasin
5 Stars
”...ga min nøling etter for beundring og verdsetting...Spillet og innspillingen er begge lytefrie.” / '...my hesitation gave way to admiration and appreciation...The performance and the recording are both flawless.'
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Hi-Fi+
'The musicality of Luolajan-Mikkola's performance commands respect as does the sheer dexterity of his playing, especially in his magisterial account, for example, of the Presto in the Partita No 1 in E minor. It is such an exuberant display that we are left almost breathless with excitement...'
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Fanfare
'Luolajan-Mikkola's playing is magical and he coaxes an amazing range of resonant sounds from his cello....The beauty of this interpretation is its contemplative spirit. He brings out the details that even Bach enthusiasts may never have noticed.'
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Fanfare
'Markku Luolajan-Mikkola's transcription of these works succeeds so beautifully...'
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Fanfare
'This is an outstanding disc with some absolutely phenomenal playing.'
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The Strad
'... Markku Luolajan-Mikkola has risen to the challenge, and carries off this technical tour de force with impressive strength and dexterity.'
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Gramophone
'...a delicious richness to the sound of the solo instrument...'


The Guardian
'...Sarabandes sung low and husky, unadorned, flawed and beautiful.'
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Irish Times
'Bach with a difference...a darkening of tone and a thickening of textures...'
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HBL
'Markku Luolajan-Mikkola spelar Bachs soloviolinstycken på barockcello och tolkar musiken suveränt.' / 'Markku Luolajan-Mikkola plays solo violin works by Bach with a baroque cello and interprets the music splendidly.'
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Ming Pao Weekly
Chinese Review: 'Luolajan-Mikkola offers a marvelous transcription of the sonatas-partitas, and that it’s enough to listen to your playing without the explanation of why to do such transcription.'
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05 November 2017 to 05 November 2017
Europe
Church of Vehmaa -14.00hrs, Kirkkotie 8-24, Vehmaa, Finland Europe
Bach Sonatas & Partitas

12 November 2017 to 12 November 2017
Europe
Church of Sääksmäki, Kirkkovainiontie, Valkeakoski, Finland Europe
Bach Sonatas & Partitas

29 November 2017 to 29 November 2017
Europe
Church of Pohja, Pohja, Finland Europe
Bach Sonatas & Partitas