Valeria Resjan


Valeria Resian began her piano studies in Russia. She moved to Finland with her parents in 1990 and continued her studies at the Sibelius Academy with Hamsa Al-Wadi Juris. She also studied chamber music with Ralph Gothoni. In 1996-97, she studied at the Reina Sofía High Music School with Dmitri Bashkirov.

In 1992 Valeria Resjan won the National Maj Lind Piano Competition together with Laura Mikkola. In 1995 she won the International Pilar Bayona Competition in Zaragoza, Spain. In 1996 she was awarded with the fourth prize at the International Piano Competition of Montreal, where she was also granted the special prize as the favourite of the audience.

Valeria Resjan has performed as a recitalist, chamber musician and orchestra soloist. She is collaborating actively with such internationally renowned musicians as Ola Karlsson, Marko Ylönen, Jan-Erik Gustafsson, Hagai Shaham, Elina Vähälä, and also Takacs, Chillingirian and Michelangelo quartets as her chamber music partners. She has played with such conductors as Okko Kamu, William Boughton, Jorma Panula, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Osmo Vänskä and Sakari Oramo. She has given concerts in Norway, Russia, Japan, China, Spain, Canada and Emirates. In Finland, she has made appearances in many music festivals, including the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Turku and Mikkeli Music Festivals, Espoo Piano Festival and the Helsinki Festival.

Since year 2004, she has been performing regularly with Pietari Inkinen and Tuomas Ylinen. This trio has recorded Tchaikovsky and Sibelius music and had a concert in the Wigmore Hall of London in 2007.

Valeria Resian has been awarded a scholarship by the Finnish Culture Fund thrice.

Nowadays, she is piano teacher and accompanist at the Helsinki High School of Music (Metropolia University).

Martin Malmgren


Pianist Martin Malmgren has made himself known as a versatile performer, equally at home on stage as a soloist, chamber musician and lied pianist. With an unusually wide repertoire ranging from early baroque up until the music of our times, he takes delight in surprising his audiences by performing unjustly neglected works and composers. He has founded the piano recital series Key Discoveries, and more recently he co-founded the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, together with conductor James Kahane and violinist-conductor Aku Sorensen. This spring he is releasing a CD with works for violin and piano by Fredrik Pacius, Robert Kajanus and Jean Sibelius together with violinist Sebastian Silén.

As a sought-after soloist, he has appeared with such orchestras as Sinfonia Lahti, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Belgrade Symphony, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Toruń Philharmonic Orchestra, Oulu Sinfonia, Jyväskylä Sinfonia and numerous others. The interest in lesser-heard works has led to multiple performances of unjustly neglected works including Prokofiev’s 5th piano concerto, Hindemith’s Kammermusik op 36 nr 1, Schumann’s Konzertstück and Rachmaninoff’s 1st piano concerto, as well as the Finnish premieres of Elliott Carter’s “Dialogues 2”, Guillaume Connesson’s Concertino and Doreen Carwithen’s Piano concerto. He has performed extensively throughout Europe, USA, Australia and Israel. Among other concert projects he has performed the complete Mazurkas by Karol Szymanowski and all Études by Claude Debussy

Martin holds a Bachelor of Music from Edsberg Manor/Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, and continued his studies by pursuing a Master’s degree at the Sibelius Academy, with Ilmo Ranta as his main piano teacher. Other important teachers have included Konstantin Bogino, Jerome Lowenthal, Liisa Pohjola, Staffan Scheja, Tuija Hakkila and Juhani Lagerspetz.

Erle Kont


After completing her master’s degree in clarinet at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with Harri Mäki and Kari Kriikku, Estonian born Erle Kont is continuing her education in master’s of conducting in the same university with Sakari Oramo and Petri Komulainen.
2021/2022 season saw Kont conducting the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Joensuu City Orchestra, Vaasa City Orchestra, Oulu Symphony Orchestra and others.
As a prolific prize winner on the clarinet, Erle Kont is the prize winner of 14 competitions, including 1st prizes from international Eduard Medinš competition (2011, Latvia), Bohuslav Martinu and Viktor Kalabis competitions (2015, Austria) and Estonian national competition (2009, 2011).

Erle Kont is the founder and artistic director of the contemporary music group Tartu Sound (2017), which focuses on the music of young Estonian composers transitioning into professional life. It is a community driven organization that brings together new music lovers,composers and instrumentalists.
Erle is also the artistic director and chief conductor of Tapiola Entertainment Band – a big band type of an orchestra, whose repertoire ranges from nostalgic Finnish pop music to tangos and jazz. The orchestra plays all original transcriptions because of the wide variety ofinstruments in the ensemble – wind and string instruments together with accordions, guitar,bass and percussion instruments. It is a versatile orchestra created to take music out to the community and share the fun and joy of music making.

Alisson Kruusmaa


In June 2017, Alisson Kruusmaa (1992) graduated from the composition class of Helena Tulve. She holds both Bachelor and Master of Arts Diploma from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (cum laude). In the semester of 2013/2014, she amended herself at the Conservatorio di Musica di Giuseppe Verdi di Milano, under the instruction of Professor Alessandro Solbiati. Alisson Kruusmaa has written music for symphony orchestras, ensembles and choirs as well as soloists. Her music is best described through ethereal, fragile and spacious soundscapes featuring a delicate and sparse orchestration. In 2013, she was awarded Erkki-Sven Tüür Young Composer’s Scholarship.

In 2018, Kruusmaa was selected to participate at the 24th Young Composers Meeting by the world-renowned contemporary ensemble Orkest de Ereprijs where her Rain for mezzo soprano and orchestra won the Best Composition Prize and was in the programme of Gaudeamus Muziekweek in Utrecht in the same year. In 2019, Kruusmaa was the guest composer of the Mise-En Festival in New York. Recently, she was commissioned a new work for chamber choir and symphony orchestra by the Grammy Award winning Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, Kruusmaa will also take part in Andriessen Festival in the Netherlands where her most recent work “… and the great winds come and go” will receive its premiere.

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Tara Valkonen


Tara Jovana Valkonen (b.1999) is a Finnish musician studying composition and cello at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki under the guidance of Lauri Kilpiö and Jaani Helander. At the age of 13 she picked up the guitar, and rock music (bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, the Velvet Underground and Dire Straits) supplanted classical music at large, until a few years later when she first heard Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony and developed an interest in contemporary music. Since then she has taken composition lessons and attended masterclasses with Chaya Czernowin, Minna Leinonen, Dusan Bavdek, Magnus Lindberg, and Ville Raasakka among others.

Still, the most influential teacher since she started playing the cello at the age of six has been her mother, Jovanka Trbojevic. Among composing and playing the cello, Tara composes and writes rock music for her rock-pop-funk-folk duo Tara I Kajsa, with which she performs regularly as a guitarist and vocalist.

Cecilia Damström


Cecilia Damström (b.1988, Helsinki) has as a composer been described by the largest newspaper in Finland as “The Greta Thunberg of music” after her debut with the Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2020.

Since graduating in 2014 she has been working full time with commissions for musicians, ensembles and orchestras. Her compositions have received several national and international composition prizes 2009-2018, and her piece ICE won the Teosto-Prize 2022. In 2019 she made her debut with the Finnish National Opera and her orchestral works have been performed in the USA, Germany and by multiple orchestras in Finland. In 2019 she signed with one of the biggest music publishers in the Nordic countries, Gehrmans Musikförlag.

Damström studied composition with Doctor Hannu Pohjannoro at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. Her master in composition she studied at Malmö Academy of Music for Professor Luca Francesconi.

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Jean-Baptiste Barrière


Jean-Baptiste Barrière (*1958) is a composer and multimedia artist. After studies of music, art history, philosophy and mathematical logic, he joined IRCAM in Paris in 1981, successively directing the departments for Musical Research, Education and Production. He left the institution in 1998 to concentrate on his own projects. He has composed the music of multimedia shows such as 100 Objects to Represent the World by Peter Greenaway at the Salzburg Festival 1997, and of Virtual Reality and interactive installations by artist Maurice Benayoun. He has created visual concerts of Kaija Saariaho’s music: L’Amour de loin in Berlin and Paris with Kent Nagano and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in 2006, Circle Map with Esa-Pekka Salonen and New York Philharmonic at the Park Avenue Armory in 2015.

He has directed visuals for operas: Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise with Nagano and Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and with Myung-Whun Chung and Philharmonique de Radio-France in 2008; Berg’s Wozzeck, with Salonen and the Philharmonia of London in 2009. His last Portrait Concert at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre in 2014 presented five of his compositions alongside his own video work. His Blu-ray/CD Ekstasis, a recapitulation of 20 years of work on music/image interactions, came out on the Cyprès label in 2019. The Art of Change Opera, his most recent multimedia project, is an attempt of conveying critical thinking into music, premiered at The New School University in New York in January 2020. He premiered September 2nd, 2022, Resonant Shadows, commissioned by Kent Nagano and the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg in St Michaelis Church . His next work, for baritone, flutes and violin, will be premiered at Radio-France’s Présences Festival in February 2023.

Nil Venditti


Italo-Turkish conductor Nil Venditti is fast establishing relationships with important orchestras and ensembles around the world. Highlights from recent seasons include collaborations with Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestre/​Opera National Bordeaux Aquitane, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Camerata Salzburg, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Irish National Opera, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Arena di Verona as well as Orchestra della Toscana, of which she was Principal Guest Conductor from June 2020 until May 2022.

In the 2022/23 season, Venditti returns to conduct Orchestre de Pau, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra and Transylvania State Philharmonic. She also makes debuts with Orchestra of Paris Opera, Orchestre de Mulhouse and Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire in France; Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the orchestra of Staatstheater Stuttgart and Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany; Castilla y Leon Symphony, Asturias Symphony, Galicia Royal Philharmonic and Extremadura Orchestras in Spain; Tonhalle-Orchester and Sinfonieorchester Basel in Switzerland; Helsingborg Symphony, Helsinki Chamber Orchestra and Dalarna Sinfonietta in the Nordics; BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Royal Northern Sinfonia in the UK; and Belgrade Philharmonic in Serbia. In Turkey, she collaborates with ASSO Izmir, Istanbul State Symphony, Antalya State Symphony and Izmir State Symphony Orchestras. Venditti also makes her US debut in spring 2023 with SFCM Orchestra in San Francisco.