At the Manila Symphony Orchestra concert, wonders shine
Nineteen-year-old conductor prodigy Tarmo Peltokoski conducted the Manila Symphony Orchestra at a party of Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” at the Arete Ateneo campus in Manila. Jeanne Rafaella Marquez, 15, was soloist in the Sibelius concerto.
Peltokoski’s gift as a chamber musician was prominent when he accompanied Marquez on Sibelius’ “Violin Concerto in D minor”.
The Sibelius concerto is considered the holy grail of all violin concertos; it is often classified as a diploma-level piece in higher music education. Peltokoski and the MSO walked through it with aplomb.
Marquez’s tone was solid and refined, and she had a connection with the orchestra. Meanwhile, the young chef was in charge, showing that he knew the room inside and out. The performance was one of the highlights of the OSM.
A pupil of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Peltokoski is a piano prodigy.
He said there had been no conscious effort to switch from piano to conducting, but he had known from the start that he was heading in that direction.
A student of the famous Finnish conductor Jorma Panula since 2014, Peltakoski has conducted the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra (Bulgaria), the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra (Ostrava, Czech Republic) and the Southern Denmark Philharmonic Orchestra.
“The last year started with a lot of piano, a competition and a performance of Chopin’s E minor concerto,” said Peltokoski. “After that, I had a lot of orchestral conducting lessons and an audition for the Sibelius Academy. I entered, never finished high school and started studying at the academy.
“Of course,” he added, “I have played concerts since and still do, but studying in the famous conducting class is a huge honor and a great responsibility. Nothing is more natural for me than playing the piano. But the truth is, conducting is in many ways more “difficult” than playing an instrument. Not in a technical sense, but in terms of the vastness of the craft. It has nothing to do with a choice to direct rather than play something. The real reason I wanted to conduct is that I love symphonies more than piano sonatas.
He knew he had to do Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” from the way he had analyzed the music.
“Since there is a 211-year-old tradition of playing it, we now know in how many different ways it can be done. Previously it has been associated with the huge Germanic sounds of Furtwängler and Karajan, with the one and only Carlos Kleiber, with The authentic approach to the Harnoncourt and Norrington period It is a timeless classic, a truly immortal work of art that will never be forgotten.-CONTRIBUTED