Programme: Duo recital

4.5.2021 klo 19

On stage

Annemarie Åström, violin (Violin: 18th century anonymous Italian with gut strings. Bows: E. Sartory (1871-1946) and a replica of a bow from the early Classical era by an anonymous maker.

Anna Kuvaja, piano (Original Érard grand piano, 1889)

Technician: Marko Myöhänen

Annemarie and Anna will introduce the concert and the pieces in Finnish and Swedish but please don’t hesitate to contact us afterwards if you would like more information:


Joseph Martin Kraus: Sonata for piano and violin D major VB 159 (1780-82?)
Assai vivace

Fanny Mendelssohn: Adagio for violin and piano E major (1823)
Felix Mendelssohn: Lieder, arranged for violin and piano *
Suleika op.34 (1836) * by Hans Sitt (1880)
Frühlingslied op.34 (1836) * by Hans Sitt
Scheidend op. 9 (1829/30)* by Annemarie Åström

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sonata for piano and violin A major KV 305 (1778)
Allegro di molto
Theme (Andante grazioso) and six variations

Niels Wilhelm Gade: Sonata for violin and piano d minor op.21 (1849)
Adagio – Allegro di molto
Larghetto – Allegro vivace
Adagio – Allegro molto vivace

About the pieces

“Chamber music from the Classical and Romantic eras with a Northern twist”

In 1778, King Gustav III of Sweden invited the German composer Joseph Martin Kraus to Stockholm to bring new impulses to Swedish cultural life. It is believed that Joseph Haydn declared Kraus to be one of the few geniuses that he knew, next to Mozart. Kraus composed five sonatas for violin and keyboard, and in this concert we will perform the brilliant D major Sonata. It may be the first performance of this work at the Sibelius Academy.

The siblings Fanny (Hensel) and Felix Mendelssohn were very close, despite the fact that Fanny was denied a career as a composer by her family. For this concert we have combined a miniature by Fanny with three beautiful songs by Felix.

The fantastic sonatas for piano and violin by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are heard surprisingly rarely in concerts. For this programme we have chosen the cheerful A major Sonata. The sonata is in two movements, of which the second is a beautiful set of variations.

The Danish composer Niels Wilhelm Gade and Felix Mendelssohn got to know each other when Gade sent an orchestral composition of his that had been rejected in Copenhagen to Leipzig for Mendelssohn’s evaluation. Mendelssohn approved of the work and conducted the first performance in Leipzig in 1843. Gade’s delighful D minor Sonata for violin and piano is filled with expressive Romantic melodies.                                                                               

Programme notes by Anna Kuvaja


Annemarie Åström (born in 1977) started playing the violin at the age of three after having become inspired by a television series run by Géza and Csaba Szilvay called “Little Fiddlers in the Land of Music”. At the Lohja Music Institute her teacher was Arja Sippel. Six years later Annemarie started studying with Arja’s teacher, Lajos Garam, at the West Helsinki Music Institute. Since the very beginning Annemarie has also studied chamber music and orchestral playing in addition to her own violin studies. During the years 1992 –1997 Annemarie studied in the Youth Department at the Sibelius Academy with Professor Tuomas Haapanen and conductor-violinist John Storgårds.

During these years Annemarie was the principal leader and soloist in the Junior Strings Orchestra conducted by Géza and Csaba Szilvay. The orchestra made tours in Asia, the USA and Europe, and also made several recordings. Since 1997 Annemarie has continued her studies abroad. After first studying in Gothenburg and Copenhagen with Professor Milan Vitek, she then continued her studies in Cologne with Professor Mihaela Martin. Annemarie has completed her studies both at the School of Music at the University of Gothenburg and the Royal Danish Academy of Music. She also holds a soloist diploma from the University of Gothenburg. In spring 2016 Annemarie became Doctor of Music at the Sibelius Academy, where she focused on Nordic violin music. Her written presentation compared three early childhood violin teaching methods and observed the effectiveness of each method to children holding opposite temperaments.

During 2002 –2005 Annemarie held a post in the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra as the leader of the second violins. She has also been the principal leader on several occasions. For instance, in 2002 and 2003 she was the principal leader of Orkester Norden, conducted by Susanna Mälkki, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Okko Kamu and in 2008 –2009 in Kokkola Opera Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo. Annemarie has also been substitute as 2nd violin leader in Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and as concert master in Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Vaasa City Orchestra. In 2021 Annamarie played as a soloist with theOstrobothnian Chamber Orchestra.Annemarie also plays a lot of chamber music. She has performed in many festivals among others Chamber Music Festival in Stenungsund in Sweden and Sääksmäki Soi!, Riihimäki Summer Concerts, and Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland. She has played together with Ralf Gothoni, Okko Kamu, Nobuko Imai, Vladimir Mendehlsson, Hagai Shaham, and Massimo Quarta. Besides playing together with her duo partner Sonja Fräki, she also plays in the chamber music group called EnsembleKIC/K. In addition, she plays in a piano trio called the KAAÅS-trio together with Tiina Karakorpi, piano and Ulla Lampela, cello. Since 2013 Annemarie has been the artistic director of the Wegelius String Orchestra.

Annemarie has recorded for Alba (Nordic Violin Music, Finnish Violin Music) and NCA (Brahms). The Nordic Violin Music was selected by HBL (2012) as recording of the year, the Brahms was praised the Strad Magazine and the Finnish Violin Music rated four stars from the Helsingin Sanomat.

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The Finnish pianist Anna Kuvaja is a versatile musician who performs as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player and has partnered a great variety of artists. She is also renowned as a fortepianist and on the other hand has given first performances of several contemporary compositions. Anna came to public attention with her critically acclaimed debut recital in Helsinki in 2008 and has given numerous concerts in her home country and abroad since then, as well as recording for YLE (the Finnish Broadcasting Company) and appearing at many festivals. Since 2010 Anna has complemented her performing with educational work at the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, where she is highly regarded as a teacher.

Anna began playing the piano in Kuhmo in eastern Finland and continued her studies at the renowned Espoo music school under Katarina Nummi-Kuisma at the age of 16. At the Sibelius Academy her teachers were professors Tuija Hakkila and Liisa Pohjola, and she rounded off her education with masterclasses in piano and chamber music, as an exchange student at the CNSM in Paris with professor Henri Barda, and in the orchestra academy of the Zurich Opera from 2005 until 2007.

In 2016 Anna published a solo album, Fluvial, on the Alba label. The record received excellent reviews and was awarded five stars in BBC Music Magazine, which praised “a stunning debut disc… powerful Schubert.” Anna was the recipient of a Finnish state artist’s grant in 2017 and was awarded a grant by the Pro Musica foundation in 2021.

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