Master of Music, Sibelius Academy 2003
Konzertexamen, Musikhochschule Karlsruhe 2004
Sonja Fräki: Piano works of Kalevi Aho
Abstract of the concert series plan
In her series of five doctoral concerts Sonja Fräki plays Aho's complete solo piano works, which form the centre piece of her doctoral degree at the DocMus Doctoral School. One of the topics in these concerts involves seeking Aho's musical and pianistic roots in earlier, mostly German music. In her concerts of Aho’s music she has therefore included music by Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Robert Schumann; composers to whom Kalevi Aho has expressed his close relationship, especially Brahms,. Another topic in Fräki's doctoral concerts is virtuosity, particularly those virtuoso pieces that have inspired Aho to write highly demanding piano music.
Abstract of the written thesis
In her written thesis Fräki researches and discusses the challenge of practicing Kalevi Aho’s Piano Concerto No 1. She focuses on the piano texture in the concerto, comparing it to other piano works by the same composer. She has discovered that similar features of texture are present in a number of pieces by Kalevi Aho. This understanding of the similarities between the works has helped her as a pianist. It is easier to learn difficult passages in a new piece if there is an embodied experience of playing a similar texture in another piece. Furthermore, this experience helps the pianist to discover deeper meanings in terms of interpretation.