Juho Pohjonen is regarded as one of today’s most exciting and unique instrumentalists. The Finnish pianist performs widely in Europe, Asia, and North America, collaborating with symphony orchestras and playing in recital and chamber settings. An ardent exponent of Scandinavian music, Pohjonen’s growing discography offers a showcase of music by Finnish compatriots such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kaija Saariaho, and Jean Sibelius.
This season Pohjonen performs Beethoven’s fifth piano concerto with Finnish Radio Symphony conducted by Giedrė Šlekytė. Elsewhere in Finland he collaborates with Erin Keefe for Mendelssohn’s concerto for violin, piano, and strings with Kymi Sinfonietta, under the direction of Osmo Vänskä, as well as the Macula Musica series in Helsinki. In Europe, his engagements include recitals and chamber music at Festspiele Sudtirol and Surrey Hills International Music Festival. In North America, he continues his long-standing relationship with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing at the Lincoln Center and other venues across the United States. He also performs in Minneapolis, San Francisco and Vancouver. Concurrently, he is working on two new albums set for release this season.
Last season Pohjonen made his debut in Taiwan with the National Symphony Orchestra as well as joining the musicians of the orchestra for chamber music. He performed Finnish composer Sauli Zinovjev’s new piano concerto with the Lahti Sinfonia as part of a composer focus and joined the German Radio Philharmonic and Pietari Inkinen for Bartok’s first Piano Concerto. Chamber highlights included a concert at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, New York with Chamber Music Society and recitals in Helsinki amongst others. An advocate for contemporary repertoire, recent seasons have seen Pohjonen perform Daniel Bjarnason’s Concerto for Piano Processions with the Helsinki Philharmonic and the composer on the podium, having previously performed it with Tapiola Sinfonietta.
Pohjonen’s illustrious curriculum vitae of concerto performances reveals a musician in demand internationally. He has appeared as a soloist with the BBC Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Pohjonen has collaborated with today’s foremost conductors, including Marin Alsop, Lionel Bringuier, Marek Janowski, Fabien Gabel, Kirill Karabits, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Markus Stenz, Osmo Vänskä, and Pinchas Zukerman.
On the recital stage, Pohjonen has performed throughout Europe, including in Antwerp, Hamburg, Helsinki, London’s Wigmore Hall, St. Petersburg, and Warsaw. In North America he has appeared at the Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Kennedy Center, and in Philadelphia, San Francisco, La Jolla, Detroit, and Vancouver. His festival appearances include Lucerne, Savonlinna, Bergen, Mecklenberg-Vorpommern as well as the Mostly Mozart Festival.
Pohjonen’s most recent recording with cellist Inbal Segev features cello sonatas by Chopin and Grieg, and Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, hallmarks of the Romantic repertoire. Plateaux, his debut recording on Dacapo Records, featured works by late Scandinavian composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, including the solo piano suite For Piano, and piano concerto Plateaux pour Piano et Orchestre, with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Ed Spanjaard. Pohjonen joins violinist Petteri Iivonen and cellist Samuli Peltonen to form the Sibelius Trio, who released a recording on Yarlung Records in honour of Finland’s 1917 centennial of independence. The album, described by Stereophile as “a gorgeous debut”, included works by Sibelius and Saariaho.
Beginning his piano studies in 1989 at the Junior Academy of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Pohjonen subsequently earned a Master’s Degree from Meri Louhos and Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna there in 2008. Pohjonen was selected by Sir Andras Schiff as the winner of the 2009 Klavier Festival Ruhr Scholarship and has won prizes at international and Finnish competitions.
Pohjonen launched MyPianist in 2019, an AI-based iOS app that provides interactive piano accompaniment to musicians everywhere. Designed and programmed by Pohjonen himself and infused with his keen musical sensibility, MyPianist acts as a “virtual pianist” for musicians looking to hone their skills or learn new material. MyPianist carefully “listens” to the musician’s playing and recreates the piano part in real time, matching the timing and nuances of the live performance. More information at https://mypianist.app.
Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact James Brown Management to ensure that you receive the most up to date version. Email: Isabella Hopkins