Anssi Karttunen

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Anssi Karttunen (born 1960) is a Finnish cellist.

Anssi Karttunen's repertoire ranges from the early baroque to the most recent composers. He performs with most world-class orchestras in Europe (Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, Filarmonica della Scala, RAI Torino, Munich Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra etc.), Asia (NHK Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, Hong Kong Sinfonietta etc.) and the Americas (Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Filarmónica de Buenos Aires etc.) and at major festivals worldwide.

Karttunen has given world premieres of over 180 works, among them 30 for cello and orchestra. A large number of composers have dedicated works to him, among them Luca Francesconi, Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Tan Dun, Rolf Wallin, Pascal Dusapin, Fred Lerdahl (Arches), Betsy Jolas. Karttunen has transcribed over 60 pieces for cello or various chamber ensembles, such as Johannes Brahms's Piano Quintet for String Quintet, Händel-Variations for String Trio, Robert Schumann's Album für die Jugend for String Trio, Cello Concerto for cello and String Quartet and for cello and String Orchestra.

Karttunen regularly performs with various chamber ensembles: the Zebra Trio with the violinist Ernst Kovacic and the violist Steven Dann, a cello-piano duo with Nicolas Hodges, the Tres Coyotes with Magnus Lindberg and John Paul Jones.

Between 1994 and 1998 Karttunen was the artistic director of the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra in Finland. He was the artistic director of the Helsinki Biennale (1995, 1997), the Suvisoitto-festival in Porvoo, Finland (1994-1997) and the Musica Nova Helsinki Festival 2015. He was the principal cellist of the London Sinfonietta (1999-2005).

Karttunen's teachers included Erkki Rautio, William Pleeth, Jacqueline du Pré and Tibor de Machula. He plays a cello by Francesco Ruggeri.

Together with Kaija Saariaho, Jean-Baptiste Barrière and Muriel von Braun, Karttunen created www.petals.org, a non-profit organisation for distributing music in different forms over the internet.

Anssi Karttunen lives in Paris and is married to the Venezuelan-Finnish painter and sculptor Muriel von Braun.

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