Violinist Elina Vähälä began her work as the artistic director of Naantali Music Festival in summer 2022 after the founder of the festival, Arto Noras, ended his period. The first programme created by Elina Vähälä can be experienced in June 2023.
Elina Vähälä is among the most sought-after Finnish violinists in the international music scene. Her sound and virtuosity win praise from music critics around the world. Born in Iowa in the US, Vähälä’s playing has been praised as dazzling, sensitive and brilliant.
Elina Vähälä’s reputation as a charismatic and exceptionally versatile musician springs from her wide repertoire, which covers concertos and chamber music alike, ranging from baroque to contemporary.
Vähälä has given world premieres of Jaakko Kuusisto’s Violin Concerto, Aulis Sallinen’s Chamber Concerto and Kalevi Aho’s Violin Concerto No 2. She also performed the early version of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra — a piece that has been considered nearly impossible to play.
Recent highlights include performances with Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Houston Symphony, Orchestra National de Lyon, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Singapore Symphony Orchestra, as well as several performances with Finnish orchestras. Vähälä is also a distinguished soloist on Lahti Symphony Orchestra’s tours, visiting Asia, South America and Central Europe alike.
Educational activities play an important role in her commitment to music: in 2009 she was one of the founders of the Violin Academy—a master class based educational project for selected, highly talented young Finnish violinists—and since 2019 she holds a violin professor position at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW).