Soprano Helena Juntunen’s career in Finland took off after she won several competitions, the most important of which were the Lappeenranta Singing Competition and the Timo Mustakallio Singing Competition. In 2006 she was awarded the Karita Mattila Prize and, in the following year, she represented Finland in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
The role of Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in 2002 can be considered Juntunen’s professional breakthrough. She made her debut with the Connecticut Opera in the United States in the same role in the 2003–2004 season. In 2003 she also gave her debut concert at Carnegie Hall in New York and then in Tokyo.
Helena Juntunen has appeared as a soloist with most Finnish orchestras as well as with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Belgian National Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Kölner Philharmonie, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra, working with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Leif Segerstam, Osmo Vänskä, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Mikko Franck. Helena Juntunen has also appeared regularly with the Finnish National Opera since 1999.
Her recordings for the Ondine label include an album of Leevi Madetoja’s lieder together with pianist Gustav Djupsjöbacka, and Einojuhani Rautavaara’s operas Aleksis Kivi and Auringon talo (The House of the Sun).
Helena Juntunen began her vocal studies at the age of 15 at the Oulu Conservatory as a student of Airi Tokola. She graduated as Master of Music from the Sibelius Academy where she was taught by Anita Välkki.
In the concert Schubertiade we’ll hear the most beloved works of Franz Schubert performed by soprano Helena Juntunen and pianists Barry Douglas and Paavali Jumppanen.
All the darkness in the world is not enough to extinguish the light of a single candle, and without shadows there would be no light. Sebastian Fagerlund’s dramatic Transient Light and Ralf Gothóni’s melodrama, based on a Zen Buddhist story, bring us face to face with age-old questions. Paavali Jumppanen performs Franz Liszt’s most iconic piano work, the Piano Sonata in B minor, which reaches from darkness to light.