Minna Pensola is a versatile artist in the music industry and has established Klasariklubi, a club combining a casual bar evening with live classical music, in her hometown Helsinki, in addition to the PuKamaChamber concert series, which she runs together with her spouse, violinist Antti Tikkanen.
Her active, close relationships with Finnish composers have produced many works, and upcoming premieres include Lotta Wennäkoski’s chamber music work and double concertos by Iiro Rantala (Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen & Iiro Rantala, piano) and Jukka Tiensuu (Tapiola Sinfonietta & soprano Anu Komsi).
In the 2019–2022 seasons, Minna Pensola was artistic partner of the Joensuu City Orchestra and in 2020–2021 she was a member of the curating group for Wonderfeel Helsinki, a part of the Helsinki Festival. She was artistic director of Sysmä Summer Sounds 2006‒2012 and was chosen as artistic director of Kuhmo Chamber Music in October 2021, together with her spouse Antti Tikkanen.
Pensola is a member of the string quartet Meta4, which has won the D. Shostakovich and Joseph Haydn Competitions. She teaches chamber music at the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA) and violin at the Sibelius Academy.
She herself began her studies at the Helsinki Conservatory of Music, continued at the Sibelius Academy and finally graduated from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Zürich and the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA). Important guides along her journey include Leonid Mordkovich, Kaija Saarikettu, Ralf Gothoni, Ana Chumachenko, Josef Rissin and Hatto Beyrle.
Minna Pensola’s instrument is a Carlo Bergonzi violin from 1732, owned by the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation.
J. S. Bach’s mammoth Clavier-Übung series culminates with the Goldberg Variations, a journey of over an hour to the heart of musical form. Created “for music lovers to refresh their spirits”, the wistful aria and its 30 variations have given life to both wild legends and indescribable sentiments for over 250 years. The arrangement for string trio is performed by Minna Pensola, Antti Tikkanen and Tomas Djupsjöbacka of the Meta4 group.
New, old, borrowed
It sounds antique, it has an ancient name and a patinated surface – but is it old? While Ottorino Respighi and Alfred Schnittke’s series resonate with the glories of early Baroque, Anna Clyne’s Rest These Hands brings about goosebumps with sounds from beyond history. The concert takes listeners on a journey into a past that may never have existed. The programme culminates in the performance of the youngest performer of the Naantali Music Festival of all times, violinist Lilja Haatainen, who is only 12 years old but has already won her share of international competitions.
In honorem maris
Hardly any element of nature resounds in music as clearly as the sea: its waves, its peace, its endlessness – and its unstoppable power. The soft swells and treacherous undertows of the traditional In Honorem Maris concert is provided by the music of Debussy, Fagerlund and Ravel.