For their first Ann Arbor appearance, Vnsk and the Lahti will be performing music by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Kokkonen, and Sibelius. With Canadian pianist Louis Lortie, they will play the last of Tchaikovsky's three piano concertos and the first of Prokofiev's five piano concertos. On their own, they will play Joonas Kokkonen's orchestral interludes from his tragic opera The Last Temptations, and Jean Sibelius's heroic Symphony no. 2. Both composers are quintessentially Finnish straight, strong, and severe, without a single superfluous note. Both works are peaks in their careers Sibelius's Second is the first truly great Finnish symphony, and Kokkonen's opera is the summation of his life and art. And both works are sure to be performed with complete dedication by Vnsk and the Lahti.
[Originally published in January, 2005.]