Finnish violinist Abel Puutstinen has been the leader of the London Firebird Orchestra in several recent concerts. We find out more about his life and career in music…
Tell us a bit about yourself, your instrument and your training to date…
I’m from Finland, but I’ve been living London for four years now. My instrument is a 18th century violin made by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini generously loaned by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Before moving to London to further my studies I was at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.
How long have you been involved with London Firebird Orchestra and in what role?
This is my second season playing with the LFO. I have had the honour to play as a concert master (leader) sitting next to my great colleagues and friends.
What other music ensembles and orchestras are you involved with?
I’ve mostly worked in Finnish orchestras such as Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Finnish Radio Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. In London I am trying to strike a balance between playing with the Firebird Orchestra and various chamber music activities.
What have been the highlights of your career so far and your ambitions for the future?
The highlight of my career must have been playing Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in fully packed Helsinki Music Centre main hall. In the future I hope to get to play with many interesting musicians, play lots of chamber music and work with great orchestras. Once I have more time I also hope to start conducting one day.
What do you see as the value of an orchestra like London Firebird to younger professional musicians like yourself?
For me London Firebird Orchestra is a great combination of professional work and spending my time with friends while playing wonderful music.
We as musicians should always aim for the highest possible level of music making and giving the audience superb experiences they will remember. For me there is no better way to do this than with your friends sitting collectively wanting to give your very best!
Finally, the music LFO plays is vital core repertoire for every classical musician. Exploring those pieces is always a great joy!
From the Earth to the Skies
Tuesday 25 February 2020, 7:30 pm
St George’s, Hanover Square, London, W1S 1FX
Mozart Overture to Idomeneo, re di Creta, K, 366
Beethoven Piano Concerto no. 2 in B flat, Op. 19
Mozart Ilia’s Arias: Quando avran fine omai & Padre, germani, addio! (from Idomeneo)
Mozart Symphony no. 41 in C, K. 551 (Jupiter)
Conductor Michael Thrift
Piano Marc Corbett-Weaver
Soprano Rosanna Harris