Hannu Lintu appeared for the first time in Venezuela last Saturday, June 15, with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV) and Venezuelan pianist Alicia Gabriela Martínez in a concert held at the Simón Bolívar Hall of the Center for Social Action through Music.
For the chief conductor designate of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, his Caracas debut became a very enjoyable experience because of the Venezuelan musicians ’ virtuosity and enthusiasm’:
I have been stunned by the level, specially the technical level (…) I have been stunned about how fast they read music (…) We had this new piece about Rautavaara, and they just played it, and it sounded perfect after the first rehearsal. They have high technical and practical skills in music. What they also have, which I would say none of the European youth orchestras have, is this joy of playing. They are very musical, enthusiastic, and they are not afraid of showing it (…) It has been really rewarding. I’ve really enjoyed every minute.
Lintu also praised the talent of soloist Alicia Gabriela Martínez: “she is a fantastic musician and a great pianist too and (…) she listens well and it is very easy to understand what she wants… a charming good musician.”
Alicia Gabriela Martínez, for her part, said that her first rehearsal with Lintu was extraordinary and described him as a wonderful musician.
Regarding the concert program played on June 15, which prominently featured Finnish composers, Lintu explained the following: “I conduct a lot of music which is not from my country (…) but, of course, Finnish music is something why I became a musician. I studied these pieces when I became a conductor, so they are important to me and I know them well; and at the moment Finnish contemporary music is very much appreciated abroad (…) and that is why very often I am asked to play Finnish contemporary music.”