Deutsche Grammophon is proud to announce the exclusive signing of Tarmo Peltokoski. The 23-year-old Finnish conductor, pianist, improviser and occasional composer has already earned remarkable international renown and respect for his assured musicality, inspirational communicative skills and mastery of an astonishing breadth of repertoire. Having been captivated by Wagner’s Ring at the age of 11, he is as much at home in the opera house as he is in the concert hall – this year alone he has conducted a concert version of Tristan und Isolde in Helsinki, Siegfried and Act One of Die Walküre in Riga and performances in the current run of Finnish National Opera’s production of Don Giovanni.
In a mere two years, he has secured a place among the top conductors of today. Peltokoski is Music Director Designate of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Music and Artistic Director of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. He is the first ever Principal Guest conductor of The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, appointed in early 2022 after establishing an instant chemistry with its players at workshop sessions in 2020 thanks to his passion, sense of humour and desire to work collaboratively with them, creating interpretations based on mutual learning and discovery.
It is with The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen that Peltokoski has made his debut DG album. Recorded in Bremen this February and set for release in May 2024, it comprises Mozart’s Symphonies Nos. 35 “Haffner”, 36 “Linz” and 40 in G minor. Peltokoski also brings to the album three strikingly imaginative and individual solo piano improvisations, each of which is based on one of the three symphonies and has the touches of humour that are a key part of his musical personality. The musicians’ initial run-through of the symphonies during the recording period was filmed in front of an invited audience and will be aired on STAGE+
on 21 October
. Capturing an intermediate stage of their interpretations before they were finalised for the album, the Let’s Record
film gives an insight into the creative process and reveals the intensely focused communication between conductor and orchestra.
“I can barely express how much this signing means to me,” comments Tarmo Peltokoski. “It’s a great honour to join Deutsche Grammophon, especially as their recordings have been such an important part of my life. I even have the album cover of Karajan’s Ring cycle as the background picture on my phone. The DG logo was missing from the image I chose but I photoshopped it in, long before Deutsche Grammophon had heard of me! It’s a luxury to perform Mozart with The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and to put these three symphonies on record is a dream come true.”
Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, sees Peltokoski as one of the great conductors of the younger generation. “While I had heard lots of positive comments about Tarmo beforehand, I was unprepared for the impact of seeing him rehearse and perform for the first time,” he notes. “His charisma, energy and natural authority were absolutely remarkable, and his understanding of hidden voices and musical features in seemingly well-known scores was breathtaking. He’s an original creative thinker whose in-depth knowledge of music history and huge swathes of the repertoire enables him to take a fresh and at times even unconventional approach to his interpretations. Tarmo’s innate enthusiasm and interest in communal music-making are especially palpaple in his collaboration with The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and we look forward to sharing their thrilling take on Mozart with the widest possible audience.”
Natalia Kononchuk, Associate Producer Classical, Artists & Repertoire, DG, welcomes the Yellow Label’s latest signing. “Tarmo’s energy on stage and dedication to music are contagious,” she says. “What makes him stand out is the fact that his ingenuity and musical vision are already very evident. Tarmo has a striking ability to motivate orchestras to push themselves to new limits. The passionate and powerful performances he gets from his players are built on a relationship between equals. We’re truly excited about working with him and sharing his future musical path.”
Tarmo Peltokoski began playing piano at the age of eight. Having fallen in love with the operas of Wagner at eleven, he realised that to produce the notes in the scores he would have to learn to conduct an orchestra. At fourteen, he received his first lessons from the legendary Jorma Panula. Four years later he enrolled at Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy to study conducting and piano and entered Sakari Oramo’s conducting class soon after. His mentors also include Hannu Lintu, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Esa-Pekka Salonen, but he has left formal education behind to focus on his work with his four orchestras, not to mention debut and return appearances with many others worldwide.
As well as fulfilling future concert and stage engagements, he intends to continue playing chamber music and has an interest in coaching singers. Plans for his second DG album, meanwhile, are already under way. Peltokoski and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse will be embarking on a journey to explore Vaughan Williams and his French connections. Their first recording together will feature A Sea Symphony and associated French repertoire.
Tarmo Peltokoski is represented worldwide by Tanja Dorn at Dorn Music.