Ruth Reinhardt

Reinhardt & Bax

Fri 20/10/2023 19:00 - 21:00


Ruth Reinhardt is a graduate of the famous Juilliard School. Jennah Vainio based her new work on The Pauper Girl’s Lullaby by Robert Kajanus.

Conductor Ruth Reinhardt is a graduate of the famous Juilliard School in New York. She has demonstrated her prowess as an interpreter of Antonín Dvořák's fifth symphony and been acclaimed for her lively and well-crafted performances (San Francisco Chronicle). Jennah Vainio based her commissioned work on The Pauper Girl’s Lullaby by Robert Kajanus with the life story of her orphaned grandmother in mind.

Ruth Reinhardt

Conductor Ruth Reinhardt (born 1988) is known for her elegant performances and creatively curated concert programs. Reinhardt considers Antonín Dvořák's Fifth Symphony a hidden gem. According to her, it has got it all. ’I really don’t know why it doesn’t get performed more often!’

Ruth Reinhardt has conducted, among others, the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra, the Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra, the French National Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Frankfurt and Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestras. She has also performed with the San Francisco, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Seattle Symphony Orchestras.

German-born Ruth Reinhardt studied violin and orchestral conducting at the Zurich University of the Arts in Switzerland, her current home country. She completed her master's degree at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York.

Alessio Bax

Pianist Alessio Bax (born 1977) graduated from his hometown's conservatory in Bari, Italy, at the astonishing age of fourteen. Since 1994, Bax has been residing in the United States.

Alessio Bax’s career took off when he achieved international piano competition victories in Hamamatsu, Japan, and in Leeds, UK. Bax has performed across five continents, and appeared as soloist with over 150 orchestras. Bax’s notable collaborators include conductors such as Marin Alsop, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Simon Rattle.

Bax's interpretation of Edvard Grieg's piano concerto in New Zealand, as soloist with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 2019, received praise in the newspaper New Zealand Herald. A couple of years earlier, when Bax played as soloist in Grieg's piano concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra in the United States, the local newspaper reported his performance sparking a standing ovation. ”Bax […] admirably avoided the histrionics too often displayed on the Grieg concerto, instead making each new theme (and this concerto has a plethora of them) an opportunity for exploration.”

Jennah Vainio: Sylvia’s Lullaby

The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra has invited contemporary composers to contribute a work inspired by a Finnish composition written before 1945 to its series of Helsinki Variations. Sylvia’s Lullaby by Jennah Vainio (b. 1972) is based on the 4-minute The Pauper Girl’s Lullaby for string orchestra (1907) by Robert Kajanus, founder and conductor of the HPO. She chose it because it reminded her of her grandmother, Sylvia (1916–2013), a pauper forced to rely on charity at the beginning of last century. “Despite her poor beginning, she nevertheless had a rich and exciting life,” says Vainio. Sylvia’s parents had died of the Spanish flu in 1918; she was taken in by a family who treated her badly and she was forced to pay for her keep by weeding the fields. After the Second World War, where she served as an auxiliary in Lapland, she brought up her family in Brazil, worked on a ship and as a voluntary at the Finnish Seamen’s Mission. The theme of Vainio’s Lullaby consists of eight bars from that by Kajanus. It is not as such programmatic, but its episodes do represent pages in the story of Sylvia’s life.

Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto

Edvard Grieg (1843–1907), Norway’s national composer, studied the piano in Leipzig with a friend of Robert Schumann and there fell in love with that composer’s piano concerto. His own concerto of 1868 was strongly influenced by Schumann’s and was his only large-scale work. (He did actually write a symphony but placed a lasting ban on its performance and it was not discovered until 1981.)

The concerto was an immediate hit and travelled round the world for years. Again and again Grieg polished details in the score, the last time only two weeks before he died. The concerto was in fact so popular that in 1908 it was the first in the world to be heard as a recording, though chopped into six-minute chunks, as dictated by the contemporary recording techniques.​​​​​​​

The echo of Schumann is clear from the choice of key onwards, and like his idol, Grieg begins with an orchestral forte. Rather than being an opportunity for the soloist to shine, the first movement is a poetic duet between piano and orchestra before steadily building up to an explosive solo cadenza. The second movement is possibly the most beautiful in all concerto literature, and the finale creates a Norwegian ambiance with halling dances and imitations of a Hardanger fiddle.

Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 5 in F, Op. 74

Not until the late 1870s did Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904) truly arrive at the Bohemian style for which he is nowadays best known. In a competition held in Vienna in 1874, he was still able to convince such influential authorities as Brahms the composer and Hanslick the critic of his ability to compose in the German National-Romantic vein. While his Symphony No. 5 (which was actually his third but given the number 5 by his publisher Simrock), written in only six weeks, still bears echoes of his earlier Germanic style, it also looks to the future. His Czech background is here particularly marked in, for example, his use of woodwinds, and it is with these that the symphony begins in pastoral mood. The second theme harks back to Beethoven, with a few quick dips into the world of the Slavonic Dances. The second movement sings a wistful melody, to be followed almost without a break by a Scherzo that gains momentum in a dance. The finale puts paid to any rustic remains with a spirited melody. The symphony ends with a reminder of its opening mood and lets the brass have the last word.

Violin 1
Jan Söderblom 
Mari Poll-Novakovic 
Abel Puustinen 
Petri Päivärinne 
Katariina Jämsä 
Maiju Kauppinen 
Totti Hakkarainen 
Elina Viitasaari 
Elina Lehto 
Jani Lehtonen 
Júlia Mušáková 
Eija Hartikainen 
Hanna Teukku 
Helmi Kuusi 
Amanda Ernesaks 
Ilkka Lehtonen 

Violin 2
Anna-Leena Haikola
Eva Ballaz  
Krista Rosenberg 
Teppo Ali-Mattila 
Lotus Tinat 
Harry Juho Rayner 
Sari Deshayes 
Eleonora Oswald 
Heini Eklund 
Liam Mansfield 
Matilda Haavisto 
Terhi Ignatius 
Virpi Taskila 
Katinka Korkeala

Lotta Poijärvi 
Ulla Knuuttila 
Petteri Poijärvi 
Kaarina Ikonen 
Tiila Kangas 
Liisa Orava
Mariette Reefman 
Carmen Moggach 
Aulikki Haahti-Turunen 
Hajnalka Standi-Pulakka 
Maria Mangeloja 
Riitta-Liisa Ristiluoma 

Lauri Kankkunen 
Beata Antikainen
Basile Ausländer
Mathias Hortling
Jaakko Rajamäki
Ilmo Saaristo
Saara Särkimäki
Simon Svoboda
Tommi Wesslund
Päivi Ahonen

Adrian Rigopulos
Mehdi Nejjoum-Barthélémy
Tuomo Matero
Eero Ignatius
Paul Aksman
Juraj Valencik
Henri Dunderfelt
Viktor Varga
Elina Raijas 
Päivi Korhonen 
Jenny Villanen 

Nils Rõõmussaar
Paula Malmivaara

Anna-Maija Korsimaa
Heikki Nikula
Nora Niskanen

Erkki Suomalainen (2R)
Arvid Larsson

Mika Paajanen 
Miska Miettunen
Sam Parkkonen
Seppo Parkkinen

Thomas Bugnot 
Mika Tuomisalo

Anu Fagerström
Jussi Vuorinen
Darren Acosta

Ilkka Marttila

Tomi Wikström 

Xavi Castelló Aràndiga
Pasi Suomalainen
Elmeri Uusikorpi

Minnaleena Jankko (2A)
Bengi Canatan



Ruth Reinhardt
Alessio Bax


    Jennah Vainio
    Sylvia’s Lullaby, Helsinki Variations (world premiere)
    Edvard Grieg
    Piano Concerto
    Antonín Dvořák
    Symphony No. 5
Series IV
Ruth Reinhardt
Alessio Bax
Jennah Vainio
Sylvia’s Lullaby, Helsinki Variations (world premiere)
Edvard Grieg
Piano Concerto
Antonín Dvořák
Symphony No. 5