Iiro Rantala

April and May 2011 - Performing Australia

PEKKA KUUSISTO (violin) &
IIRO RANTALA (piano)

Pekka Kuusisto
(photo: Tanja Ahola)

Iiro Rantala
(photo: Lutz Voigtländer)

Out of Finland and coming to you! The Classical violin and Jazz piano Duo of our decade: Pekka Kuusisto and Iiro Rantala. Meet these two internationally renowned virtuosi and let them with their cunning charm and cheek put the Tango fire in your heart! Pekka and Iiro have individually toured Australia many times – Pekka with the Symphony Orchestras – Iiro with Trio Töykeät and solo - rank among the highest rated musicians in musical Finland and indeed the world, and they do so because of two reasons: They are both top-notch instrumentalists but are not afraid to constantly seek new grounds for expression. Their duo collaboration submerges into the world of Tango by means familiar from the hay days of jazz.

www.nme.com/artists/pekka-kuusisto

www.iirorantala.fi

YouTube: Pekka Kuusisto: Sibelius Violin Concerto

YouTube: Iiro Rantala: Tears for Esbjorn

YouTube: Iiro Rantala: Pekka Pohjola

  Pekka Kuusisto

“He’s a huge, charismatic talent. Let’s see more of him.” 
Richard Morrison, The Times, February 2007

“Lending his wayward genius to all this was the guest solo violinist, Pekka Kuusisto. What an extraordinary sound he makes, tremulous as a reed, often folk-like in its flatness, and yet so expressive.”
The Telegraph, February 2010

“Other highlights are the gorgeous romancing of the Cantabile, the effortlessly sweet-singing Sonata in A and the heroic Tarantella, originally for violin and orchestra: here Kuusisto really shows his violinistic mettle with some impeccable double-stopped spiccato and frenzied, stratospheric twirling.”
The Strad, February 2010

“The brilliant 31-year-old, playing with seemingly effortless élan and brilliance, brings a breath of fresh air into the concert hall… [He] is an artist of huge enthusiasm, energy and imagination, qualities that he transmits to those around him and the result, at this concert, was an evening of magical, vibrant music-making, given by players who were loving what they were doing – and showing it... The drama and brilliance of Kuusisto’s playing was breathtaking”
Irish Examiner, March 2007

Iiro Rantala

"....romantic-classical strivings in which his famed, composing country man Sibelius was so good, and with that shakes his head above the keys as a keyboard lion of the Horowitz type...."
Jacob Haagsma - Leeuwarder Courant - Holland

"...His playing to put it mildly is virtuoso. One must perhaps go all the way back to Franz Liszt to find the same kind of virtuosity. At least there is lots of romanticism in Rantala."
Kjeld Fransden, Berlingske Tidene, Copenhagen

"Pianist Iiro Rantala is a real keyboard lion. That he sees the grand piano particularly also as a toy, appears in the many jokes in compositions lie 'Another Ragtime, 'Unfinnish Tango' and 'Hömppa Humppa'"
Frans van Leeuwen - NCR Handelsblad - Holland

"Iiro Rantala is a pianistic sensation who makes the strongest case I know to believe in reincarnation because his pianistic technique and musical sensitivity speak of depths which appear impossible to have been achieved in this lifetime alone...."
Gil Goldstein, pianist and arranger, New York City.

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Pekka Kuusisto Bio
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Iiro Rantala Bio
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Duo Bio

Iiro and Pekka
(photo: Lauri Salo)

 
TOUR DATES 2011
Fri 29 April: NSW Sydney: Musica Viva International Music Festival - Sydney Conservatorium - www.musicaviva.com.au - Duo concert
Sat 30 April: WA Mandurah Performing Arts Centre: Iiro Rantala  - www.manpac.com.au - Solo piano
Sun 01 May: WA Perth The Ellington Jazz Club: Iiro Rantala - www.ellingtonjazz.com.au/ - Solo piano
Mon 02 May: WA Perth Perth Jazz Society - www.perthjazzsociety.com/ - Duo concert
Tue 03 May: WA - Albany Entertainment Centre - www.albanyentertainment.com.au - Duo concert
Thu 05 May: QLD - Brisbane Powerhouse - www.brisbanepowerhouse.org - Duo concert
Fri 06 May: NSW - Sydney - Finnish Society - Leichardt Italian Forum Cultural Centre - FSS-Paivi@finnsinsydney.org.au - Duo concert
Sat 07 May: NSW Griffith Performing Arts Centre - www.griffithregionaltheatre.com - Duo concert
Sun 08 May: VIC Melbourne: Bennetts Lane Jazz Club - www.bennettslane.com - Melbourne Jazz Co-op - www.mjc.org.au - Duo concert
Mon 09 - Fri 13 May: VIC Melbourne: ANAM - Australia National Academy of Music - www.anam.com.au  - workshops and collaborations
Wed 11 May: VIC - Melbourne Paris Cat Jazz Club - www.pariscat.com.au - Duo concert
Thu 12 May: VIC Melbourne: Bennetts Lane Jazz Club - www.bennettslane.com - Duo concert
Fri 13 May: VIC Melbourne: ANAM - Australia National Academy of Music - www.anam.com.au - collaborate and Duo concert - 3 Finnish sets
Sat 14 May: VIC - Melbourne Finnish Society Altona - finnglish1@optusnet.com.au - afternoon children's concert - evening Duo concert
Sun 15 May: ACT Canberra International Music Festival - www.cimf.org.au - Duo concert

 

2010 - Korea

Iiro Rantala in duo with Youn Sun Nah

Iiro Rantala (1970) – piano – Finland

check: Haiti Concert

After touring the world for 18 years with Trio Töykeät, Finnish jazz piano virtuoso Iiro Rantala is refreshingly still at the forefront of international pianism. The energetic keyboard lion crosses musical genres and styles with ease and excitement, playing at his exhilarating and adventurous best. Definitely entertaining, zany,unconventional and occasionally wicked, yet always uncompromising. Iiro Rantala is among the most internationally visible Finnish jazz musicians, and is second to none when it comes to unsurpassable keyboard technique and flaring showmanship. The pianist first became infected by music in the children's choir Cantores Minores at the age of seven and soon afterwards was already taking piano lessons. Iiro Rantala is best known as the founder and pianist of Trio Töykeät, Finland's most famous jazz group, which became one of the biggest success stories in Finnish jazz. Töykeät gave over 2,500 performances in 60 countries between 1988 and 2006, and released 8 albums - a formidable achievement. The development of Iiro Rantala as a creative pianistic improvisor has been one of the most astonishing phenomena in the Finnish music world, and he has been the winner of all major jazz awards in Finland during his 22 year career.

www.iirorantala.com

 

In Duo with vocalist YOUN SUN NAH (Korea)

Youn Sun Nah   

www.younsunnah.com

Review of London concert
in Jazzwise

Review of London concert
in London Jazz

Youn Sun Nah is Korea's rising vocal star - a most formidable, versatile and higly celebrated vocalist with a wide ranging and original repertoire. She has just recorded (for April '09 international release on the German ACT label) her beautiful new album called 'Voyage', together with Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius and other brilliant Nordic musicians.: As the jazz world welcomes more female singers, Youn Sun Nah continues to stand out from  the rest. With the support of a talented group of musicians, she has succeeded in making her mark on the jazz scene, despite being outside the typical promotional circuit. Who is she and how does she define her music? She likes to say that her group’s music is a manifestation of the best in jazz - free, without borders, constantly evolving - and drawing inspiration from French chanson, pop, and contemporary music. Youn Sun Nah is a remarkable and most enchanting jazz vocalist from Korea but with a French connection and cabaret-chanson style vocals, who since the mid nineties has made a most significant mark on the French/European and Korean/Asian jazz scene.
 

 

 

Iiro Rantala
(photos: Maarit Kytöharju)

"....romantic-classical strivings in which his famed, composing country man Sibelius was so good, and with that shakes his head above the keys as a keyboard lion of the Horowitz type...."
Jacob Haagsma - Leeuwarder Courant - Holland

"...His playing to put it mildly is virtuoso. One must perhaps go all the way back to Franz Liszt to find the same kind of virtuosity. At least there is lots of romanticism in Rantala."
Kjeld Fransden, Berlingske Tidene, Copenhagen

"Pianist Iiro Rantala is a real keyboard lion. That he sees the grand piano particularly also as a toy, appears in the many jokes in compositions lie 'Another Ragtime, 'Unfinnish Tango' and 'Hömppa Humppa'"
Frans van Leeuwen - NCR Handelsblad - Holland

"Iiro Rantala is a pianistic sensation who makes the strongest case I know to believe in reincarnation because his pianistic technique and musical sensitivity speak of depths which appear impossible to have been achieved in this lifetime alone...."
Gil Goldstein, pianist and arranger, New York City.

"When I first heard the Trio Toykeat play I was totally bowled over...knocked out. I immediately recommended them for work...and also started hiring them... then they started hiring me!  Iiro Rantala is one of the best musicians I have ever known. A RARE talent!"
Lew Soloff, trumpeter, New York City

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Current Biography

 

 
CHRISTMAS 2010 TOUR DATES
12 Dec: Mapo Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
20-21 Dec: EBS-TV Show, Seoul, Korea
22-23 Dec: Geumjeong Cultural Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
24-25 Dec: Gunpo Culture & Art Center, Seoul, Korea

 

2009 - Australia, New Zealand, China

IIRO RANTALA NEW TRIO

Iiro Rantala

Virtuoso Finnish pianist/composer Iiro Rantala returns to Australia for the 8th time in January'08 and now with his IIRO RANTALA NEW TRIO to the Sydney Festival - with rising guitar star MARZI NYMAN and extaordinary beatboxer FELIX ZENGER. IIRO is best known as the founder and pianist of Trio Töykeät, Finland's internationally best known jazz ensemble, which has given over 2,500 performances in nearly 60 countries, recorded for Blue Note, and visiting Australia on six occasions. Now with fast new rhythms, startingly original music and distinctive musical voices, the IIRO RANTALA NEW TRIO is jazz at its exhilarating and adventurous best: definitely entertaining, zany, witty, beautiful, technically brilliant, unconventional, occasionally wicked, but always uncompromising. Iiro Rantala is a piano sensation, who confidently and zanily crosses all musical boundaries, and has performed in small and large ensembles, solo and with symphony orchestras, and early in 2006 released his very own piano concerto with the Tapiola Sinfonietta. His extensive discography includes the eight discs of Trio Töykeät (G'Day, Jazzlantis, Sisu, Kudos, Music!, High Standards, Wake and One Night in Tampere Live).

Visit: www.iirorantala.com

 

TOUR DATES August 2009
Sun - 2 Aug: Australia/Brisbane - Queensland Music Festival - Tivoli Theatre -  www.qmf.org.au 
Tue/Wed - 4/5 Aug: NZ/Christchurch - Christchurch Arts Festival - www.artsfestival.co.nz
Frid/Sat - 7/8 August - Singapore - SouthBridge Jazz Club
Mon 10 Aug - China/Shanghai - www.southbridgejazz.com.sg

 

 

 

 

 

Melbourne & Perth, February 2007

Iiro Rantala

 - Piano virtuosity from Finland -

Virtuoso 36 year old Finnish pianist/composer Iiro Rantala returns to Australia for the seventh time with performances of both classical (Bach) and a jazz trio concerts at the Perth Festival and in Melbourne. Iiro is best known as the founder and pianist of Trio Töykeät, Finland's internationally most famous jazz ensemble which has given over 2,500 performances in 50 different countries, recorded for Blue Note, and visited Australia on six occasions.

Rantala is a piano sensation, who confidently and zanily crosses all musical genres, while exploring the boundaries between these genres. He has appeared with symphony orchestras, and early in 2006 he released his very own piano concerto with the Tapiola Sinfonietta. His extensive discography includes the seven discs of Trio Töykeät (G'Day, Jazzlantis, Sisu, Kudos, High Standards, Music! and Wake).

In Melbourne Rantala will collaborate with Melbourne bassist Ben Robertson and drummer Dave Beck. Perth performances presented by the Perth International Arts Festival. Melbourne performance presented in association with Martin Jackson and the Melbourne Jazz Co-op.

 

Iiro Rantala

 
TOUR DATES February 2007
Tuesday 20 February Melbourne
Friday 23 February Perth
Monday 26 February Perth
 

 

© Copyright Henk van Leeuwen 2006 - 20011