Patrik Kleemola to premiere Markku Klami's Etudes for guitar

Updated: Feb 13

Patrik Kleemola, photographed by Vesa Aaltonen

Four etudes, titled ”Memoria”, ”Agitato nervosamente”, ”Nocturno” and ”Stream” from Markku Klami’s upcoming Etudes for guitar collection will get their world premiere by Finnish guitarist Patrik Kleemola in his recital on November 11, 2020 at the Sibelius museum in Turku, Finland.

Patrik Kleemola is one of the foremost Finnish classical guitarists. After winning the 2nd Guitaristival Takemitsu International Guitar Competition in Finland 2004 and gaining prizes in other competitions such as Gargnano's International Guitar Competition, his concert career has taken him to London, Buenos Aires, Rome, Dublin, Milan, Athens, Turin, Florence, Tallinn, Oberstdorf, Helsinki and other cities in South America and Europe.

He has appeared as soloist on important music festivals such as Bergamo Festival Internazionale della Cultura (Italy), LACCS – concert series at London's Queen Elisabeth Hall, Turku Music Festival (Finland), Tallinn Guitar Festival (Estonia), Nuovi Spazi Musicali (Italy), Festival 5 Giornate (Italy), Limina Festival (Argentina), Feria del Libro (Uruguay), Lidköping Music Festival (Sweden) and Tampere Biennale Finland). Kleemola has performed guitar concertos by Rodrigo, Ponce, Takemitsu, Giuliani, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Vivaldi and Maggio with Orquesta Sinfonica de la Juventud Venezuelana El Sistema, Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali, San Remo Symphony Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and Lecce Symphony Orchestra. Kleemola plays regularly chamber music with various international ensembles and soloists.

Kleemola's wide repertoire includes music from the early Italian 16th century to the newest contemporary compositions written for him. Kleemola's intense collaboration with composers has led to over 50 premieres of contemporary works for guitar including concertos, chamber music and solo works. Composers like Ada Gentile, Mikko Heiniö, Markku Klami, Juha T. Koskinen, Paola Livorsi, Marcela Pavia, Harri Suilamo and Harri Vuori have composed and dedicated their works to him.

Kleemola has released two CDs by Pilfink records: Perchitarrasola (2012) and Through Green Glass (2015). The CDs consist of music written for Kleemola by Finnish and Italian composers. Other CD recordings include Kleemola's arrangement of Franz Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin for guitar and tenor. Kleemola's ever growing content on his personal Youtube channel is gaining a lot of following, and soon it will pass the landmark of a million views.

In addition to his performing career, Kleemola is Lecturer in Guitar at Turku Conservatory & Music Institute. Kleemola gives regularly masterclasses during concert tours and recently he has given those in London, Buenos Aires, Milan and elsewhere in Italy, Estonia and Finland. Kleemola was the artistic director of the Brinkhall Summer Concerts during 2009-2011 in Turku, Finland. Kleemola is the founder and artistic director of Turku Guitar Festival.

Markku Klami: Etudes for guitar: Agitato nervosamente (excerpt)

Klami’s Etudes is a collection of solo guitar pieces, each concentrating on a specific guitar playing technique. While targeted for younger and advanced young players, these etudes are intended and suitable for concert use by professional guitarists alike.

In his Etudes, Klami makes use of some extended playing techniques, including playing the strings by hitting them with the left hand – and, at times, even both hands, techniques resulting in microtones, like plucking the strings on both sides of the hand on the fretboard, and partially muting the strings in various ways. These extended playing techniques are intended to provide also younger players with glimpses of the intriguing world of contemporary music.

Markku Klami: Etudes for guitar: Nocturno (excerpt)

The idea to write new, contemporary music pieces that would not be technically too demanding for young and advanced younger players, while maintaining a high aesthetic value of a contemporary concert music was proposed to Klami by Kleemola. A close cooperation between Klami and Kleemola and study on the technical and aesthetic aspects of each etude has been taking place since late 2019. Klami has composed Etudes with the support by Arts Promition Centre Finland and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Markku Klami: Etudes for guitar: Stream (excerpt)

The Etudes are written for Patrik Kleemola. He will premiere the collection in whole in 2021. Stay tuned for more information about this project, which will be fully released in 2021, including a video release of each etude on Kleemola’s YouTube channel.

A sneak peek of the etude "Stream" from a sound check for Kleemola's concert on November 11, 2020 is available on Klami's YouTube channel.

Patrik Kleemola playing "Stream" from Etudes for guitar in a sound check for the premiere performance on November 11, 2020.

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