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RALF GOTHONI

Ralf Gothóni (born in Finland, living in Spain) has a many-sided career as solo pianist, chamber musician and conductor all over the world. He became well-known for his unconventional way of music-making, not only as a pianist, but as a musician with unusual thinking about music and the wholeness of musicianship. He began his studies on the violin at age three and on piano at age five. At 15 he debuted as an orchestra soloist and in 1967, he appeared at the Jyväskylä Summer Festival as the “debutant of the year”.

His performances include appearances at prestigious music festivals – Salzburg, Berlin, Prague, Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, La Roque de Antheron, Ravinia, Tanglewood and more – and performances with the Chicago, Detroit and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, Berlin and Warsaw Philharmonics, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Japan Philharmonic and the English Chamber Orchestra among others. He appears annually in numerous concerts both as soloist and conductor, conducting from the keyboard. Gothóni has premiered more than a douzen piano concertos; among them concertos by John Tavener, Aulis Sallinen, Curtis Curtis-Smith and Einojuhani Rautavaara. He is also heard regularly as guest artist at major chamber music festivals.

Mr. Gothoni has recorded some 100 albums for several labels, including BIS, CPO, Decca, DGG, EMI, Naxos and Ondine, with whom he produced more than twenty CDs in 90ths. Among the recordings should especially be mentioned his Schubert interpretations, piano concertos by Britten, Villa-Lobos and Rautavaara. In the last years he has recorded music by Alfred Schnittke and Aulis Sallinen, both as soloist and conductor.

Ralf Gothóni was named the principal conductor of the legendary English Chamber Orchestra in September 2000, during 2001–2006 he held the music director position of the Northwest Chamber Ochestra, Seattle and in 2004 he was nominated the guest conductor of Deutsche Kammerakademie. Gothóni has held many artistic posts: chief conductor of the Finlandia Sinfonietta (1989–94), principal guest conductor of the Turku Philharmonic (1995–2000), artistic director of the famous Savonlinna Opera Festival (1984–1987), in 1996 and 1998 he was the iniator and the artistic director of the “Forbidden City Music Festival” in Beijing and in 2004 he started a cultural collaboration between Finland and Egypt which is contiuing as a “Musical Bridge Egypt-Finland, where his northern colleagues perform with Egyptian musicians in May 2008. Gothóni has also supported classical music in Israel and in South Africa.

Very close to his heart is the contact with young musicians. He is the artistic chairman of “Savonlinna Music Academy” which is a Summer institute for chamber music, lied and opera. He has held the position of professorship at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki 1992–2007, at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg (1986–96), at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule in Berlin (1996–2000) and in May, 2000 he was appointed as a visiting professor at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2006 he started as the head of the piano chamber music department at Escuela Superior de Musica Camara, Reina Sofia in Madrid. Besides giving master classes around the world, he has also spent many summers as a faculty member at the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia, Chicago. In the last years he has also been invited as juror at major international piano competitions.

The list of his compositions includes three chamber operas, chamber music, songs, the chamber cantata The Ox and its Sephard (recorded by Ondine) and a Concerto Grosso version of it for violin, piano and strings. This concerto got its premier in1999 with the composer as piano soloist and conductor and his wife, Elina Vähälä as the violin soloist. In April 2003 his chamber orchestra arrangement of Hugo Wolf´s Italian Songbook received its premier in Stuttgart.

Ralf Gothoni is also an essayist; his first book “The Creative Moment” was published with great success in 1998. His second book, “Does the moon rotate” was published in 2001.

Mr. Gothoni has been honored with several awards, including the Gilmore Artist Award in 1994, Schubert Medal of the Austrian Ministry of Culture and the Order of Pro Finlandia.


Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
View by Role: Classical Artist | Classical Composer | Arranger | Conductor
Role: Classical Artist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BRAHMS, J.: Piano Quartets Nos. 1 and 3 (Csaba, Hirvikangas, Helmerson, Gothoni) Ondine
ODE843-2
Chamber Music
BRAHMS, J.: Schone Magelone (Die) (Hynninen) Ondine
ODE755-2
Vocal
BRAHMS: Romanzen aus Magelone, Op. 33 BIS
BIS-CD-70
Vocal
BRITTEN, B.: Piano Concerto / Soirees musicales / Matinees musicales (Gothoni, Kamu) Ondine
ODE825-2
Concertos
CONTEMPORARY FINNISH MUSIC BIS
BIS-CD-207
Vocal
FINNISH VOCAL MUSIC BIS
BIS-CD-88
Vocal, Chamber Music, Vocal, Chamber Music, Vocal, Chamber Music, Vocal
FRENCH MUSIC FOR WIND QUINTET Naxos
8.557356
Chamber Music
HAYDN, F.J.: Piano Concertos in D Major / F Major (Gothoni, Finlandia Sinfonietta) Ondine
ODE732-2
Concertos
KILPINEN / GRIEG / SIBELIUS: Nordic Vocal Music BIS
BIS-CD-43
Vocal
NUMMI: 5 Song Cycles BIS
BIS-CD-279
Vocal
Piano Recital: Gothoni, Ralf - MUSSORGSKY, M.P. / JANACEK, L. / STRAVINSKY, I. Ondine
ODE753-2
Instrumental
RAUTAVAARA, E.: Cantus Arcticus / A Requiem in Our Time / The Fiddlers / Isle of Bliss / Piano Concerto No. 1 (Essential Rautavaara) Ondine
ODE989-2
Concertos
RAUTAVAARA, E.: Cantus arcticus / Angels and Visitations / Autumn Gardens / Apotheosis / Vigilia / Piano Concerto No. 1 Ondine
ODE1079-2D
Concertos
RAUTAVAARA, E.: Concertos Ondine
ODE1156-2Q
Concertos
RAUTAVAARA, E.: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 (Gothoni) Ondine
ODE757-2
Concertos
SALLINEN: Chamber Music BIS
BIS-CD-64
Vocal
SCHNITTKE, A.: Piano Concerto / Violin Concerto No. 3 / Violin Sonata No. 3 (Gothoni, Lubotsky) Ondine
ODE893-2
Concertos
SCHNITTKE, A.: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 / Suite in the Old Style (Lubotsky, Gothoni) Ondine
ODE800-2
Chamber Music
SCHNITTKE: Quasi una sonata / Suite in the Old Style / Concerto Grosso No. 6 BIS
BIS-CD-1437
Concertos
SCHUBERT, F.: Duo Sonata in A Major / Violin Sonatas (Sonatinas) in D Major / A Minor / G Minor Ondine
ODE746-2
Chamber Music
SCHUBERT, F.: Piano Sonata No. 16 / Wanderer-Fantasie (Gothoni) Ondine
ODE734-2
Instrumental
SCHUBERT, F.: Piano Sonata No. 21 / 16 German Dances (Gothoni) Ondine
ODE718-2
Instrumental
SCHUBERT, F.: Piano Sonatas Nos. 4 and 15 (Gothoni) Ondine
ODE797-2
Instrumental
SCHUBERT, F.: Schone Mullerin (Die) (Hynninen, Gothoni) Ondine
ODE719-2
Vocal
SCHUBERT, F.: Schone Mullerin (Die) / Winterreise (Essential Highlights of Jorma Hynninen) (Hynninen, Gothoni) Ondine
ODE253-2D
Vocal
SCHUBERT, F.: Winterreise (Hynninen, Gothoni) Ondine
ODE725-2
Vocal
SCHUBERT: Winterreise, Op. 89, D. 911 BIS
BIS-CD-253
Vocal
SCHUBERT: Winterreise, Op. 89, D. 911 (PAL) Arthaus Musik
100258
Classical Concert
SCHUMANN, R.: Dichterliebe / BRAHMS, J.: 4 Ernste Gesange (Hynninen, Gothoni) Ondine
ODE738-2
Vocal
SCHUMANN: Dichterliebe, Op. 48 / Liederkreis, Op. 24 BIS
BIS-CD-92
Vocal
SEGERSTAM: Patria / SKIZZEN / DIVERTIMENTO BIS
BIS-CD-84
Chamber Music
SIBELIUS, J.: Piano Music (Gothoni) Ondine
ODE847-2
Instrumental
SIBELIUS, J.: Sibelius Festival (Helsinki Philharmonic) Ondine
ODE930-2
Instrumental
VILLA-LOBOS, H.: Choros No. 11 (Gothoni, Finnish Radio Symphony, Oramo) Ondine
ODE916-2
Orchestral

Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 

Role: Arranger 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 

Role: Conductor 
Album Title
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