Jouni Somero (b. 1963) is one of the most active Finnish musicians on the scene today. So far he has given over 2,600 concerts all over the world, including Australia, Japan, Ukraine, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Kosovo, Russia, Brazil, Canada and Finland. He began studying the organ when he was eight years old but switched to the piano at the age of twelve, studying the latter in Switzerland and at the Music Academy in Cologne under professor Herbert Drechsel. Under the legendary Hungarian pianist Georges Cziffra he gained a deeper insight into the music of Liszt. Michael Ponti, the American virtuoso, has also acted as Somero’s musical advisor. From 1981 to 1989 Somero lived in Germany, working as an assistant at the Music Academy of Düsseldorf and in other capacities. Since 1990 he has pursued his career solely as a concert pianist. He was awarded a diploma at the International Music Competition in Rio de Janeiro.
Jouni Somero’s recording career began in 1989 (with Liszt’s 12 Transcendental Etudes), since then he has made over 80 discs for different labels (Naxos, BMG, MILS, Jubal, FC-Records etc). These include Bach’s Das Wohltemperierte Klavier and Die Kunst der Fuge, Liszt’s Harmonies Poètiques et Religieuses, Liszt’s transcriptions of Beethoven’s Symphonies 1 and 5, Rebikov’s Piano Works, Henselt’s Concert Etudes, Op 2, Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Rachmaninov’s Piano Works ( Vols 1–4 ), An Anthology of Finnish Piano Music (Vols 1–5 ) and the world première recording of several piano works by Felix Blumenfeld, Benjamin Godard and Hugo Reinhold. He also recorded the complete piano music of Sergei Bortkiewicz ( Vols 1–9 ) and Pjotor Tshaikovsky ( Vols 1–6). Somero’s wide repertoire includes almost all the solo piano works of Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Bortkiewicz as well as seldom heard music by such composers as Alkan, Godard, Arensky, Godowsky, Henselt, Thalberg, Glinka, Blumenfeld, Rebikov, Reinhold, Rubinstein and Gottschalk. He has also made many piano arrangements of orchestral, operatic and pop music.