This week the Oulu Symphony Orchestra plays host to two of IMG Artists’ rising stars, making their debuts with Finland’s northernmost symphony orchestra. On 1st February, at Madetoja Hall, Sergey Neller will conduct Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 ‘Winter Daydreams’, preceded by Tchaikovsky’s evergreen and virtuosic Violin Concerto, with South Korean soloist Ye-Eun Choi.

The young Berlin-based Russian conductor Sergey Neller took second place in the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in Bamberg in 2016. This year and beyond he makes his debut performances in subscription concerts with the South Netherlands Philharmonic, Janacek Philharmonic of Ostrava, Jacksonville Philharmonic (Florida, US), Nurnberger Symphoniker, and Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra. He participated in summer 2017 in masterclasses with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, led by Daniele Gatti, and returned to the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra for a series of family/education concerts, and for a studio recording for the Bayerische Rundfunk of Shostakovich’s revolutionary 12th symphony.

Violinist Ye-Eun Choi is defined by her dynamic sound, rich with vibrant timbre, sensitivity and nuance. Her colourful, expressive lyricism and virtuosity has earned her acclaim for her engagements as both a soloist and a chamber musician. She was discovered and mentored by Anne-Sophie Mutter at age 16 in 2005. Ms Mutter has since said: “She is a musician who looks to express herself in her own individual way; who has a distinguished, recognizable sound and commands an excellent, instinctive feel for the music. This is precisely what is naturally required from a soloist: someone who does not just perform a piece, but makes it her own. She ranks among the most talented of violinists.” Highlights of the season 2017/18: debuts with M. Jansons, K. Penderecki and J. van Zweden among others; in August 2017 she was re-invited by the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra to participate in a concert during the National Liberation Day of Korea. Highlights of the last seasons include tours with the NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Hannover, and A. Manze, to South Korea, with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and Y. Nézet-Séguin in the Netherlands and Italy, and with the Czech Philharmonic, and J. Bělohlávek with concerts in Luxemburg and Warsaw. Furthermore, she made her debut with the Bamberg Symphony under the baton of C. Eschenbach, and performed with l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, and M. Honeck.

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