Juho Pohjonen

CMS2 Artist 2009-2012, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

One of the brightest young instrumental artists to emerge from Finland, Juho Pohjonen has attracted great attention as one of the Nordic country's most intriguing and talented pianists. Widely praised for his broad range of repertoire from Bach and Mozart to Messiaen and Salonen, his interpretations are known for their intensity, thoughtfulness and fearless musical conviction. Juho Pohjonen has performed with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under Olari Elts and Iceland Symphony Orchestra under François-Xavier Roth, as well as the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under James MacMillan and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano.


Juho Pohjonen at the Moritzburg Festival

13 Aug 2016

A very busy summer festival season continues for Juho Pohjonen. After a highly successful debut appearance at the Grant Park Music Festival and return performances at the Santa Fe and La Jolla...

Juho Pohjonen debuts at the Grant Park Music Festival

22 Jun 2016

Juho Pohjonen makes his debut at the renowned Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago on 28 June. Together with the Grant Park Orchestra, under the baton of Carlos Kalmar, Juho will play Chopin’s...

Juho Pohjonen to perform in Canada and US

24 Feb 2016

Following a highly successful North American tour in January, pianist Juho Pohjonen will be embarking on another tour of North America and Canada which will see him perform chamber music concerts...

Juho Pohjonen North American tour

21 Jan 2016

Pianist Juho Pohjonen starts a series of recitals and chamber concerts across the US. The tour kicks off on 21 January at the St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids with the further performances...

Pianist Juho Pohjonen teams up with Buffalo Philharmonic for two evenings celebrating Finnish music’

01 Oct 2015

Juho performs with Buffalo Philharmonic under the baton of their Music Director JoAnn Falletta this weekend, celebrating the works of two leading Finnish composers, Grieg and Sibelius. Juho will...

Pianist Juho Pohjonen brings “goosebumps and smiles” to audiences in the US

13 Aug 2015

Juho has returned from a summer of chamber music in the USA, performing with fellow world-class musicians, Paul Huang, Jakob Koranyi, Erin Keefe and Timothy Cobb to name a few. Juho wowed...

Pohjonen in California

10 Apr 2013

Juho Pohjonen makes his first appearance in San Diego performing in recital for the La Jolla Music...

Juho Pohjonen in the UK & US

18 Feb 2013

February sees Juho Pohjonen make a welcome return to the UK. He will first appear in recital at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on 24...

Juho Pohjonen returns to Atlanta Symphony

10 Jan 2013

This week Juho Pohjonen re-unites with Music Director Robert Spano for his return to the...

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“(...) what he did to illuminate the familiar Romantic concerto [Chopin Piano Concerto No 2] was remarkable. Pohjonen's pearly tone, articulate touch and supple legato phrasing gave pleasure to the ear (...) His sensitivity in unfurling Chopin's intimate musical grammar was always evident. He maintained a vigorous pace in the first movement, yet detail was always clear and finely meshed with the orchestral accompaniment.The larghetto slow movement was the beating heart of the pianist's reading. His unmannered rubato gave the melodic filigree a poetic significance beyond a merely decorative function. And Pohjonen was able to tease the mazurka rhythm of the finale with a becoming lightness and sparkle.”

Chicago Tribune - Jun 2016

“Mr. Pohjonen, possessed of a personal mystique that is unique in this day and age, summons up from the keyboard imaginings of what it must have been like to hear such charismatic pianists as Chopin and Liszt.”

Horn Calls - May 2016

“ Juho Pohjonen’s piano playing was full of colour and imagination: he was discreet when appropriate, and impressively incisive, without harshness, when the instrument was called on to take the textural lead.”

Seen and Heard International - Mar 2016

“Juho Pohjonen [...] played this kaleidoscopic music fairly straight, adding little extra to Bartok’s sardonic edge.”

New York Times - Jan 2016

“The concerto was masterfully handled by young soloist Juho Pohjonen from Finland who was simply outstanding. This very humble young man just dazzled with his incredible talent and thoughtful interpretation of such a beautiful concerto.”

Bournemouth Echo - Dec 2015

“The slight young Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen gave a colourful, clear and entirely winning performance of this lyrical and accessible score [Grieg's Piano Concerto] which was received with huge enthusiasm [...].”

The Fine Times Recorder - Dec 2015

“The programme included Grieg’s Piano Concerto, with a fast-rising Finnish star, Juho Pohjonen, as the delightfully unassuming but bewitching soloist.”

The Guardian - Dec 2015

“...confidence never wavered. This is how you have to play a big, wide Romantic concerto like this. At the same time, though, he played with melting expression... The magic continued. In the Adagio, the cellos and violins were rich and warm, and the pianist delineated the lines with sweetness and care.”

The Buffalo News - Oct 2015

“Pohjonen was superb. Besides a light, facile touch, he played with a clarity, consistency and precision that brought goosebumps and smiles. His fast octave studies in the finale were remarkable.”

The Daily Gazette, Sarasota - Aug 2015

“The lineup offered a welcome chance to hear the pianist Juho Pohjonen, who demonstrated his elegant musicianship throughout the program. […] Mr. Pohjonen’s pearly touch, singing tone and sensitivity also enhanced Beethoven’s Trio in E-flat, given an impeccably elegant interpretation beginning with the introspective opening — rendered with a quiet, simmering tension.”

New York Times - Jul 2015

“ The ensemble performed admirably with its nuanced expressivity and dynamic breadth. In the Busch concert, they were all excellent, above all young Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen. In addition to technical precision, Pohjonen also displayed lyrical sensitivity; in terms of accuracy and power, he even topped this in the Fifth Brandenburg Concerto, where his communication with the chamber orchestra was outstanding.”

Basler Zeitung - Aug 2013

“Juho Pohjonen played the fiendishly difficult piano part brilliantly, conquering its technical challenges and highlighting myriad colors, as well as contrasting the exuberant elements with moments of introspective clarity. [Of Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux Étoiles]”

New York Times - Mar 2013

“[The audience was] certainly astounded–as I was–by the young Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen. His two solo cadenzas [in Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles...] with their crashing chords, their misdirected silences, their percussive splashing up and down the keyboard, frequently bringing a birdsong from the tones, were brilliant intermezzi from the orchestral playing.”

Concertonet.com - Mar 2013

“Pohjonen has both impeccable technique and a cleareyed approach to music... Complete confidence, a superb performance.”

The Washington Post - Mar 2013

“Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen already has an impressive CV behind him, creating expectations that were more than borne out on this occasion. At the centre of his programme was a enthralling performance of Schumann’s Fantasy in C, demonstrating a remarkable knack of both highlighting and integrating contrasts at the same time. Passages of treble-bass dialogue were clearly laid out, and his ability to take the long view showed in a somewhat restrained opening to the second movement that left plenty of room to develop power and momentum. His expertly-graded approach to climaxes was particularly evident in the third movement, as the warmth of his playing steered it from a barcarolle-like opening to its tender, quiet close. His way of bringing out inner detail also made for a crisp, bracing account of Grieg’s Holberg Suite, which opened the programme. It came through in his liquid finger-work in the Prelude, the thoughtfully-judged emotional scale of the Sarabande and Air, and the light, airy textures he created in the Gavotte and concluding Rigaudon. After the Schumann, Pohjonen launched into Sibelius’s own solo piano transcription of Finlandia, making the most of its Lisztian bravura and flamboyance, and giving the first appearance of the hymn-like theme a gleaming simplicity that was genuinely touching. The qualities of his playing were just as evident in his encore – ‘Bridal Procession’, the second of Grieg’s Scenes from Country Life, Op 19 (there seems to be no generally agreed English translation of the Norwegian title Folkelivsbilleder). Its scale and tone, particularly the gradual distancing effect at the end, were beautifully judged, right up to the perfectly-weighted, perfectly-placed, final chord.”

Music & Vision - Feb 2013

“His playing is simply extraordinary. This was a night when a good view of the soloist’s hands was worth extra money. It was a performance worth recording of a work worth hearing.”

The Atlanta Journal Constitution - Jan 2013

“This young man is a beast, a daunting player... tonal colours had brilliance – gleaming lines tripped along like bubbling streams, little squeezed-out flourishes casually adorned the ends of phrases... an impressive and fearless performance.”

Mercury News - Jul 2010

“Apparent immediately were Pohjonen’s capacities for clarity, color, and strength of line, the fluidity of transition most impressive. His staccati ring with visceral articulation, and he can apply the velvet paw to elicit, espessivo, a singing legato. The final movement enjoyed plastic dynamics, moving to the janissary figures with a fierce aplomb, gracious and buoyant at once.”

Classical Music Guide - Aug 2010

“... Pohjonen gave a quite outstanding reading of the concerto, a concerto in which the soloist is hardly ever silent. The difficulties of Prokofiev’s writing were handled with panache, the wit was relished and, when the few such opportunities came along (notably in the larghetto) he played with real lyricism. Handling the syncopation of some passages with ease and assurance, playing by turns percussively and delicately, richly dancing in the fifth movement finale, Pohjonen’s was a remarkable performance, full both of intimacy and sweep... ”

Seen & Heard (Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 5) - Feb 2008

“Juho Pohjonen (the first pianist after Bronfman to tackle the concerto) knocked off this incredibly difficult solo part with calm, almost cavalier confidence. His fingers flew and occasionally his long hair flapped. But otherwise he remained unflappable... deadly accurate. ”

LA Times (Salonen Piano Concerto) - Jul 2009

“Everything about his recital was formidable. One reason his debut demanded attention was that his adventurous program made news from first to last He gave breathtaking performances of both works. When the audience broke into an ovation, the young pianist finally cracked a slight smile.”

New York Times - Oct 2004

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One of the brightest young instrumental artists to emerge from Finland, Juho Pohjonen has attracted great attention as one of the Nordic country's most intriguing and talented pianists. Widely praised for his broad range of repertoire from Bach and Mozart to Messiaen and Salonen, his interpretations are known for their intensity, thoughtfulness and fearless musical conviction.


Juho collaborates with many pre-eminent conductors around the world including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Lionel Bringuier, Sakari Oramo, Kirill Karabits, James MacMillan, Francois-Xavier Roth, Olari Elts and Hugh Wolff to name a few. A favorite of Robert Spano and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Juho enjoys a frequent and very successful collaboration, widely acclaimed by audience and critics alike. He has performed with major orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Lahti Symphony, with whom he toured Japan, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Pohjonen appears frequently with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, since being selected as one of the musicians to join the “CMS Two Residency Program for Outstanding Young Artists” from 2009-2012.


A pianist of elegant musicianship and pearly touch, Juho pleases audience around the globe with intimate, fearless programmes of recitals and chamber music concerts. He has given recitals in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Davies Symphony Hall, Harris Concert Hall (Aspen), De Singel, Wigmore Hall, Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall (St. Petersburg), Auditorium du Louvre, Southam Hall (Ottawa) and Vancouver Playhouse. Juho has appeared in number of renowned festivals including Lucerne Piano, Savonlinna, Bergen, Ravinia, Aspen, Music@Menlo, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Sibelius Festival in Lahti.


Highlights of current and upcoming seasons include concerts with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Szczecin Philharmonic, Vancouver and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras and a tour of Korea and Taiwan with Music at Menlo. Juho continues his close association with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center giving series of recitals and chamber music concerts. He will also appear in chamber concerts at the Library of Congress in Washington, Wigmore Hall in London and Schloss Elmau. 2016/17 season features Juho in festivals such as Music at Menlo, Ravinia Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Marlboro Festival.


Juho’s debut CD under Dacapo label released in 2009 features piano concerto and solo piano piece by one of the most important 21st century Scandinavian composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra was positively received: “Juho Pohjonen has the measure of both scores and Ed Spanjaard draws vivid performances from the Danish National SO in Plateaux. Cracking sound, too.” (Gramophone). His sensational opening recital at Music@Menlo’s 2010 Festival led to a recording for the Music@Menlo Live 2010 series entitled Maps and Legends: Disc 8, bringing together works by Mozart, Grieg, Handel and Brahms.


Pohjonen began piano studies in 1989 when he entered the Junior Academy of the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki subsequently joining Sibelius Academy where in 2008 he completed his Master's Degree under Meri Louhos and Hui-Ying Liu. Winner of a numerous Scandinavian Piano Competitions, in 2009 Juho was selected by Sir András Schiff as a winner of the Klavier Festival Ruhr Scholarship.


September 2016