Juho Pohjonen

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


One of the brightest young instrumental talents to emerge from Finland today, Juho Pohjonen has attracted great attention as one of the Nordic country’s most intriguing and talented pianists. 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 Nicholas Collon, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under James MacMillan and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano. 2014 will see Juho make his debut at Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Chopin Festival in Mallorca, and with Bamberger Symphoniker and Tonhalle Orchester Zurich.



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...

Juho Pohjonen debuts with Iceland Symphony Orchestra

13 Nov 2012

Performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491, Juho will join conductor François-Xavier Roth to make his debut appearance with the...

Pohjonen, Salonen, Philharmonia

27 Sep 2012

Juho Pohjonen returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen to play Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1.

Part of the Philharmonia's "...

Juho Pohjonen debuts with Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra

05 Sep 2012

No stranger to the Helsinki Music Centre, Juho Pohjonen returns this week to make his debut with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra performing...

Juho Pohjonen debuts at the Aspen Music Festival

07 Aug 2012

Following his appearances at Music@Menlo, Juho Pohjoen will make his debut at the Aspen Music Festival performing Messiaen's Des canyons aux étoiles with the Festival's Chamber Ensemble, John...

Juho Pohjonen returns to Music@Menlo

18 Jul 2012

For the tenth-anniversary season, Pohjonen returns to Music@Menlo to play chamber music on 21 and 22 July as well as to perform a Carte Blanche recital...

Juho Pohjonen performs World Premiere of new Piano Concerto

16 Mar 2012

On 15 and 16 March 2012, Juho Pohjonen will perform the world premiere of a Piano Concerto by Aleksandar Simic with conductor Bojan Sudjic and the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. The work, titled...

Juho Pohjonen triumphs at Mostly Mozart

16 Aug 2011

Juho Pohjonen has received excellent reviews for his Mostly Mozart debut with Piano Concerto No 23, K488 at Avery Fisher Hall in New...

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“ 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 talents to emerge from Finland today, Juho Pohjonen [www.juhopohjonen.com] has attracted great attention as one of the Nordic countries’ most intriguing and talented pianists.

Season highlights for 2013-14 include performances with The Philharmonia Orchestra and Nicholas Collon, and debuts with Bamburger Symphonkier and Tonhalle Orchestra, Zürich under Lionel Bringuier. Juho will also make his debut at Ravinia Festival, Chicago and Chopin Festival, Mallorca. The 2012-13 season saw Juho Pohjonen perform Beethoven with The Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mozart with Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Messaien’s Des Canyons aux Etoiles at Carnegie Hall. He regularly works with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln having been selected as one of fourteen musicians to join the ‘CMS Two Residency Program for Outstanding Young Artists’ between 2009- 2012.  He performs with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York and Chicago and gives recitals in New York, Washington, D.C., and La Jolla.

Juho has given recitals in Hong Kong, Dresden, Hamburg, Helsinki, London (Wigmore Hall), New York (Carnegie Hall), San Francisco, Vancouver, Warsaw and at the Lucerne Piano, Savonlinna and Bergen festivals.  He has performed with orchestras including Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony, Danish National, Finnish Radio Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic and Lahti Symphony - with whom he toured Japan.  Most recently, Juho has worked with such conductors as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Marek Janowski, Hugh Wolff and Lionel Bringuier.

Mr. Pohjonen's debut recording Plateaux features a performance of Scandinavian composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen's piano concerto Plateaux pour Piano et Orchestre with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and solo piano piece For Piano. His sensational opening recital at 2010's Music@Menlo Festival led to a recording for the Music@Menlo Live 2010 series entitled Maps and Legends: Disc 8. Works featured on the recording are Mozart's Sonata in A Major, K.331, Grieg's Ballade in g minor in the Form of Variations on a Norwegian Folk Song, Op. 24 and Handel's Suite in B-flat Major.

Juho Pohjonen was selected by András Schiff as the winner of the 2009 Klavier Festival Ruhr Scholarship. In addition, Juho Pohjonen has won numerous prizes in both Finnish and international competitions, including: First Prize at the 2004 Nordic Piano Competition in Nyborg, Denmark, First Prize at the International Young Artists 2000 Concerto Competition, Stockholm, the Prokofiev Prize at the AXA Dublin International Piano Competition 2003, and was a prize winner at The Helsinki International Maj Lind Piano Competition 2002.

Juho’s studies began in 1989, when he entered the Junior Academy of the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki.  He has studied with Meri Louhos and Hui-Ying Liu at the Sibelius Academy, where he completed his Master’s Degree in 2008.  In addition, Juho has participated in several master classes of world-class pianists such as András Schiff, Leon Fleisher, Jacob Lateiner and Barry Douglas.


July 2014