Presenting our musicians: Antti Tikkanen
Musician interview 2.11.2017
Antti Tikkanen, FiBO’s talented Artistic Director since 2014, presents himself on the blog.
Violin and viola
Most of the time that I do not spend holding a violin, I run a full-service entertainment and education centre for my two daughters…
Tell us about yourself
I come from Oulainen in Northern Ostrobothnia. Playing an instrument was supported by my friends and family, especially as a group of five teachers had been recruited from Poland to the local music institute of Jokilaakso (which is not a scene from The Wind in the Willows) just before I started school. This had a great impact on the development of people’s musical skills in the whole region.
How did you end up with your instrument? Who or what made you choose it?
My godmother’s daughter played the violin, and to me she was so lovely and the violin so fascinating that somehow these two things combined in my mind, and after trying the violin, I was sold. I am still of the opinion that the violin creates more beautiful sounds than one could ever imagine.
What inspires you as a musician and in life?
It is incredibly refreshing to receive new impulses from musician colleagues, e.g. something surprising to think about. But you should not underestimate the power of the presence of the audience; often you find yourself coming up with something completely different than planned (sorry, guys!), if the audience gives you good energy!
What other art form is close to your heart?
A constantly growing pile of books waiting to be read are trying to approach me…
Which is your favourite travel destination, and why?
My wife’s family’s island in Ruovesi. For a limited time of the year it is its own planet, history, world of tastes and smells, and a beautiful experience, which becomes more and more important for every year. Every time is different, as I am awed by the children growing.
In what kind of a place does your soul find rest?
On the sofa at home, walking along the Merisatama coast, on Pihlajasaari Island… Having grown up beside a field, funnily enough I have found my spiritual home by the water.
Which is your guilty pleasure?
Kouvola liquorice. That is what a person needs. It is a product that offers diverse taste experiences depending on the state of freshness.
If you had to run the Cooper test or bake for a party of 30 people, which would you choose?
An easy choice between these two. I would bake for a hundred people…
You seem to continually have a hundred irons in the fire. How do you divide the time between different projects?
I learn the hard way, sometimes better, sometimes not so much. It seems I just can’t implement company directors’ or politicians’ time management strategies in my own work…
You are originally a modern violinist, but you have since dived into early music very widely. What has working with a Baroque orchestra given you? Do you now see the world with new eyes?
The greatest experience has definitely been finding freedom through certain things related to the grammar of music. Rehearsing so called basics and contemplating possibilities have given me a new kind of basis for doing things, and on the other hand, there are remarkably many connections between the gesturing in new music and Baroque music.
You and your partner have two little children. Has this inspired you to new ways of making music?
My job as the orchestra’s Artistic Director began around the time when my younger daughter was born, and everything has probably affected my general being more than I imagine. Now it will be interesting to see how things develop on their own!