Presenting our musicians: Anne Pekkala
Violinist Anne Pekkala, who performs a lot in Finland and abroad, loves both Japan and Saimaa’s Pihlajavesi.
In addition to FiBO, I also play in other ensembles in Finland and internationally, mostly in Belgium and France in chamber music and orchestra productions with e.g. Ricercar Consort, La Petite Bande and Les Folies Francoises.
Tell us about yourself
I was born and raised in Imatra, and there I began playing the violin as a 3-year-old in a Suzuki violin school. I was in a music class, and I also played the flute and the piano, and sang in a choir. We spent the summers sailing in Saimaa with my parents and brother. Sports have also always been important for me. When I was young I played football in the first division!
How did you end up with your instrument? Who or what made you choose it?
My brother Jarkko, two years older than me, began playing the violin before me, and my mother would bring me to his classes when I was still wearing diapers. Apparently I would listen carefully and notice when he made mistakes, so they put a violin under my chin, too. A few years later my brother replaced the violin for the oboe… When I was in my twenties, Baroque music caught my attention when I was invited by Johannes Vesterinen to play in his ensemble Sonus Borealis.
What inspires you as a musician and in life?
For me, it is the most inspiring thing to work with positive, sensitive and natural people and to feel the mutual love for music. The presence while playing, and presence in life overall, are important to me. Different cultures and their ways of expression and working are inspiring.
What other art form is close to your heart?
Literature; Haruki Murakami and Victor Hugo are my favourites. I also enjoy architecture, and in new places I can walk around for hours just admiring churches and parks.
Which is your greatest musical dream?
One of my greatest dreams came true this summer when I played together with my teacher Sigiswald Kuijken in Kuijken Quartet, playing Mozart and Haydn in Belgium and Germany.
Which is your favourite travel destination, and why?
Japan: food, people, arts, language, nature… A spring visit to Kyoto about five years ago really left its mark in me.
In what kind of a place does your soul find rest?
My soul rests while watching the Pihlajavesi sceneries from the dressing room sofa in the summer cottage sauna.
How do you feel your art is affecting society at large?
I want to believe that music makes people feel better, and you can even see that in concerts. Music can bring happiness, warmth, and love, and eliminate stress.
Why do you enjoy playing music that is over 300 years old?
It is amazing to play early music on period instruments. And when the venue, too, is historical, I feel like I am on a journey through time. But I do like contemporary music as well.
Choose your favourite among FiBO’s fall 2017 concerts, and motivate your choice.
As a violinist I look forward to the L’arte del violino concerts with Ilya Gringolts on 8-10 October in The House of Nobility in Helsinki, in Hämeenlinna Church, and in Tampere Hall.
Which is your guilty pleasure?
Eating Fazer’s yellow chocolate bar and Nutella straight from the jar in secret (don’t tell my children and husband).
If you had to run the Cooper test or bake for a party of 30 people, which would you choose?
If the question would have been asked twenty years ago, I would definitely have signed up for running. Maybe I’d also choose it now. (But I love baking!)