Baroque music masterclass. Aira Maria Lehtipuu
04.10.2023 at 11:00
AIRA MARIA LEHTIPUU (Novia University of Applied Sciences, Jakobstad, Finland)
4 October @11.00-12.30 in B-418 & 13.15-17.00 in D-411
Aira Maria Lehtipuu is a versatile Finnish violinist specialized in early music. She enjoys music making both by performing and teaching and has rooted herself firmly in the Finnish and European early music life, being a passionate, humane and collaborative musician. Her longest professional relationships are with the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra as well as the Finnish Baroque Orchestra, where her roles vary from the leader and soloist fluently to a viola or even a viola d’amore player. She has made numerous recordings with both groups, including Helsinki Baroque Orchestra string quartet with Pierre Hantaï & Aapo Häkkinen (Bach harpsichord concertos), earning the Diapason d’Or in 2018. She is a member of several chamber music ensembles like Concerto delle Donne, which combines playing, singing and poetry in the Renaissance spirit as well as Earthly Angels, whose recording won the Finnish Radio Broadcast Company YLE’s recording of the year 2018 prize with music by nun composers. Another project outside of concerts halls was recording baroque music for the movie Games People Play (2020).
She is also having regular visits leading Kore Baroque Orchestra in Poland, Musik i Nordland in Norway and Floridante ensemble in Estonia. One of her favourite projects under the last years has been Helsinki Baroque Orchestra ensemble playing Monteverdi’s music combined with contemporary dance in the production Third Practice of Tero Saarinen Company, of which the next performances will be in October 2023 in Tampere, Finland and Sainte–Maxime, France. Summer 2023 included leading the Finnish Baroque Orchestra in Chiemsee Festspiele, Germany, playing music from the Baltic Sea area in a chamber music setting of Helsinki Baroque Orchestra in Finland and Estonia as well as having experimental projects with her own ensemble Pirkanmaan Barokki. Innamorato di te, Johann Sebastian combines improvisational dance and contemporary music with Bach and Autumn in Dresden was a third concert in series, where Vivaldi’s Seasons are presented in context with different cities and their music closely connected Vivaldi’s life. Programmes include an actor and narrative elements, also touching actual topics like climate change, women’s role in the society and pacifism. The series will finish in January 2024 with Winter in Vienna.
Aira Maria built a firm base for her knowledge and skill during her studies in Holland in The Hague Royal Conservatoire with Enrico Gatti, various master classes and by working around Europe, the Mediterranean and Far East in several highly regarded European early ensembles like L’Arpeggiata, B’Rock, Holland Baroque Society, Al Ayre Español, Les Arts Florissant, Bach Collegium Japan, Vox Luminis and Capriccio Stravagante, and participating the European Union Baroque Orchestra first as a member in 2005–2006 and in 2015–2016 as a visiting leader. Right after her studies, she became a prize winner in the Premio Bonporti international baroque violin competition in 2010.
Especially close to Aira Maria’s heart is the 17th century repertoire and cross–over folk baroque which she has played for instance with groups Brù Ensemble (recording under preparation in 2024) and leading a festival ensemble of Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik 2021 with Mariangiola Martello and Jeffrey Francis. The biggest recent contribution towards making unknown 17th–century music accessible has been concerts and a recording of the violin sonatas of Alessandro Stradella with her new own ensemble Pirkanmaan Barokki.
Lehtipuu is holding the position of senior lecturer in Baroque music in Novia UAS, which has a unique curriculum aimed at professional musicians who want to deepen their knowledge of the performance practice of early music. Her students work in the symphonic orchestras and music institutes around Finland. She is playing on a Goffriller violin which she acquired from the British violinist Jonathan Sparey, former member of the Fitzwilliam Quartet. Lehtipuu lives in Tampere, Finland, where she runs the Café Barock concert series, organizes the local early music forces under her ensemble Pirkanmaan Barokki and uses every opportunity to go Nordic skating on the surrounding lakes.