Celebrated as one of Finland's most outstanding pianists, Juho Pohjonen has received widespread acclaim for his profound musicianship and distinctive interpretations of a broad range of repertoire from Bach to Salonen. His interpretations are known for their intensity, thoughtfulness, and fearless musical conviction.
Highlights of Mr. Pohjonen’s 2017-18 season include a remarkable summer festival circuit, with performances at Music@Menlo, the Santa Fe Chamber Music and Ravinia Festivals, Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Festival, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival. Concerto appearances include Greenwich Symphony and Turku and Tampere Philharmonic Orchestras, performing Saint-Saens Concerto No.5, Op. 103, Esa-Pekka Salonen Piano Concerto and Einar Englund’s Piano Concerto No. 1. In recital, he performs at the National Gallery of Art, Frederic Chopin Society and Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington, La Jolla Music Society, Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, Mobile Chamber Music Society, and Philip Lorenz Memorial Keyboard Concerts in Fresno. He continues his close association with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Alice Tully Hall, and on tour in Chicago, Birmingham, Asheville, NC, Purchase, NY, Athens, GA and Ashland, OR, as well as in Beijing, Seoul, and Taiwan. He appears frequently with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, since his tenure with the CMS Two Residency Program for Outstanding Young Artists from 2009-2012.
Recent highlights include his debuts with Vancouver, Baltimore, and Cleveland Symphonies, and chamber programs at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and the Library of Congress. European engagements have included performances with the Szczecin Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony, and Antalya State Symphony. Mr. Pohjonen received highly praise for his interpretation of Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Buffalo Philharmonic and conductor JoAnn Falletta, which he also performed across England with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Kirill Karabits. In 2015, Mr. Pohjonen opened the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s season in performances of the Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 5 with Jeffrey Kahane, and made his debut with Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich performing Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Piano Concerto with conductor Lionel Bringuier. In 2016, the pianist debuted at the Grant Park Music Festival performing Chopins’s Piano Concerto No. 2, for which Chicago Tribune praised him for his “pearly tone, articulate touch and supple legato…His sensitivity in unfurling Chopin’s intimate musical grammar was always evident.” Additionally, he gave stunning recital debuts at Beethoven-Haus in Bonn for their Klaviersommer Festival and the Ravinia Festival, and he performed Mozart with the KBS Symphony Orchestra in Seoul, and in Mexico’s Palacio De Bellas Artes with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional.
Mr. Pohjonen has given recitals in New York (Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center), Washington, D.C. (Kennedy Center), San Francisco, Vancouver, Detroit, La Jolla and in London (Wigmore Hall), Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Warsaw, Hong Kong, Antwerp, and at the Lucerne Piano, Gilmore, Savonlinna, Bergen and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festivals. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Danish National, Malmö, Finnish Radio Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Scottish Chamber and Philharmonia Orchestras, Bournemouth Symphony, Zagrebacka Filharmonija and Lahti Symphony, with which he toured Japan. Pohjonen performs with many of the world’s foremost conductors including Marin Alsop, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Markus Stenz, Pinchas Zukerman, Lionel Bringuier, Kirill Karabits, and Marek Janowski among others. A frequent guest of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Pohjonen enjoys frequent collaboration with its renowned Music Director, Robert Spano.
Mr. Pohjonen's debut recording Plateaux featured the works of Scandinavian composer Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen; the Dacapo Records album comprises piano concerto Plateaux pour Piano et Orchestre with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and solo piano suite For Piano. His sensational opening recital at Music@Menlo’s 2010 Festival was recorded for the Music@Menlo Live 2010 series. The album, Maps and Legends, features Mozart's Sonata in A Major, K.331, Grieg's Ballade in the Form of Variations on a Norwegian Folk Song in G Minor, Op. 24, and Handel's Suite in B-flat Major. Recently, Pohjonen and his colleagues Petteri Iivonen and Samuli Peltonen, who together form the Sibelius Piano Trio, released a recording on Yarlung Records in honor of Finland’s centennial, described by Sterophile as “a gorgeous debut.” A new recording slated for release in 2018 features the music of Chopin, Schumann, and Grieg with cellist Inbal Segev.
Mr. Pohjonen's studies began in 1989 when he entered the Junior Academy of the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki. He studied with Meri Louhos and Hui-Ying Liu at the Sibelius Academy where he completed his Master's Degree in 2008. Mr. Pohjonen has also participated in several master classes of world-class pianists such as Sir András Schiff, Leon Fleisher, Jacob Lateiner and Barry Douglas.
In 2009, Juho Pohjonen was selected by Sir András Schiff as winner of the Klavier Festival Ruhr Scholarship. In addition, he 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 2000 International Young Artists Concerto Competition in Stockholm, the Prokofiev Prize at the 2003 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition and a prize at the 2002 Helsinki International Maj Lind Piano Competition.