Lilli Paasikivi (mezzo-soprano) , Finland
Finnish mezzo Lilli Paasikivi finds herself appearing at the world's most prestigious venues and music festivals, from Los Angeles to Salzburg. Such is the quality of her singing that she is now sought after by many of the world's foremost conductors and leading orchestras. Since making her debut with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker as Fricka in the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence's production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Wagnerian roles have become central to her work on stage. House debuts have included La Monnaie (as Brangäne), Hamburgerische Staatsoper (as Fricka), and this season will see her house and role debut as Kundry for Oper Frankfurt under Sebastian Weigle.
Central to Lilli Paasikivi's concert repertoire are the Mahler song-cycles and symphonies, and notable appearances have included both Das Lied von der Erde and Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen, Symphony No. 3 for her debut with the London Symphony Orchestra under Paavo Järvi, and Kindertotenlieder with the New World Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas. She has also recorded Symphony No. 3 with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Benjamin Zander for Telarc and Symphony No. 8 with the London Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev for LSO Live. Lilli Paasikivi made her debut with the New York Philharmonic in world-premiere performances of Rodion Shchedrin's mystical opera The Enchanted Wanderer, and at the BBC Proms with Osmo Vänskä and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in a rare performance of Sibelius's incidental music for The Tempest.
At home in Finland Paasikivi is a valued member of Finnish National Opera where her roles include Carmen, Marina in Boris Godunov, and Octavian. Future plans will include her debut in the role of Amneris. Other international operatic appearances have included her debut at Opéra National de Lyon as Richard Strauss' Der Komponist, and the world-premiere of Toshio Hosokawa's opera Hanjo based on the novel by Yukio Mishima at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence.
Further highlights this season include performances of Das Lied von der Erde with Ensemble intercontemporain under the baton of Susanna Mälkki and with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy, as well as Faust Szenen with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under Christopher Hogwood.
Lilli Paasikivi's discography includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under Riccardo Chailly, Sibelius' Kullervo Symphony under Vänskä for BIS, Sibelius' Maiden in the Tower under Paavo Järvi for Virgin/EMI, Alma Mahler's Complete Songs with Jorma Panula for Ondine, and Stravinsky's Mavra with the Göteborgs Symfoniker under Peter Eötvös.