From this page you can find Nordic Horn Seminars artist, performers and masterclass teachers. Detailed program will be updated later.
Maria Rubio Navarro
Is a Spanish horn player who has played in the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid and in 2002 she was appointed principal horn at the Orquesta de València.
She has won several competition awards in Spain and internationally, such as Mendelssohn Hochschulwettbewerb in Berlin, and ‘Città di Porcia’.
Maria plays often as a soloist and gives masterclasses in Spain and abroad, such as in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, at Youth Orchestra of Spain (JONDE) and at the Youth orchestra of Valencia (JORVAL) among others. She is also a member of ‘Quintet Cuesta’ and ‘Dreisam Ensemble’.
With regard to her orchestral career, she has been invited as a solo horn player on several programmes with Berliner Philharmoniker and has often played in many orchestras in Spain like Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao, Orquestra de Cadaqués.
Johannes Hinterholzer completed his studies at the university of Music „Mozarteum“ in
Salzburg with Professor Josef Mayr and Professor Radovan Vlatkovic. Already as a student he carried several prizes at music-competitions and in 1998 the First Prize at the „Gradus ad parnassum“ Austria, what led to numerous invitations as a soloist and chamber musician. From 1997 – 2009 he was Principal Horn Player of the Mozarteumorchestra Salzburg.
Since 2000 he followed invitations for concerts as a guest on the principal horn position of
orchestras, such as Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Tonhalle Orchester
Zürich and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Since 2012 Johannes Hinterholzer has been principal hornplayer of the Camerata Salzburg.
One of Johannes Hinterholzers special subjects is playing on ancient instruments:
baroquehorn and handhorn. Apart from his work with orchestra Johannes Hinterholzer performes regurlarly as a chamber musician
Frøydis Ree Wekre
Frøydis Ree Wekre is an internationally celebrated horn player and teacher from Norway, formerly co-principal in the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been a Professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music and is currently teaching and giving master classes and lectures worldwide.
Markus Maskuniitty has been the section leader of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra’s horn section from 2007. Before that he held the position of solo horn player with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Since 2000, he has also held a horn professorship at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media.
Markus Maskuniitty studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and then in Berlin. He has won awards in numerous international competitions, including the ARD competition in Munich, which is Germany’s largest competition for classical musicians. Maskuniitty regularly appears as a soloist in different chamber music contexts.
Ella Autti is doing her PhD research in the field of leadership psychology at the University of Lapland, Finland. She aims to pursue an understanding of the dialogues and systems that cause shame or humiliate people in work settings. Furthermore, she wishes to help organisations build mutually empathic and dignifying work cultures.
Lene Skomedal lives in Gothenburg and works mainly as a freelancing horn player, but also as a yoga instructor. She combines her two passions, music and yoga – to create yoga workshops and giving personal yoga sessions to make musicians get out their full potential. Lene has graduated from the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg, and has been working as a freelance horn player since 2005. Lenes yoga teacher traning started with Global Yoga, but has now a 200h licence with extra focus on Anatomy, Inversions, PT-yoga, Mental Training and Kids Yoga.
When Lene teachs yoga, it is mostly yoga for musicians, but she also does a lot of workshops, yoga festivals and gatherings. She is amazed how well the yoga and music benefits each other, and she wants everyone to experience that and to be able to just BREATHE MUSIC.
Anni Jääskeläinen works as freelance-trumpetist and mental performance coach and, in addition, teaches trumpet in Helsinki. She has graduated from the Sibelius Academy in 2009 and has done additional studies in sports training, physical education medicine and psychological training.
Job as a musician, teaching and actively doing competitive sports (Olympics weightlifting) establish Anni an exceptionally wide basis of experience of which she takes advantage in training both artists and athletes.
Erja Joukamo-Ampuja graduated from Sibelius-Academy 1987 making her Master of Music-degree with horn and 2010 the Licentiate of Music –degree with a research about musician`s creativity and improvisation. Joukamo-Ampuja has been a member of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra during years 1984-2001, now being a Senior Lecturer of Horn in Sibelius Academy.
Joukamo-Ampuja is a well-known lecturer and a teacher, giving master classes, lectures and workshops in Scandinavia, Europe, USA and Australia. In other than teaching horn, Erja Joukamo-Ampuja has specialized also teaching practicing techniques. She is an active researcher and teacher in Music Medicine field in Finland. She is also giving creative improvisation- workshops to improve classical musician`s interpretation skills.
Flemming Aksnes (Denmark)
Flemming Aksnes grew up in Kristiansand, Norway. He started playing the horn at age nine, in the local schoolband. Later he started studies in Stavanger with Paul Farr before he went on to the Norwegian Academy of music with Frøydis Ree Wekre and Jan Olav Martinsen.
After his studies, he went by a few orchestras in the big Copenhagen/Malmö region, before ending up as principal horn in Aarhus Symphony Orchestra in 2007. At several occasions Flemming has been soloist with the orchestra, in 2020 he also recorded Kuhlaus Concertino for 2 horns (2nd horn) together with Lisa Cooper, the other principal horn in the orchestra. He is currently the hornteacher at The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, where he tries his best to pass on the heritage of Frøydis teachings, mixed with all the modern tools and techniques available to young students.
Jakob Keiding (Denmark)
Jakob Keiding was born 1965. He studied with Ingbert Michelsen, Bjørn Fosdal in Copenhagen and Prof Roland Berger in Vienna.
1990-93 He played in Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vienna (ORF) and Since 1993 as principal horn in Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra.
He is a member of the Danish Windoctet and the Danish horntrio. He has made Several CD recordings including a highly praised recording of Ligeti and Brahms trio’s. Newest recording soon to be released; Strauss Concerto no 1. In 1987 Jakob Keiding recieved The Jacob Gade’s Award. 1994 he was prize-winner at The Nordic French horn Competition in Finland and in 2008 he was awarded The Sydbank Music-Prize.
He was a teacher at The Royal Academy of Music, Århus (Denmark)2003-2009. Since 2013 he is teaching at The Royal Academy of Music Copenhagen. He Frequently appears at horn workshops as performer and teacher.
The 4th Line Horn Quartet is a quartet formed by Finland’s foremost female horn players from Finland’s best orchestras: Tanja Nisonen and Mervi Huttunen are musicians of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Pauliina Koskela plays at the Tampere Philharmonic and Maria Luhtanen works as a freelancer. The quartet works professionally and to a high standard, focusing especially on rarely, if ever, performed music.
In June 2022, 4th Line released an album ”Four impulses” (Alba Records ABCD 516) containing Scandinavian horn quartet works . The album has received excellent reviews in various media. Next, 4th Line will release an album containing quartet works by female composers in collaboration with Alba Records.
The Nordic Horn Connection
The Nordic Horn Connection is a group of professional horn players who studied together in the horn class of Prof. Markus Maskuniitty at Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover, Germany. All the members are currently working across the nordic countries. The ensemble was founded to continue the strong tradition of ensemble playing they started while studying in Germany.
Tanja Nisonen is a member of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, a horn teacher at the Turku Academy of Music. She is also studying for a doctorate in music at the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts, focusing on women who composed for the horn. Nisonen has performed as a soloist several times, e.g. With the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and with the city orchestras of Lappeenranta and Joensuu. During the coming seasons, there will also be solo performances with the city orchestras of Jyväskylä and Pori.
As a chamber musician, Nisonen performs annually at the Naantali Music Festival, and has performed not only at other domestic festivals but also in Belgium, Great Britain, Germany and Sweden. Nisonen has worked as an principal horn in Finnish and Swedish radio orchestras, but also in the Las Palmas Symphony Orchestra. Nisonen has been the chair of the Finnish Horn Club since 2018.
Jukka Harju has been the principal horn of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra for 15 years. As a soloist, he has performed essential horn concertos as well as works composed for him (Lintinen, Räihälä, Sallinen). ”Teaching especially at the Sibelius Academy (University of Arts Helsinki) has brought new meaning and depth to my profession.” Jukka is also a popular master class teacher and has participated in several competition juries. He also enjoys composing, arranging and making videos. Jukka hosted the previous Nordic horn seminar held in Finland in 2010.
Aleksi Mäkimattila (b.1992) is a Finnish horn player and the principal horn of Tampere Philharmonic. Mäkimattila started playing the French horn at the age of 13 under the direction of Petri Vainiotalo, and in 2011 continued to the Sibelius Academy for a few years as a student of Kalervo Kulmala. In 2014-2015 he studied at the Royal Academy of Music London under Michael Thompson, Martin Owen, Richard Watkins and Roger Montgomery.
At the age of 22, Mäkimattila was hired as the principal horn of Lappeenranta City Orchestra. In 2016, he was awarded the third prize in the fourth Lieksa International Horn Competition. Aleksi was hired as the principal horn of Tampere Philharmonic in 2017 when he was only 24 years old. He has performed in several Finnish orchestras and also toured abroad. As a soloist, Aleksi has performed many times in front of his home orchestra and with other orchestras.
Seppo Istukaissaari started writing songs on the organ harmonium at the age of 6 and playing the horn at the age of 7 in Seinäjoki. The journey continued from the music school with the help of the Suomen Käyrätorviklubi to Helsinki to the lessons of Professor Holger Fransman, and further to the Helsinki Conservatory to learn from Timo Ronkainen. From 1989 onward, he has been principal horn of Seinäjoki City Orchestra . ”Making songs has gone along with playing throughout my life, the last few years inspired by Eino Leino’s poems.”
Ville Hiilivirta (b. 1984) is a Finnish horn player. He has played the French horn since the age of nine. He can also play a little piano, but not as well as he would hope. He works in the Helsinki City Orchestra as principal horn. Hiilivirta’s favorite composers are Brahms, Strauss, Mahler, Debussy, Ravel, Puccini, Ligeti and Messiaen. At home, however, he mostly listens to American jazz from the 1950s and 60s.
Hiilivirta lives in Puistola, Helsinki. He has a wife (pianist) and a dog (American Cocker Spaniel) and a son from a previous union. The boy plays trumpet. Hiilivirta likes cooking (especially grilling), tinkering around the house and old video games. He would like to read more quality literature, but mostly sticks to detective stories. Hiilivirta jogs regularly (approx. once a year). With fellow musicans he plays ice hockey , football and tennis; all of these rather poorly. His latest interest is frisbee golf.
Iida Ranta-Nilkku graduated as a music pedagogue from Turku University of Applied Sciences in the spring of 2023. During the 2022-2023 season, he worked at Oulu Sinfonia as the assistant principal horn and is studying this currently at the Sibelius Academy.
Iida began her studies as a student of Hanna Patana at the Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory. Last years she has studied under Tanja Nisonen and Erja Joukamo-Ampuja and the sesason 2021-2022 in Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar University in Germany with Prof. Jörg Brückner, Marc Gruber and Maria Teiwes. Iida has worked in various orchestras in Finland and elsewhere in Europe such as Central Ostrobothnia Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Lahti and the Berlin Philharmonic’s Karajan Academy Orchestra. As a chamber musician, she has performed with, among others, violinist Mats Zetterqvist and Kokkola Quartet and as a soloist in the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young Soloists concert in spring 2021.
Jonathan Nikkinen (b. 1991) studied French horn at the Hyvinkää Music College and the Sibelius Academy under Tero Toivonen, Erja Joukamo-Ampuja and Jukka Harju. He spent the 2016-2017 season as an exchange student at ESMUC University of Barcelona under professor Jose Vicente Castello.
In 2018, Nikkinen started as the principal horn of the Lappeenranta city orchestra, and in autumn 2019 he started as the principal horn of the Joensuu city orchestra. He worked as the assistant principal horn of the Jyväskylä Sinfonia from the end of 2021 to the spring of 2023. He has assisted in almost every orchestra in Finland, including the Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki City Orchestra, the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tampere Philharmonic. In addition to work, he actively performs as a chamber musician breaking genre boundaries, teaches, and has performed as a soloist in several professional orchestras.
Jussi Järvenpää (born 1983) graduated from Sibelius Academy on prof. Timo Ronkainen’s horn class.
He’s worked as principal hornist in Jyväskylä Sinfonia and Joensuu City Orchestra as well as horn player in Finland’s National Opera Orchestra. An integrated part of Järvenpää’s musicianship is playing on period instruments both in baroque orchestras and in modern ensembles. Apart from horn playing his areas of interests include traditional architectural heritage, family life and sheep farming in summers.
Ilkka Puputti has worked as the principal horn of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra since autumn 2022. During the years 2011-2022 he held the same position in the Lapland Chamber Orchestra in Rovaniemi. Puputti studied French horn at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki under Timo Ronkainen, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences with Esa Tapani and the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts under the direction of philharmonic Thomas Jöbstl. He is a hyperactive freelance musician and has worked as a soloist in e.g. with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra and the Lapland Military Band. While living in Rovaniemi, he also taught at the Lapland Music Institute. Puputti is an enthusiastic orderer and performer of new compositions containing horn and an active organization and board member across the music field.
Henriikka Teerikangas (b. 1989) is co-principal horn of Kymi Sinfonietta. Teerikangas graduated from the Sibelius Academy of the University of Arts Helsinki in 2015. Her teachers were Timo Ronkainen and Tommi Hyytinen. During her studies Teerikangas also spent a year in Universität Mozarteum Salzburg in prof. Radovan Vlatković’s horn class. Teerikangas is currently a doctoral student in the DocMus program of the Sibelius Academy and her research focuses on natural horn playing in early 19th century Paris. In addition to horn playing Teerikangas has graduated from the wind band conducting class of Sibelius Academy.
Ilona Keltti graduated from Tampere conservatory in 2014. After that she started her studeis of Environmental Engineering in Aalto University and finished her studies (MSc) recently. She is part-timely a freelancer horn player and continues taking lessons. Jaakko Välimäki is her teacher since 2019. Keltti is also the conductor of Retuperä WBK student orchestra. ”Working with enthusiastic musicians feels inspiring and gives me a lot of energy.”
Oliver Davis is a professional musician from the United Kingdom. He studied his Bachelor’s degree at the Royal Academy of Music in London under the tuition of Michael Thompson and Katy Woolley, graduating with a 1st Class Honours in 2018. The next year he became a chamber music Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and Yeoman of the Musician’s Company with his brass ten-piece ensemble, Ibex Brass. During the five years studying and working freelance in London, Oliver gained much orchestral and chamber experience, playing alongside ensembles such as London Sinfonietta and the Nash Ensemble.
In 2020, Oliver moved to Sweden to study a Master’s degree in orchestral performance under the tuition of Lisa Ford at the Högskolan för Scen och Musik in Gothenburg. In Sweden, Oliver performed regularly as a substitute in various professional orchestras and ensembles, including Göteborgs Symfoniker, Helsingborg Symfoniorkester, and Göteborgs Operan. He is also the current horn player of the Göteborg brasskvintett. From January 2023, Oliver began working as Solo Horn of the Lapin kamariorkesteri.
Lauri Vasala was born in Oulu, Finland, where he started stydying horn at the age of twelve in the Oulu Conservatory With Jukka Yletyinen. At sixteen he was accepted to the youth department of Sibelius-Academy in Helsinki, and started studying with his long time teacher, Timo Ronkainen, who he continued to study with when he entered Sibelius-Academy. His last year of bachelor he studied with Radovan Vlatkovic in Mozarteum Salzburg as an exchange student.
Lauri has performed as a soloist in the Finnish Radio Symphony young soloists concert as a part of a horn quartet. He has assisted most major symphony orchestras in Finland and worked as a substitute principal horn in the Lappeenranta City orchestra. He has also performed as a soloist of Oulu Symphony Orchestra playing Strauss 2nd horn concerto. In 2017 he started working in Oulu Symphony Orchestra as second horn, and since 2018 as principal horn.
In 2022 he received second prize in the 5. International Holger Fransman Horn competition in Lieksa. Lauri also took part in the EUYO summer tour in 2015.
Accordionist Kaisa Ristiluoma is a freelance musician and composer from Lapland. Kaisa is a versatile musician who has worked in e.g. Dance theater in Rimpparemmi and theaters in Rovaniemi and Oulu. Other projects in recent years have included the Sointi Jazz Orchestra, Lapland military band, Sirkus Taika-Aika and Oulu All Star Big band. In addition to the work of a musician, her job includes composing, arranging, small acting roles and, to an increasing extent, also producing music.
Violinist Reeta Maalismaa’s path took her from Mi-Kyung Lee’s class at the Sibelius Academy directly to the first violin section of the Radio Symphony Orchestra, where she has played for several years. She also performs from time to time in the Virtuosi di Kuhmo chamber ensemble and in other various chamber ensembles. In April 2023, Maalismaa and four other musicians released an album containing music by Rebecca Clarke and Louise Farrenc.
The latest page in Maalismaa’s life is also her studies at the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Political Science, because she wants to expand her world beyond music as well. Maalismaa hopes to be able to alternate between these two different worlds, art and science.
Abel Puustinen, the 1st concertmaster of the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, who recently moved to Rovaniemi, and thus violinist, does not hesitate to throw himself into the depths of the internet to find treasures of classical music in the bit jungle. In addition to this hobby, Puustinen is an active chamber and orchestra musician.
In recent years he has been playing also with the Helsinki City Orchestra, the Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. Puustinen has also performed as a soloist in prominent orchestras in Finland, most recently Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Jyväskylä Sinfonia and Kuopio City Orchestra.
A Giovanni Battista Guadagnini violin kindly lent by the Finnish Cultural Foundation also brings great joy and pride to Puustisinen’s artistic work. The Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Wihuri Foundation have supported his artistic journey towards deeper wisdom and to understand the real differences of geographical chords.
Iida Lymi is 2nd Concertmaster of Lapland Chamber Orchestra. She has studied at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London as a Stanbridge Drake-Brockman scholar under Jan Repko and Daniel Rowland, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in music in 2019 with the highest marks possible. Her previous teachers have included Prof. Michael Frischenschlager at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and Minna Pensola at the Sibelius Academy, among others. Iida has since returned to Finland and is currently studying for a master’s degree at the Sibelius Academy under Tero Latvala.
Iida has performed actively at various festivals around Europe, both as a soloist and as an orchestral and chamber musician. She has served as a concertmaster for various orchestras at the RCM and Sibelius Academy, and has worked in several professional orchestras in both Finland and England. In the autumn of 2020, Iida won the audition for the position of 2nd concertmaster in the Lapland Chamber Orchestra. In addition, Iida has performed extensively with her string quartet across the UK, and has made her debut, for example, at London’s prestigious Wigmore Hall.
Iida has participated in master classes by Zakhar Bron, Latica Honda-Rosenberg and Sergey Malov, among others. Important guides for her in the field of chamber music have included Marko Ylönen, Paavo Pohjola and Melissa Phelps.
Melanie Wadd is principal Viola in Lapland Chamber Orchestra. She started playing the violin at the age of nine and switched to the viola at the age of 19. She studied at the University of Liverpool and graduated with honours in 1984. In addition, she has studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Ian Jewl, graduating with a diploma degree in orchestral music.
Born in England, Melanie Wadd came to Rovaniemi in 1988. Prior to that, she worked as sub-principal viola in the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist and chamber musician in orchestras, she has performed in Finland, the Nordic countries and widely in Europe.
Riina Salminen is currently working as a freelancer in the field of music. In her previous job at the Oulu Sinfonia, she worked in all possible cellist roles between 2003 and 2021, both as a tutti and as a solo cellist.
Salminen is also known as an active chamber musician and baroque cellist. She has performed numerous times at Uuden Musiikin Lokakuu festival and also actively visited the ranks of the Central Ostrobothnia Chamber Orchestra, giving concerts and playing in a few of the chamber orchestra’s recordings.
Salminen’s music studies at the art universities of Bremen and Essen in Germany ended in the early 2000s with excellent grades. Salminen deepened his interest in the German language and literature by studying Germanic philology at the University of Oulu, from which he graduated in 2018 with a master’s degree in philosophy and a German subject teacher. Salminen is currently a project manager and plans several renewable energy projects in northern Finland. From her studies in Germanic philology main memory is the thoughts of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, which she likes to quote when looking at her own special career path ”Everything flows, nothing is permanent”.
Matilda Kärkkäinen (b. 1980) is a pianist born in Helsinki. She started piano lessons at the age of 4. At the age of six, she asked for a violin for Christmas, and it became little Matilda’s main instrument during elementary school. In 1993, however, she was accepted as a pianist in the Sibelius Academy’s youth education selection exams. Kärkkäinen graduated with a master’s degree in music in 2007 and doctor’s degree in 2017. In addition to Viitasalo, her teachers were Marita Viitasalo, Erik T. Tawaststjerna, who supervised the master’s studies, and Heinz Medjimorec in Vienna.
Kärkkäinen now works as a chamber pianist lecturer in her old school. Behind the long professional title is Kärkkäinen’s dream job: she gets to play with young talents studying orchestral instruments and guide them to the profession of an artist. In her spare time, Kärkkäinen enjoys good food, scratching her American Cocker Spaniel Sulo, reading and crossword puzzles. The violin is still there, but it has managed to get forgotten in its case. Matilda is more interested in her husband’s instrument than the violin, the French horn, whose elementary repertoire Kärkkäinen practices unfortunately irregularly.
Kari Tikkalawas born in Tornio in 1963. Graduated from the Sibelius Academy. Important teachers for him are were Gunnar Hallhagen, Halina Czerny-Stefanska, Josef Palenicek, Klaus Schilde, Dmitri Baskirov, José Ribera and Liisa Pohjola. In addition to his homeland, Kari has performed in all the Nordic countries, Switzerland, France, Russia, in Germany and Cuba.
In 1996, Kari’s first solo album Images was released. Kari also appears in the Sibelius On the album of Finnish music published by the Academy together with Liisa Pohjola and percussion with instrumentalist Jouni Kesti on the album Kollaboratorio, which has been quoted e.g. Cadence and In Improjazz Paris magazine and Dagens Nyheter. In 2001 Jase music was published published two new CDs with French horn player Esa Tapani and trumpeter Pasi Pirinen. In 2003, a record was released with French horn artist Timo Ronkainen.
Kari has won 1st prize in the national Ilmari Hannikainen piano competition in 1981 and Maj Lind competition in 1988. Kari has also successfully participated in the international Marguerite Long –
for the competition in Paris 1989. In autumn 1997, Kari was member of the jury of the 27th Maj Lind piano competition. Kari is currently teaching piano and harpsichord at the Juvenalia music college in Espoo. At the Sibelius Academy, he guides the students of the Sibelius Academy in the role of a chamber pianist. As a hobby, Kari also sings in various vocal ensembles.
Ruusu Tervaskanto is a church musician born in Rovaniemi. See started playing the piano at Lapland’s music shool, Sodankylä branch office. She graduated from the Sibelius Academy under her organ teacher prof. Peter Peitsalo. As the cantor of the Rovaniemi parish, Ruusu has versatile musicianship both in choir conducting and playing the ukulele. In her spare time, she takes care of her green plants at home and rows in the Rovaniemi church boat rowing team in the summer.