A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
The Grand Piano label continues to uncover gems of the piano repertoire. — Fanfare

Jouni Somero

Jouni Somero is one of the most active performers among present Finnish musicians. He has given over 3,100 concerts in many countries worldwide.

He began studying organ when he was eight years old but switched to the piano at the age of 12. He studied piano in Switzerland and at the Music Academy in Cologne under Professor Herbert Drechsel, and, under the legendary Hungarian pianist Georges Cziffra, he deepened his knowledge of the interpretation of Liszt’s music. Michael Ponti, the American virtuoso, has also acted as Somero’s musical advisor.

During 1981–89 Somero lived in Germany, working as, among other things, an assistant at the Music Academy of Düsseldorf. Since 1990 Somero has pursued a career solely as a concert pianist. He was awarded a diploma at the International Music competition in Rio de Janeiro.

Jouni Somero’s recording career began in 1989 (with Liszt’s 12 Transcendental Études), after which he has made over 100 recordings for different labels, including Naxos, BMG, MILS, Jubal, and FC-Records. These include the five-volume Anthology of Finnish Piano Music, Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II and Die Kunst der Fuge, Liszt’s Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses, Liszt’s arrangements of Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 1 and 5, Bach arrangements by Busoni, Brahms and Kempff, Henselt’s Concert Études Op. 2, Schubert’s Wanderer-Fantasie, and the world première recordings of several piano works by Blumenfeld, Godard, Seeling and Reinhold. Somero has also recorded the complete piano works by Bortkiewicz (nine volumes), Tchaikovsky (six volumes), Kuula, and the complete piano and chamber music of Erkki Salmenhaara.

His wide repertoire includes all the solo piano works of Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and Bortkiewicz, as well as seldomly heard music by, among others, Alkan, Godowsky, Rubinstein, Reinhold, Godard, Cui and Gottschalk. He has also made several piano arrangements of orchestral, operatic and pop music, and his YouTube channel has gained millions of views.

For more information, visit www.jounisomero.com.