Timo-Veikko Valve, Cello
Timo-Veikko “Tipi” Valve is one of the most versatile musicians of his generation performing as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader on both modern and period instruments. Valve studied at the Sibelius Academy in his home town of Helsinki and at the Edsberg Music Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, focusing in solo performance and chamber music in both institutions.
Tipi has performed as a soloist with all major orchestras in Finland and as a chamber musician throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the US. He works closely with a number of Finnish composers and has commissioned new works for the instrument. Most recently Valve has premiered concertos by Aulis Sallinen and Olli Virtaperko as well as two new cello concertos written for him by Eero Hämeenniemi and Olli Koskelin. ACO’s 2015 season includes the world premiere of an arrangement of Olli Mustonen’s Cello Sonata for cello and chamber orchestra, commissioned by Valve and the ACO.
In 2006 Valve was appointed Principal Cello of the Australian Chamber Orchestra with whom he frequently appears as soloist. He also curates the ACO’s chamber music series in Sydney. Tipi is a founding member of Jousia Ensemble and Jousia Quartet. Valve’s instrument is attributed to both Giuseppe Guarneri (filius Andreæ) and Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri (del Gesù) from 1729, generously on loan from Mr Peter William Weiss AO.
Q&A: Selby & Friends sits down for a chat with Tipi...
Where do you do most of your performing?
As the principal cello of the ACO I travel all over the world playing around 25 concerts overseas and around 100 in Australia every year. Then I take all the available time off that I can get and go back home to Finland to play even more concerts! Crazy, right?
What do you like about Selby & Friends?
I love the fact that there is chamber music everywhere in Australia, subscription series are available in most major cities around the place all year round. Back home chamber music is more concentrated to the summer festivals (a generous overload of it in a very short time period!!) Through these series Australia has developed a matured sense for the art of chamber music!
What do organisations like Selby & Friends mean for Australian musicians?
For me it means new contacts, new friends, new experiences.
How long have you known Kathy Selby? Have you played with her before?
We have only performed together once before, but in 2013 we are working quite extensively together. I am very much looking forward to it!
How old were you when you first started playing your instrument? Do you remember why you chose it?
Six years old, so in Finland that means a year before one starts school. Our mum had the whole family-piano-trio idea going; my sister played the violin and my brother the piano. Luckily for us all, to avoid the cliché, they both decided to pursue "real" professions.
What is your favorite aspect of being a performer in Australia?
The diversity of audiences I guess, and the diversity of the country of course as well. I love to travel and Australia is a great place to travel in.
"His tone was so stunningly beautiful that a single note emitting from his instrument communicated more than others can express in a lifetime." Chicago Classical MusicDo you think there is enough opportunity for chamber musicians in Australia?
Let's say that I would not complain about it.
Why chamber music? What draws you to it?
We all have our own passions, for me it is the need to be multifaceted, diverse and open to everything. Chamber music is a huge part of every musician's life, it's the intimacy I guess that draws us to it.
Are there any favorites, challenges or unknowns in the tour repertoire for your tour next year?
There are a few personal favorites mixed with some new acquaintances. I'm really hesitant to admit not having played the Ravel trio before... I guess there has to be a first time for everything.
"The movement featured tuned crystal glasses, each filled with water and bowed to ethereal effect while a cello wept in solitude, suspended from the stars in a sky blinded by battle smoke and wasted lives. It cried like an operatic scene change, revealing something in the night which can only be played but never sung, lest the voice lose itself in its own spell." ECM Records
"Timo-Veikko Valve was the soloist in C.P.E. Bach’s A Minor Cello Concerto. Crisp articulation, especially in the fastest passages, made the whole work seem to dance on tiptoe. Valve played with energy and ingenious precision." Canberra Times
"His technical command of a magnificent Guarneri instrument allowed a wider range of dynamics, enabling him to unlock more imaginative possibilities from the notes on the page...his awareness of sonority within the ambient space allowing vividly shaped phrases to hang in the air...This was deeply expressive playing."
"His tone was so stunningly beautiful that a single note emitting from his instrument communicated more than others can express in a lifetime." Chicago Classical Music
"His technical command of a magnificent Guarneri instrument allowed a wider range of dynamics, enabling him to unlock more imaginative possibilities from the notes on the page...his awareness of sonority within the ambient space allowing vividly shaped phrases to hang in the air...This was deeply expressive playing." Limelight Magazine
"Cellist Timo-Veikko Valve gave an impressive performance of CPE Bach's dramatic A minor Cello Concerto, particularly in the accuracy of his fast passages and the tone of his beautiful andante."