Ere Lievonen  –  Biography

Ere Lievonen

Ere Lievonen is active as a performer on harpsichord, piano, fortepiano and organ, and as a composer and arranger. As a performer he is specialized in historical performance practice and historical keyboard instruments, as well as in contemporary music, especially contemporary music on harpsichord and other period instruments. He has performed as a soloist and as a chamber musician at numerous early and contemporary music festivals in several European countries and the USA, and has given the first performances of more than 250 new works. He also enjoys playing more unusual keyboard instruments, and in the past few years has added the harmonium to his repertoire of instruments.

Born 1972 in Oulu, Finland, he began his musical studies in his home town at an early age, and continued them at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He finished his studies in the Netherlands, where he lives since 1997, and where he has obtained degrees in organ and harpsichord playing, historical pianos, early music and contemporary music from the conservatories of Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague. His teachers have included Jacques van Oortmerssen, Bart van Oort, Jacques Ogg, Siebe Henstra, Annelie de Man and Miklós Spányi, and at masterclasses Jean Boyer, Hans-Ola Ericsson, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Andrea Marcon, Malcolm Bilson, Stanley Hoogland, Zsigmond Szathmáry and others.

Besides giving solo concerts, Ere Lievonen is an active chamber musician both in early and contemporary music. In 2011 he founded ’Salon Eusebius’, an ensemble that plays chamber music of the 18th and 19th centuries on historical instruments. He has also performed as a fortepiano duo with Tullia Melandri, and played harpsichord in several Baroque ensembles, such as ALGO and ’Beauty and the Beasts’.

He is a member in the contemporary music ensembles Hexnut and Scala, and performs as a keyboard duo with pianist / toy pianist Anne Veinberg. He is a founding member of Ensemble Ambrosius, a Finnish ensemble that plays new music on early music period instruments and has recorded two CDs with music by Frank Zappa. Lievonen also regularly plays keyboard instruments in various professional orchestras. Orchestras with which he has worked include the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Noord-Nederlands Orkest, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.

An area of special interest for Ere Lievonen is microtonal music. Since 2009, he is the organist of the unique microtonal ’Fokker’ organ in the ’Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ’ concert hall in Amsterdam. As a result of this, he has become one of the foremost performers of microtonal music in the world. As to normal organs, he plays regularly on the historical organ in the Geertekerk in Utrecht, and gives organ concerts in the Netherlands and elsewhere.

Ere Lievonen’s compositions have been performed at several festivals, such as the Young Nordic Music festivals and the Nordic Music Days, as well as at other concerts in several European countries, Australia, Thailand and the USA. His composition teachers have included Olli Kortekangas and, in Amsterdam, Rafael Reina, with whom he also studied the theory of Carnatic (South Indian classical) music. Influences of Carnatic music, as well as other non-Western musics, can indeed be heard in several of his compositions. Many of his works also employ microtonality. Besides composing, Ere Lievonen has written many arrangements and transcriptions for various performers and ensembles. He is a member of the Society of Finnish Composers.