MAARIKA JÄRVI, flute
MARTIN KUUSKMANN, bassoon
Flutist Maarika Järvi and bassoonist Martin Kuuskman are not just a duo, Martinika is flexible. It is often joined by guests such as percussion, piano or electronics. Conventional repertoire is presented in an unconventional way here, making old music sound like new, ranging from Baroque to contemporary. Emerged from Nordic roots, the Duo make also a point in featuring Estonian conductors.
The Duo Martinika was formed in 2001 by Maarika Järvi, flute, and Martin Kuuskmann, bassoon. The idea to fuse the timbre of flute and bassoon into a duo occured to the musicians in 2001. The same year their débute in Pärnu was met with positive feedback both from the audience and critics. This unconventional staff cannot find too many original compositions created for them in the history of music, however, the more intriguing is their original sound world and that inspires the musicians to look for everything new and exciting. They impose no stylistic limitation on their search of repertoire – it includes arrangements of classics as well as original compositions with hints of jazz.
Maarika Järvi and Martin Kuuskmann and known to the international audience first and foremost as soloists. Both musicians stand out with their strong professionalism, elegant style and warm relations with the audience.
Maarika Järvi was born in Estonia, where she began her musical studies at the Tallinn School of Music. She moved to the United States with her family in 1980 and studied at the Boston and New England Conservatories with Doriot A Dwyer and Lois Schaefer of the Boston Symphony. She completed a Master of Music Degree at the Carnegie Mellon University under Julius Baker.
She has held principal flute positions of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias and the Radio-Television Symphony Orchestra of Spain. Maarika Järvi has performed as a soloist with several orchestras in Europe, Canada, the USA and Japan. She is a regular member of the Absolute Ensemble of her brother Kristjan Järvi. As a champion of Estonian flute music, she has made two recordings of concertos, one group consisting of Tubin, Sink, Jürisalu and Tamberg, the other of works specially written for her by Peeter Vähi and Urmas Sisask.
Estonian born bassoon virtuoso, Martin Kuuskmann is a commanding force bent on redefining the bassoon as a top caliber solo instrument. His charismatic and entertaining performances throughout the world have earned him repute as one of the leading instrumentalists around. The New York Times praised Kuuskmann’s playing as “dynamic… amazing… gripping…” and in 2007 he received a Grammy Nomination for his recording of Chesky’s Bassoon Concerto.
Martin Kuuskmann’s seasons include solo appearances in festivals and concert halls worldwide including Gaia Festival (Switzerland), Nargen Festival (Estonia), Victoria Summer Music Festival (Canada), Glasperlenspiel Festival (Estonia), radio broadcast recitals in Estonia, Switzerland and Chicago. His current season’s recital programs vary from J S Bach to Schumann and Berio, concertos by Christopher Theofanidis, Gene Pritsker, J S Bach Double Concerto BWV 1060. In the summer of 2010 Kuuskmann will be premiering the Elegies for solo bassoon and chamber choir by Tõnu Kõrvits (written especially for him) with the Bellingham Chamber Chorale in Washington.
Kuuskmann has appeared as soloist in the New York Philharmonic series performing Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XII for bassoon solo, the Macao Orchestra, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Nordic Symphony Orchestra, Riga Sinfonietta, Absolute Ensemble, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the Norrlandsoperan in Sweden, among many others, and in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln and Kennedy Center. Kuuskmann conducts master classes and is the woodwind coach with the Baltic Youth Philharmonic at the Usedom Music Festival in Germany at the invitation of Kristjan Järvi.
Martin Kuuskmann’s recent solo album Nonstop with pianist Kristjan Randalu was released in April of 2010 on Estonian Record Productions, and contains works by J S Bach, Berio, Pärt, Schnyder, Jobim, among others.
Kuuskmann’s ambitions to explore contemporary music have led to the premieres of eight new bassoon concerti to date written exclusively for him by conductors such as Erkki-Sven Tüür, Eino Tamberg, Tõnu Kõrvits, Gregor Huebner, Christopher Theofanidis, Charles Coleman, Gene Pritsker and most recently David Chesky. Kuuskmann is currently working on new bassoon concerto with Swiss conductor Daniel Schnyder and a full concert length multi media project with a Brazilian conductor Miguel Kertsman.
His collaboration with the jazz legend, John Patitucci, led to the creation of Caprice No 1 for bassoon and strings by Patitucci which he has performed in several venues across the world. His work with conductors Daniel Schnyder, Randall Woolf, Gene Pritsker, Matt Herskowitz, Robert Martin has produced an array of works from acoustic to amplified and electronically enhanced compositions. Kuuskmann’s rendition of Daniel Schnyder’s Bassoon Sonata (also for clarinet, oboe and soprano saxophone) was recently published by the Edition Kunzelmann.
A highly sought-after chamber musician, Kuuskmann’s chamber music partners have included David Taylor, Kirill Gerstein, Robert Kulek, Kristjan Randalu, Gregor Huebner, Jan Bjoranger, Meta4 and Sirius String Quartets, Goran Söllscher, Maarika Järvi, Patrick Gallois, Paquito D’Rivera, among many other distinguished artists. Kuuskmann has been a guest at numerous international music festivals including Bremen, Hamburg, Kuhmo, Oulunsalo, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Umeå, Kristiansand, Banff and Hong Kong World Music Days.
A founding member of the Grammy nominated Absolute Ensemble, Martin Kuuskmann has been a featured soloist in Michael Daugherty’s virtuosic and madcap concerto, Dead Elvis, a work Kuuskmann has performed nearly 50 times around the world receiving wide critical acclaim. As a soloist, Kuuskmann has recorded on Chesky Records, CCn’C and ERP recording labels. His world music album on Erdenklang Records, The Path of Mantra, combines solo bassoon with the music and chanting of the Tibetan monks. Kuuskmann’s solo performances have been broadcast on BBC, CBC, NPR (wnyc, wfmt, etc), Hong Kong Radio as well as on numerous European radio stations.
Kuuskmann has appeared as a solo principal bassoonist with the Seoul Philharmonic at the invitation of Myung-Whun Chung. He was the solo principal bassoonist of the Nordic Symphony Orchestra from 1998−2001. While living and freelancing in New York City he appeared regularly as principal bassoon with the Orchestra of the St Luke’s, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Miss Saigon on Broadway, to name just a few. After moving to the Seattle area he continues to record on numerous motion picture soundtracks.
Born in Tallinn, Martin Kuuskmann graduated from Tallinn Music High School and received degrees at Manhattan School of Music and Yale University School of Music. His mentors include Stephen Maxym, Frank Morelli, Rufus Olivier, Vernon Read, and Ilmar Aasmets. As a highly in demand teacher, Kuuskmann has and continues to give lectures and master classes in major conservatories and universities in North-America and Europe. Kuuskmann is a member of a New York based new music ensemble Sequitur, and a former member of the New York Lyric Chamber Music Society, where he has premiered numerous solo chamber works and conducted educational projects. Kuuskmann is a faculty at the Manhattan School of Music Contemporary Performance Program. While not on his travels he enjoys teaching his private studio of students from his home in Washington state. He and his wife, Tiiu, are proud parents of three wonderful children.
We can certainly say that Martinika is a duo that opens a totally new facet of the instruments both in the musical and also in the acoustic sense. When the music and/or circumstances demand they both play with remote controlled microphones.
I have to concede that Maarika Järvi is an excellent flautist, with a pleasing tonal range, full command of a wide range of colouristic devices, and a general liveliness which does the music no harm at all. (Stephen Johnson, BBC Music Magazine, 2001, UK)
She, make no mistake, is a virtuoso musician of the first order, a technically adroit player with a gorgeous tone and sure sense of phrase, line, rhythm and color. (Lawrence B Johnson, The Detroit News, 27.04.02, USA)
Vaimustama võis panna Maarika Järvi viimistletud, solistipartii pisimatessegi nüanssidesse süvenenud esitus. (Igor Garšnek, Sirp, 18.08.00, Estonia)