Lilli Paasikivi
Mezzo-soprano

“Lilli Paasikivi practically stole the show. She was well-nigh perfect.” (The New York Sun)

Contacts

Ian Stones +44 (0)20 3725 9104
Catherine Znak +44 (0)20 3725 9105

Biography

Lilli Paasikivi is one of the world’s leading interpreters of the Mahler song-cycles and symphonies. She has performed Das Lied von der Erde and Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Esa-Pekka Salonen), Symphony No.2 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (Sakari Oramo), Symphony No.3 with the London Symphony Orchestra (Paavo Järvi), Symphony No.8 with the Berliner Philharmoniker (Sir Simon Rattle), Kindertotenlieder with the New World Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas), and Das Lied von der Erde with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Sir Mark Elder).  

Lilli Paasikivi is one of the world’s leading interpreters of the Mahler song-cycles and symphonies. She has performed Das Lied von der Erde and Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Esa-Pekka Salonen), Symphony No.2 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (Sakari Oramo), Symphony No.3 with the London Symphony Orchestra (Paavo Järvi), Symphony No.8 with the Berliner Philharmoniker (Sir Simon Rattle), Kindertotenlieder with the New World Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas), and Das Lied von der Erde with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Sir Mark Elder).  

Paasikivi made her debut with the New York Philharmonic in the world premiere of Rodion Shchedrin's The Enchanted Wanderer under Lorin Maazel and returned for Mahler’s Symphony No.2 and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem both conducted by Alan Gilbert. This season opens with performances of Mahler’s Symphony No.2 with the Trondheim Symfoniorkester conducted by Han-Na Chang. Other highlights include Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with Oregon Symphony under Charles Kalmer and Mahler’s Symphony No.3 with Tokyo National Symphony Orchestra under Kazushi Ono.

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Contacts

Ian Stones +44 (0)20 3725 9104
Catherine Znak +44 (0)20 3725 9105

Reviews

“… the mezzo soloist in the central scena for Kullervo and his sister/lover is the thrilling Lilli Paasikivi” (The Guardian, Feb 2017) 

“In the final, monumental song, Der Abschied (the farewell), her performance rose gradually in intensity, weaving in and out of the complex yet transparent orchestration, until the extraordinary peroration, Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen!; that passage which famously Kathleen Ferrier couldn’t sing without breaking down in tears. Well, Paasikivi didn’t break down, but there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience at the end of the concert. It was unspeakably moving, one of the finest performances of this wonderful piece that I have ever heard.” (Australian Stage, July 2016)

“Lilli Paasikivi as the Finnish Farmer’s wife threatened, with crunching consonants - "Rämäksi reen rekutan!" – to chop up Kullervo’s sleigh; but then flexed the giant wind sail that is her warm mezzo-soprano voice in the farewell song.” (Jan Brachmann, Berliner Zeitung, March 2014)

“Lilli Paasikivi was the breathtaking mezzo, beautiful in tone and infinitely noble of utterance.” (Tim Ashley, The Guardian, January 2013)

“… the mezzo soloist in the central scena for Kullervo and his sister/lover is the thrilling Lilli Paasikivi” (The Guardian, Feb 2017) 

“In the final, monumental song, Der Abschied (the farewell), her performance rose gradually in intensity, weaving in and out of the complex yet transparent orchestration, until the extraordinary peroration, Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen!; that passage which famously Kathleen Ferrier couldn’t sing without breaking down in tears. Well, Paasikivi didn’t break down, but there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience at the end of the concert. It was unspeakably moving, one of the finest performances of this wonderful piece that I have ever heard.” (Australian Stage, July 2016)

“Lilli Paasikivi as the Finnish Farmer’s wife threatened, with crunching consonants - "Rämäksi reen rekutan!" – to chop up Kullervo’s sleigh; but then flexed the giant wind sail that is her warm mezzo-soprano voice in the farewell song.” (Jan Brachmann, Berliner Zeitung, March 2014)

“Lilli Paasikivi was the breathtaking mezzo, beautiful in tone and infinitely noble of utterance.” (Tim Ashley, The Guardian, January 2013)

“On retrouve le mezzo Lilli Paasikivi, dont la ligne vocale somptueusement menée bénéficie d'une riche expressivité.” (Anaclase.com, February 2010)

“The night, however, belonged to Paasikivi, who realised every subtlety of her part with transfixing empathy and expression.” (The Australian, April 2008)

“In Das Rheingold last year, the mezzo-soprano singing Fricka practically stole the show. She was Lilli Paasikivi, a Finn. She was back this year, again putting on a clinic - a clinic of singing. She was clean, smart, feeling, and well-nigh perfect.”
(The New York Sun, March 2008)

“In her Cincinnati debut, Finnish mezzo-soprano Paasikivi projected richly hued vocal color and heartfelt expression. It was a radiant moment in which time stood still.” (The Enquirer, March 2006)