Sanna Vaarni began her studies at the Espoo Music Institute with professor Katarina Nummi-Kuisma. She studied in Sibelius Academy with professor Eero Heinonen, chamber music with Ralf Gothóni and lied music with Gustav Djupsjöbacka. Supported by a grant by Wihuri Foundation, she spent 1997-1999 in Paris studying with professor Konstantin Bogino.
Sanna Vaarni has been a prize winner in many national piano competitions (Ilmari Hannikainen Piano Competition, Helmi Vesa Piano Competition, Fazer Piano Competition). She performs regularly as a soloist, chamber musician and lied pianist. She has given concerts in Italy, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia and in Saudi Arabia. She has been recording for the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE).
Sanna Vaarni has recorded piano music of Leoš Janácek on July 2018 with Heikki Savolainen at Järvenpää-Talo, Finland. The record was published by EMAVinci Records in August 2019.
On November 4, 2022 her CD ”Illustrazioni – 20th Century Italian Piano Music” was released by Stradivarius Music Label (STR 37214). The CD was recorded and produced by Heikki Savolainen.
Currently Sanna Vaarni works as a Senior Lecturer in Piano and as a Head of Piano Department at the Espoo Music Institute, the leading music school in Finland. During the recent years she has been giving master classes in music institutes and conservatories in Finland, Italia (Conservatorio Santa Cecilia, Rome), China (Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, Ningbo International Institute) and in Europe.
The Finnish pianist Sanna Vaarni has made an extraordinarily exciting recording here. Under the title “Illustrazioni” piano music by Italian composers of the 20th century can be heard. Names like Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Nino Rota are there, but also Giacinto Scelsi, Gian Francesco Malipiero and Luigi Dallapiccola. All names that you know, but which cause some surprises in this compilation. Nino Rota, for example, is mainly known for his film music, but unfortunately little is known about the fact that he also composed numerous “serious” works. His Preludi, composed in 1964, are stylistically a bit out of date, but they are still beautiful pieces with a late Romantic-Impressionist touch. Or Scelsi, who always likes to be placed in the avant-garde corner.
High musical quality
These are undoubtedly his Quatro illustrazioni, composed in 1953, but a capriccio composed in 1935 shows a much more “conventional” composer searching for his own style. Sanna Vaarni has really put together a highly interesting program that has a clear common thread, shows stylistic developments and cross-relationships and also arouses curiosity. Her formidable playing also contributes to this. Sanna Vaarni has a rich palette of touch nuances, which she is able to use convincingly in Scelsi’s Illustrazioni or Dallapiccola’s Quaderno musicale. Rota’s distinctive Preludi also shimmer in all imaginable nuances. All in all, this recording convinces all around: through a polished program and the high musical quality.
Guido Krawinkel [02/03/2023]