ICE CONCERTO (2018) Adobe_PDF_Icon_svg
for violin solo and percussion ensemble
Commissioned by Sini Virtanen (with funds provided by the Madetoja Foundation)
Fp. Sini Virtanen, violin, McCormick Percussion Group, cond. Robert McCormick, USF New-Music Festival, Tampa, FL (USA), 8 April 2018

world premiere recording – Global Music Awards Gold Medal Winner, Jan 2021


Sini Virtanen, violin
McCormick Percussion Group
Robert McCormick, conductor
John Stephan, recording, mixing, mastering
at Springs Theatre Studios, Tampa, FL
#8037 Ravello Records, 2020

ICE CONCERTO (2018), for violin solo and percussion ensemble, is an attempt in doing something decidedly different from my current, timbre and materiality-based practice focusing on the concrete and noisy physicality of live performance. In contrast, this is ritualistic, exorcist-like and pitch-driven MUSIC that nevertheless keeps its cool distance, exhibiting an inevitable processual drive of a nature event. Yet this rhythmically melting spectral drama is lived through the eyes of a virtuoso protagonist made of oxygen and hydrogen under varying degrees of warmth—from glacial stillness to dancing vapor and, finally, fatally dripping liquid. This is a piece born from a need to write something ‘musical’ yet ‘macabre’ in a time of increasing environmental anxiety. Music composed in freezing, social democratic-green Helsinki winter—to be premiered in balmy Florida spring of the Trump-era. Dedicated to the inspiring musicality of violin artista Sini Virtanen, who commissioned the work for her and the magnificent McCormick Percussion Group of the University of South Florida and Robert McCormick in Tampa. Their dedication to bringing this piece to life and recording has left me with deep admiration and gratitude.

© 2020 Jarkko Hartikainen


Interview: Jarkko Hartikainen & Sini Virtanen, Strings and Hammers (2020)
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Suomenkielinen lehdistötiedote koskien Jarkko Hartikaisen viulisti Sini Virtasen tilauksesta kirjoittamaa teosta ICE CONCERTO ja sen takana olevaa yhteistyötä suomalaisen, monikansallisesti verkoittuneen säveltaiteen näkökulmasta, kun McCormick Percussion Groupin, Strings and Hammers -trion ja Robert McCormickin Strings and Hammers -levy voitti tammikuussa 2021 Global Music Awards -kilpailun sarjassa ‘New Classical Music – Album’ pääpalkinnon Gold Medal Winner. (Tiedote päivätty 10.1.2021):



world premiere performance
April 8, 2018 10am (rescheduled from April 7, 2018 7:30pm due to a sudden campus-wide power outage and subsequent evacuation)
2018 USF New-Music Festival
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

Sini Virtanen, violin
McCormick Percussion Group
Robert McCormick, conductor

ICE CONCERTO (2018) for violin solo and percussion ensemble

Dedicated to the musicianship of the violin artista Sini Virtanen (Helsinki, FI) — commissioner of the work, funded by Madetoja Foundation — as well as Robert McCormick and his McCormick Percussion Group (USF Tampa, FL). They all gave an absolutely spectacular world premiere at the enticingly tour-de-force USF New-Music Festival 2018 in Tampa, followed by a concentrated and highly musical world premiere recording of my musical little daydream, later on the very same day (!), at the city’s prestigious Spring Theatre studio.

© 2018 Jarkko Hartikainen