Lauri Sallinen has won himself a reputation as a clarinettist with a voice of his own and as a charismatic performer in both classical and contemporary repertoire. He is one of the Finnish clarinettists most in demand for chamber music and can be regularly heard at festivals both in Finland and abroad. These include the Ultima Festival (Oslo), the MATA Festival (New York), Classic con brio (Osnabrück), and in Finland Time of Music, Our Festival, the Silence Festival, Lux Musicae and Musica Kalevi Aho. He has been a regular guest at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, since 2010.
As a soloist, Lauri Sallinen has appeared with many orchestras, among them the Avanti! and Lapland Chamber Orchestras, the Saimaa Sinfonietta, the Mikkeli, Lappeenranta and Joensuu City Orchestras, and the Helsinki University and Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestas. In addition to performing works in the classical concerto repertoire he has premiered clarinet concertos dedicated to him by Mikko Nisula and Markku Klami and given the first performaces in Finland of solo works by Enno Poppe and Benjamin Britten. He has toured the Finnish orchestras with productions of his own combining various musical genres, in the role of soloist, leader and arranger.
Sallinen is an active interpreter of new music, and close collaboration with many contemporary composers is a vital element of his musician persona. He played contemporary music with, among others, the Uusinta Ensemble, the Oslo based Ensemble Temporum and the MikroEnsemble, specializing in microtonal music. As an artist, he is interested in the performing aspect of music and the creative combination of music and movement. Solitude, which was premiered at the Helsinki Festival 2017, is a mixture of a solo clarinet recital and movement in all-round contemporary dance performance using choreography, video and sound design. His debut CD Songs of Solitude (Alba Records), presenting solo clarinet works, was released in autumn 2017.
Lauri Sallinen began his clarinet studies in his native Kuhmo in eastern Finland and in his early years was inspired and tought above all by Arrigo Christian Blom. He continued his solo studies at the Sibelius Academy and the Manhattan School of Music with Kari Kriikku, François Benda and Charles Neidich, obtaining a Master’s degree in 2009. He has also studied composition at the Sibelius Academy with Lauri Kilpiö. He has received working grants from the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, the Arts Council of Lapland, the Kone Foundation and the Finnish Music Foundation, and in 2012 he was awarded the Kainuu Culture Prize.