baroque violin, Estonia
Andres Mustonen's (1953) discovery of music has followed a very unusual path. His adolescent fascination with contemporary music made an about-face in the early 1970s towards early and Christian music. In 1972 it led to founding the early music ensemble Hortus Musicus, which gives vital performances even today. Since the founding of the ensemble, Hortus Musicus and Andres Mustonen have been performing constantly on the world's concert stages and at music festivals: the Utrecht Festival, the Malmö Baroque, concerts in Prague, St. Petersburg and Moscow, performances at the Mozart-Fest in Chemnitz, the Jaffa Festival in Israel, the Lufthansa Baroque Festival in London, the Scottish Early Music Festival in Glasgow, the Lockenhaus Festival in Austria and the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival.
In these years Andres Mustonen and Hortus Musicus have succeeded in storing their work on 25 records.
Andres Mustonen is partly a solo violinist but mostly a conductor, whereas the latter post has been developed via a career of a performing artist and musician. Mustonen conducts several distinguished orchestras: the Great Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, the Moscow National Academic Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Musica Viva Academic Chamber Orchestra, the national orchestras of Finland, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Latvia and Lithuania, the Bayerische Rundfunken, the Helsinki City Orhestra, the Finnish Radio Syphony Orchestra.
During many years, Andres Mustonen has worked together with the Tallinn Philharmonics and with the National Symphony Orchestra.
Mustonen has gone through and performed the music history both as a performer and a conductor. He transfers his musical experience of history to performances of classical, romantic and new music. This is but not the new music that infatuated young Mustonen in the early 1960s, when his interest lay in the avant garde and the happening. It is the harmonic new music created by Gija Kantsheli, Arvo Pärt, Krzysztof Penderecki, Philip Glass, Tôru Takemitsu, Vladimir Martõnov, Avet Terterjan and Valentin Silvestrov. Several composers have dedicated their work to him. Mustonen is in close creative contact with many Estonian composers - Erkki-Sven Tüür, Peeter Vähi, Galina Grigorjeva and Helena Tulve - also giving premieres of their new works.
Making music, Mustonen can be characterised by spontaneity, improvisation and radiant performance. „For me an orchestra is not a static form but a living organisation of musicians, one whose members enhance and affect each other."
Mustonen's repertoire includes pieces of early music as well as of new music, which he often premieres. He places a special significance on religious oratoric masterpieces from baroque to the modern day: Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Anton Bruckner, Gija Kantšeli, Krzysztof Penderecki, John Tavener, Aleksandr Knaifel.
In time, Andres Mustonen has developed a wide circle of musician friends with whom he makes music: Natalja Gutman, Aleksei Ljubimov, Dmitri Sitkovetski, Michel Lethiec, Inesa Galante, Juri Bašmet, Gidon Kremer, Ramon Jaffe, Francois Leleux, Marcel Peres, Yoshiko Arai, Pascal Gallois, Seppo Kimanen, Vasili Pantir. „I never share the stage with someone I don't know, don't consider my friend, or don't love."