Anssi Karttunen is a passionate advocate of contemporary music and his collaboration with composers has led him to give over 90 world premieres of works by composers such as Magnus Lindberg, Kaija Saariaho, Rolf Wallin, Luca Francesconi and Tan Dun. Karttunen has had a number of Concertos written for him, 18 in all: Magnus Lindberg's Cello Concerto in 1999, Esa-Pekka Salonen's Concerto "Mania" in 2000. Martin Matalon's Cello Concerto 2001 and in 2004 Luca Francesconi's Cello Concerto "Rest". Kaija Saariaho's Concerto "Notes on Light" was a Boston Symphony Orchestra commission for Anssi Karttunen and Los Angeles Philharmonic has commissioned a Concerto from Oliver Knussen.
Some of the orchestras Karttunen performs with : Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra. Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish, London Sinfonietta. Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. DSO Berlin, SWR Orchestra, Berliner Symphoniker, Ensemble Modern. Goncertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Residentie Orchestra, Dutch Radio Symphony, Dutch Radio Philharmonic, Dutch Radio Chamber orchestra. NHK Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra. Barcelona Opera Orchestra, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Pamplona Orchestra, Barcelona 216 Ensemble. Swedish Radio Orchestra, Danish Radio Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic. RAI Torino, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Flanders Philharmonic. Finnish Radio Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Avanti!.
Karttunen performs at major festivals in Europe: Edinburgh, Salzburg, Lockenhaus, Spoleto, Berlin, Venice, Montpellier, Strasbourg, Helsinki etc.. The CD´s of Anssi Karttunen range from the complete Beethoven works for cello and fortepiano (on period instruments) and 20th-Century works for solo cello to concertos with London Sinfonietta and Los Angeles Philharmonic with Esa-Pekka Salonen. Sony Classical issued the Concertos of Lindberg, Saariaho and Salonen on CD.
Deutsche Grammophon issued a DVD of Tan Dun's The Map for cello, video and Orchestra. He appears on the first ever contemporary music CD-ROM: Prisma, on music of Kaija Saariaho. He is a founding member of www.petals.org, a non-profit organisation for the production and sale of CDs on the Internet. Anssi Karttunen has also appeared as conductor, he conducted Lindberg's Kraft in Antwerp on a very short notice. He also conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic cello ensemble and the Gaida Ensemble in Vilnius. Between 1994 and 1998 Mr Karttunen was the artistic director of the Avanti! Chamber orchestra.
He was the artistic director of the 1995 Helsinki Biennale and the Suvisoitto-festival in Porvoo, Finland from 1994 to 1997. From 1999 to 2005 Anssi Karttunen was the principal cellist of the London Sinfonietta. His teachers included Erkki Rautio, William Pleeth, Jacqueline du Pré and Tibor de Machula. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------