Photo by Maarit Kytöharju
“I have always been fascinated by telling stories through music.”
Meri Englund was first introduced to music as a three-year-old after being inspired by her pianist brother. At the age of five, she switched from the piano to the violin and found her calling. Her music studies took her from the local music school in Espoo to Sibelius Academy, where she was taught by Jaakko Ilves, Kaija Saarikettu and Mi-Kyung Lee. Professor Milan Vitek, Meri's teacher in Gothenburg Sweden, was also an influential mentor.
Competition win sparks an international career
Since winning the joint first prize in the national Kuopio Violin Competition in 2000, Meri Englund has performed as a soloist with several Finnish orchestras. She's also performed with renowned musicians at chamber music festivals in Finland, China, Japan and the United States. In 2002, close to her graduation from Sibelius Academy, she was chosen as the 1st concertmaster of Tapiola Sinfonietta – a role in which she continues today.
From 2012-2015, Meri and her family lived in San Diego, California, which gave her a unique insight into the Southern Californian music scene. During this time, she collaborated with several orchestras, including LA Phil, L.A Chamber Orchestra and San Diego Symphony. She also performed as a principal violinist at consecutive La Jolla SummerFest chamber music festivals, and in chamber music concerts with local musicians. Later on she was invited to play with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston as a guest concertmaster.
Upholding the Englund family tradition
Meri Englund has researched and performed a broad range of music by her grandfather, neoclassical composer Einar Englund (1916-1999). She has performed all his chamber music works for strings, and his violin concerto as a soloist with Tapiola Sinfonietta.
Since she was a child, Meri has been fascinated by telling stories through music. While relying on her deep insight into different historical styles, she has also learned to trust her strong intuition.