Arto Noras, one of Finland’s best-known performers, enjoys the reputation of a world-class cellist. Praising his impeccable, natural, seemingly effortless virtuosity, critics have also commented on the powerful expressiveness of Noras’ playing. His immense enthusiasm and consummate musicianship also extend to chamber music and teaching. Among his many musical projects is the Naantali Music Festival, which has developed into one of Finland’s great musical institutions.
Born in 1942, Noras first studied cello with Yrjo Selin at the Sibelius. Academy. He later went to Paris to study with Paul Tortelier, graduating from the Paris Conservatory in 1964. Two years later, Noras won second prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, gaining international recognition and launching a concert career. Following tours in North and South America, Noras became professor of cello at the Sibelius Academy in 1970. A highly regarded teacher, Noras also found time for chamber music, notably as member of the Sibelius Academy Quartet. In 1980, Noras founded the Naantali Chamber Music Festival, also initiating the International Paulo Cello Competition 11 years later. Having mastered the traditional cello repertoire, Noras has played and recorded many works by distinguished contemporary composers, including concertos by Einojuhani Rautavaara, Henri Dutilleux, Leif Segerstam, and Erik Bergman.