"He is a brilliant player and a musician of tremendous insight. When he plays, one is aware of not only flawless technique, but also masterly use of tone color, articulation, rubato and dynamics. Most impressive.”
Al Kunze – Soundboard
"Essential listening from a guitarist I´d travel many a mile to see in a concert.”
Paul Fowles – Classical Guitar Magazine
"What a delightful program! Finnish guitarist Otto Tolonen has brought together a set of little-known, mostly French pieces, in superb and stylish performances. [...] He has wonderful sense of joy, of sheer pleasure, that fits this music beautifully. Kudos to the artist for such an imaginative offering."
Keaton – American Record Guide
Otto Tolonen, one of the most successful Finnish classical guitarists, won between 1995-2009 prizes in almost two-dozen international competitions, all over the globe. The locations of the competitions ranged from Tokyo to San Francisco and from Australia to Jyväskylä, Finland. Among these, the most noteworthy are the first prizes of the Andrés Segovia Competition, Herradura, Spain and the Markneukirchen Instrumental Competition, Germany.
He graduated from Sibelius Academy in Helsinki from the guitar classes of Jukka Savijoki and Timo Korhonen. He also studied with Raphaella Smits in Belgium, with Thomas-Müller Pering in Germany and with Oscar Ghiglia at Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy.
The repertoire of Otto Tolonen ranges from Renaissance music to the most recent contemporary works. Lately, his focus has mainly been on works of the 20th and 21st century. The performances of, among others, the guitar works of Henze, have won him international acclaim and, consequently, Tolonen has become a sought-after interpreter of the composer’s music. Previously, another passion – French music – had kept Tolonen occupied for many years. As a result of this, in April 2013 his first solo CD, Tiento français, was published, immediately winning wide critical acclaim.
Tolonen has given concerts in Argentina, Brazil, Japan, the United States and all over Europe. As a teacher, he has given master classes – apart from his native Finland – in Brazil, Germany, Holland, Italy and the United States.
Otto is a D'Addario Classical Artist.