Award-winning guitarist Oscar Somersalo performs as a soloist and chamber musician in America and Europe. In recent seasons Somersalo has appeared with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra at Finlandia Hall, and with Panama National Symphony Orchestra.
Somersalo won 1st prize in 2019 at ECU Guitar Competition in Greenville, NC. In 2017 he won 1st prize at Appalachian GuitarFest Solo Guitar Competition in Boone, NC and Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition in the USA as well as 2nd prize in 2009 at the International Guitar Competition “Ciudad de Llerena” in Spain and was awarded as the young soloist with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2011. Somersalo has performed solo concerts on festivals such as Kauhava Chamber Music Festival in Finland, Tuscia Guitar festival in Italy and Panama Guitar Festival in Panama, as both performer and masterclass instructor.
Somersalo’s repertoire encompasses great classics and innovative new compositions. His concerts often include pieces by Bach – such as the Chaconne from the Partita No. 2 – as well as titles like “To build a House” by American composer Scott Lee, which Somersalo premiered in 2014 at a concert sponsored by the Baltimore Guitar Society.
In addition to solo repertoire Somersalo has appeared in duos together with flute and piano, and guitar duo and guitar quintet. Somersalo has also appeared in larger groups with repertoire such as “Electric Counterpoint” by Steve Reich at SibaFest in Finland and in more rare performances such as performance with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra in Baltimore, performing Mahler’s 7th Symphony, where the guitar is a part of the orchestra. Somersalo is also a cellist and emphasizes the importance of experiencing music from different angels in order to build a strong foundation of musicality and diversity.
Somersalo earned the Master of Music degree and the Graduate Performance Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he studied under international virtuoso Manuel Barrueco. He is also a graduate of the famed Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he earned the Bachelor of Music degree.