Ilkka Eronen, traverso
Laura Hárs, violin
Johanna Randvere, cello and viola da gamba
Aura Visala, harpsichord
Founded in spring 2021, the Finnish-Estonian Æstus is a young four-member early music ensemble specialising in the study and performance of pre-19th century European music. Despite the pandemic, the ensemble managed to make its way to two international chamber music competitions (CIMA Early Music Competition in Loire Valley, France and Berlin-Bach Competition, Germany) in its inaugural year. In 2022 Æstus performed in the Café Barock concert series in Kalliosali, Helsinki and in Kulttuurikellari, Savonlinna and in the Fringe series of the Utrecht Early Music Festival, performing mid-17th century music from London and Prussia.
In 2023 Æstus will dive into new music. The band premiered Lucy Callen's Grandmother's Footsteps at Musica Nova festival in March, and a work commissioned from Tytti Arola will premiere at BRQ Vantaa in August. Æstus will also perform at Villa Lante in Rome in July.
The members of Æstus, traversist Ilkka Eronen, violinist Laura Hárs, cellist and gambist Johanna Randvere and harpsichordist and keyboardist Aura Visala, met in Helsinki while studying early music at the Sibelius Academy and are united by a passion for the evocative and emotional expression of Baroque music. The Latin word æstus, meaning tide, flood, heat, fire and passion, refers not only to the members' Northern European roots, having grown up on the water, but also to their expressive power.
Æstus has been directed by Annamari Pölhö, Jani Sunnarborg, Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch, Marten Root and Therese de Goede.