The brightest star of the symphonic rock scene, Tarja Turunen is certainly the most internationally well-known Finnish voice in the world of music. Soprano, composer and songwriter, she reached international fame co-founding and being for nine years the voice and image of the Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, collecting with them Gold and Platinum Record Awards in several countries.
The unique combination of metal music with Tarja’s soprano lead vocals gave birth to a new genre, quickly achieving critical and commercial popularity and inspiring many other metal bands and performers. But singing only somebody else’s creations was not her destiny, and her talent could fully bloom only outside that crate. Tarja had to walk alone.
Finally free to follow her own inspirations, heart, and dreams, Tarja started her own solo career successfully devoted to both classical and rock music. Since 2005 she dedicates every December in bringing to Finland and also abroad the magic of her Christmas shows.
The Christmas album Henkäys Ikuisuudesta achieved the double Platinum Record Award in Finland and was selected as the “Christmas album of the year” from all the local radio stations in the country. Tarja’s classical performances are not limited to Christmas shows, as she performed chamber music concerts with orchestras and different line-ups in many countries throughout the years. She also walked twice the famous opera stage of the Olavinlinna Castle at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland, performing with Raimo Sirkia and José Cura. The latest outcome of Tarja’s deep love for classical music has been the recording at the Lakeuden Risti Church in Seinajoki, Finland, of her first classical studio album Ave Maria – En Plein Air, released internationally in 2015 and welcomed by ecstatic reviews.
Tarja’s flawless ability to blend rock and classical music found its perfect combination in her project Beauty and the Beat in collaboration with the American drummer Mike Terrana. Accompanied by symphonic orchestra and choir, the tour presented an unique program that included among others Puccini, Mozart, Bach, Led Zeppelin, Queen and her own songs. A step forwards after the successful experiences of Classic and Divine in Miskolc, Hungary in 2010 and at the Masters of Rock Festival in Czech Republic the same year, but not the last one. Tarja did once again share the stage with symphonic orchestra and choir for a special Orchestral Tour in Russia in March 2016.
There has also been many collaborations and side projects for Tarja throughout the years, from the electronic project Outlanders, using texts and inspired by the writer Paulo Coelho to a tour with Alice Cooper. Tarja has successfully collaborated in recordings with Within Temptation, #1 Dutch Symphonic Rock band with more than 18.000.000 views on YouTube with their song together, the German #1 electronic artist Schiller with whom Tarja co-wrote a song pre-nominated for the Grammy Awards in USA, the Hard Rock legend Doro Pesch, the biggest Rock German selling artist of all times Scorpions and with British father of the acclaimed Tubular Bells Mike Oldfield with whom she co-wrote a song inspired and recorded in Antigua.
But the unique synergy between Tarja’s classical and rock inspirations is fully expressed in her solo rock career, which officially started when her first solo studio album My Winter Storm was released internationally in 2007 in more than 80 countries by Universal Music, achieving Gold Record Awards in Hungary, Czech Republic and Germany and Platinum Record Awards in Finland and Russia. The successful and unanimously praised debut album was followed by What Lies Beneath in 2010 and then by Colours in the Dark, released in 2013 by EarMusic. The mellifluous blending of genres that characterized her music since the beginning reached a whole new sound in her latest creation. In its first week of release, Colours in the Dark charted at a vibrant #5 in Finland and Russia, and #6 in Germany. The world tour that followed saw Tarja performing 107 shows in 32 countries, stirring vivid emotions from the crowds gathered in front of her stage. For Tarja the chance of performing live on stage in front of her audience has been as important, if not more, as the work done in the studio, and she performed more than 700 shows worldwide during her career so far.
Tarja was nominated for the Emma Award in Finland in 2006 and 2007 and for the Echo Award in Germany in 2007, and she is the first Finnish solo artist to achieve a Gold Record in Germany and even more, the only one to do it both in a band and as solo artist. Recently she has also been busy starring as coach in the latest two seasons of The Voice of Finland, which is the most watched TV-program from Channel 4 in Finland.
Tarja’s new rock album The Shadow Self and its prequel The Brightest Void have been recorded during 2015 in different part of the world and EarMusic will release them in summer 2016. They are already announced as another important milestone in Tarja’s career, and one thing for sure, they will fulfill the promises and high expectations created by her previous releases.