Duo Dryades, Kristina Kuusisto bandoneon and Mari Mäntylä decacorde, established in 2002 has been performing actively in concerts both in Finland and abroad. The positively acclaimed debut album of the duo, Kirmari (Mayrecords), was released in 2005. The second album Speira (Alba) was selected a classical music Emma Award nominee 2011 (a prize issued by the Finnish recording industry for the most distinguished artists and productions of the year). The third album Le Meneuse de Tortues d’Or (Mayrecords), was released in 2014.
All albums have received enthusiastic reviews in the press. Kuusisto and Mäntylä are collaborating both with Finnish and foreign composers in order to create new repertoire for their unique ensemble. The broad repertoire of the duo ranges from tango to contemporary music. Since 2002, the duo has performed in Finland at several music festivals, including the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival and the music festivals of Viitasaari (Time of Music), Kemiö, Oulainen, Hauho, Kokkola (Winter Accordion). The duo has also appeared at festivals in other European countries, in Lebanon and in China as well as performed in numerous concerts and concert series in various parts of France. The duo has appeared on the radio and television in Finland, Russia and France. Duo Dryades has also performed with the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra in the concert where Pekka Jalkanen’s double concerto Aeterna, dedicated for this duo, was given its world premiere. In 2014 duo gave the same concerto with Sinfonietta Lentua.
“Two delicate and sensitive instruments, the decacorde and the bandonéon, two poetic virtuoso performers of their instruments, Mari Mäntylä and Kristina Kuusisto offer their listeners a strongly experienced and expressed landscape of music. Their basic classical repertoire is seasoned with the passionate Argentinian tango Nuevo, folk dances of Brittany and modern music. In a moment, the Nordic melancholy gives way to vivid South American rhythms. Yet above all else is the landscape of Finnish soul, melancholic, dreamy, even tragic. The wideness of expression of the bandonéon and the decacorde is astonishing. It opens new, rich challenges for the composers.”
– Matti Rantanen, Head of the Accordion department in Sibelius Academy, Finland