Young Finnish conductors

"The future belongs to the Finns," is the renowned British music critic Norman Lebrecht's comment on the international success of the new generation of conductors trained by Jorma Panula

"Vänskä came to the Sibelius Academy as a clarinettist, Oramo as a violinist. Both are protégés of Jorma Panula, an oracular maestro who also discovered Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and who believes he can tell in ten minutes whether a young musician has what it takes to become a conductor."

Lebrecht attributes the boom in the number of conductors to the excellent music teaching in schools, the large number of youth orchestras and the seven professional symphony orchestras that Finland boasts.

Image size 6 Kb Sakari Oramo

Born 1965. Dramatic and successful debut when he stood in for the Finnish Radio Orchestra's conductor who had suddenly fallen ill in 1993. Same orchestra's concert master 1992-94, conductor 1994-. Artistic director of Finland 75 Symphony Orchestra 1995-. Stints as guest conductor with leading Nordic orchestras as well as in England, Scotland and the Netherlands. Long tour as conductor in Australia. To begin as head conductor and artistic director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in September 1998.

Image size 7 Kb Esa-Pekka Salonen

Born 1958. Debut as a conductor with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979. Head conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra 1985-95. Leading guest conductor with the London Philharmonic 1985-94. Musical Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic 1992- . Guest conductor with some of the world's major orchestras. Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award 1995. German Record Critics' Prize for Lutoslavsky recording in 1996. Salonen is also a productive and appreciated composer. His "Floof" won first prize in the UNESCO Annual Rostrum of Composers competition in Paris in 1992.

Image size 5 Kb Jukka-Pekka Saraste

Born 1956. Debut as conductor with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979, which engaged him as it main visiting conductor in 1985 and as head conductor in 1987. Artistic director of the Scottish Chamber Music Orchestra 1987-91. Musical director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra 1994-. Together with Esa-Pekka Salonen founded the Avanti! Chamber music orchestra in 1983. Guest conductor with numerous large orchestras in Europe, the United States and Asia.

Image size 5 Kb Osmo Vänskä

Born 1953. Musical director of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra 1988- Artistic director of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra 1993-. Head conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1996-. First prize in 1982 Besançon international competition for young conductors. Together with Leonidas Kavalkos and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Gramophone Award for year's best concerto recording 1991. Awards for other recordings include Prix Academie Charles Gros in Paris. Stints as guest conductor with symphony and opera orchestras in many parts of the world.

More about  Salonen  Saraste I  Saraste II  Vänskä
Salonen - Passing it on to the next generation