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Jukka-Pekka Saraste

About this Artist

Jukka-Pekka Saraste has established himself as one of the outstanding conductors of his generation, demonstrating remarkable musical depth and integrity. Born in Heinola, Finland, he began his career as a violinist before training as a conductor with Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. An artist of exceptional versatility and breadth, renowned for his objective approach, he feels a special affinity with the sound and style of late Romantic music.

In September 2023, Saraste began his tenure as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. During his first season with this orchestra, he is delving deeper into the symphonic heritage of Sibelius, Mahler, and Bruckner over several extended concert periods, as well as highlighting composers and music of our own time.

From 2010 to 2019, he served as Chief Conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne. Previously, from 2006 to 2013, Saraste was Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. He was subsequently appointed Conductor Laureate, the very first such title bestowed by the orchestra.

Saraste’s guest engagements have led him to the major orchestras worldwide, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and the leading Scandinavian orchestras. In North America, he has conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, and New York Philharmonic, among others.

Coaching and mentoring young musicians at the beginning of their careers is of great importance to Saraste. He is a founding member of the LEAD! Foundation, a mentorship program for young conductors and soloists. In 2020, he also created the annual Fiskars Summer Festival, an international platform for both Finnish and international artists to pass on their knowledge and experience to the next generation of musicians.