- Philharmonia Zürich
- Jukka-Pekka Saraste Conductor
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, Jukka-Pekka Saraste feels a special affinity with the sound and style of late Romantic music. Equally, he maintains a strong connection with the music of our time. He conducted world premieres of works by Wolfgang Rihm, Friedrich Cerha, Pascal Dusapin and others. Moreover, he is co-founder of the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, which has a strong emphasis on contemporary music.
Jukka-Pekka Saraste has served as Chief Conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne since 2010. He was Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra from 2006 to 2013, previous positions include the principal conductorships of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (1987-1991), Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (1987-2001), Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1994-2001), and he also served as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Advisor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. He founded the Finnish Chamber Orchestra, the Artistic Advisor of which he still is. He also initiated the orchestra’s annual Tammisaari Festival, for which he is Artistic Director. Last but not least, he is a founding member of LEAD! The Orchestra Project, which aims to teach leadership and communication skills to aspiring young musicians within the context of orchestra playing, in workshops, concerts and masterclasses.
His guest engagements have led him to the major orchestras worldwide. Numerous CDs document his engagement especially with the late romantic repertoire. Most recently, he and the WDR Symphony Orchestra recorded a complete cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies. The first CD with the symphonies No 4 and 5 has been released in June 2018, the box with the complete cycle will follow in October 2018.
Jukka-Pekka Saraste has received the Pro Finlandia Prize, the Sibelius Medal, and the Finnish State Prize for Music. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from York University, Toronto and an honorary doctorate from the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki.