On the first day of 2008 it is nice to look back at the events of the past
year! My year was so exhausting and eventful - I had some 15 concert
performances in Finland, Russia and USA, took part in 3 international
conducting competitions, took part in two master classes, organized some
myself, and won an audition in France! Anyway the thing I am most happy about
is the fact that this year I quit my day jobs (sorry all ex-colleagues!) and
became a full-time professional conductor! I had felt for some time already
that working weekly with young students and amateurs was holding back my
progress (a topic for a whole post later, I can assure). Now, though
financially much more insecure, I feel better because I am able to concentrate
100% in becoming a better conductor!
Even though not a full-time position, the assistantship I won with maestro
Kurt Masur and the Orchestre National de France was the most important single
factor in making my decision. And the encouragement I got from maestro Yuri
Simonov on his masterclass kind of sealed it off! I am forever grateful to both
of them, and to a big bunch of other people, including my conducting teachers
in Finland and Russia, my supportive friends and colleagues, and my family of
The coming year seems, if possible, even more interesting and challenging
than the previous one. Some concerts have already been planned, and I have
applied to a couple of competitions too. On top of that I have to settle in a
completely new environment and learn a new language! I foresee a lot of hard
work, but I am sure with that I will also reap a lot of rewards and be wiser
and richer at the end of the road!
Summarizing my Conducting Year 2007
3 children's concerts with Pori
Petri Ikkelä and
Kotiranta. 2 concerts with Saimaa Sinfonietta (combined Lappeenranta and
Mikkeli orchestras), soloist Olli-Pekka
Diploma concert with Pori
Sinfonietta, soloist Olli
Leppäniemi. Master class and concert with the Orchestra of the Estonian Defence Forces.
Opera gala of the Sibelius Academy conducting class, soloist Hedvig
Paulig. Singing in the choir for Sibelius Academy 125-year jubilee concert.
Audition at Radio France for the assistantship with Kurt Masur at the Orchestre National de France.
Mostly studying, plus some choral singing with Veli-Antti's choir and
Concert with Finnish
Guards Orchestra, soloist Eero Saunamäki. Concert at the 4th Nordic Music Festival, with
Hermitage orchestra and Kari Kriikku. Evgeny Svetlanov
Conducting Competition in Luxembourg.
Hot Springs Music Festival
Yuri Simonov Master
Class in Budapest, Hungary.
Working at "Hausmusikwoche". Organizing a Master Class for maestro Leonid
Matacic competition in Zagreb, Croatia.
A project with a flute ensemble, preparing for Fitelberg competition...
competition in Katowice, Poland.
A concert in Petrozavodsk, Russia. Two concerts with St Michel Strings, in
Hirvensalmi and Mikkeli.