Pietari Inkinen - Conductor
In September 2017 Pietari Inkinen became Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbruecken. Inkinen is also Chief Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, a post he has held since the beginning of the 16-17 season, and Chief Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele, posts he took up in 2015.
Recent and future highlights include debuts with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gurzenich Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, SWR Stuttgart and Budapest Festival Orchestra. 2017/2018 also featured the continuation of a complete Ring Cycle in concert with the Japan Philharmonic, as well as returns to the BBC Philharmonic and Finnish Radio Symphony orchestras. He also conducted the Finnish National Opera in their Independence Day 100th Anniversary Gala followed by a production of Madame Butterfly. The Finnish celebrations were also marked with performances of several recently-composed Finnish works including the world premieres of Rautavaara’s final completed symphonic work “In the Beginning” and a new work by Olli Vertaperko.
In previous seasons Inkinen has also conducted RSB Berlin, Staatskapelle Berlin, Munich Philharmonic, La Scala Philharmonic, Orchestra of Santa Cecilia, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Vienna Radio Symphony, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Spanish National Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Orchestra Verdi Milan and Oslo Philharmonic as well as the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Leipzig Gewandhaus.
In autumn 2018 Inkinen returns to Melbourne to conduct Die Meistersinger, following his acclaimed performances in 2016 of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Neil Armfield. This is the production which in August 2014 inspired Australia’s Helpmann Awards, recognising artistic excellence throughout Australia’s vibrant performing arts scene, to vote Inkinen as the award winner for Best Music Direction for Opera Australia’s Ring Cycle. The 2016 revival garnered Inkinen a further Green Room award for Best Conductor (Opera).
Other opera engagements have included the Finnish National Opera, La Monnaie in Brussels, Staatsoper in Berlin and the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. He has conducted Wagner’s Walkure and Das Rheingold in Palermo's Teatro Massimo for which he was awarded Italy’s National Association of Music Critics’ Franco Abbiati Prize for “Best Show” for Das Rheingold. He also conducted performances of a highly successful new production of Eugene Onegin at the Dresden Semperoper.
From 2008 to 2016 Pietari was Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra where he now holds the title of Honorary Conductor. During his tenure, the orchestra rose to new levels with a highly acclaimed European tour, as well as the recording of a complete cycle of Sibelius Symphonies for Naxos. This, and other recordings for Naxos, including the premiere recording of Rautavaara’s Manhattan Trilogy and a further live Sibelius Cycle recorded with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in Suntory Hall, have been widely acclaimed. Inkinen has a large number of other recording credits, including Wagner arias and orchestral pieces with Simon O’Neill and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for EMI, which earned a rare double five-star review from BBC Music Magazine, and the Shostakovich Cello Concerto and Britten Cello Symphony with Johannes Moser for Haenssler.
Also an accomplished violin soloist, Inkinen studied at the Cologne Music Academy with Zakhar Bron, winning various awards and prizes for his solo work, before taking further studies in conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He continues to enjoy play-directing and performing chamber music with his regular musical partners.
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