Earlier this season Jukka-Pekka Saraste began his tenure as chief conductor and artistic director of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, where he will delve into the symphonic heritage of Sibelius, Mahler, and Bruckner, and highlight music of our own time. He previously served as chief conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne and as music director and chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic, where he was subsequently appointed the orchestra’s first conductor laureate. Earlier positions included principal conductorships of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony (where he is now conductor laureate), and Toronto Symphony. He also served as principal guest conductor of the BBC Symphony and artistic advisor of the Lahti Symphony. He founded the Finnish Chamber Orchestra, where he remains artistic advisor.
Mr. Saraste’s guest engagements have led him to the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Berlin Staatskapelle, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, and the leading Scandinavian orchestras. In North America, he has conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, and Montreal Symphony. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in March 1997.
Mr. Saraste’s extensive discography includes the complete symphonies of Sibelius and Nielsen with the Finnish Radio Symphony and several recordings with the Toronto Symphony of works by Bartók, Dutilleux, Mussorgsky, and Prokofiev. He is a founding member of the LEAD! Foundation, a mentorship program for young conductors and soloists. He received the Pro Finlandia Medal, Sibelius Medal, Finnish State Prize for Music, and Insignia of Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland. He holds honorary doctorates from York University in Toronto and the Sibelius Academy.

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