VAASA CITY ORCHESTRA
Regular concerts in Vaasa date from 1930, when an Orchestra Society was founded in the town. The first conductor of the society´s orchestra was Alfred Holm, followed by Franz Hase and after him Eino Haipus took over, under whom the orchestra expanded to cover the entire province.
At the end of Haipus' term the orchestra was made a municipal institution in 1974, with Ralf Sjöblom as its conductor, and the number of players was gradually raised to 31. Since then the orchestra's regular conductors have been Ayis Ioannides, Pertti Pekkanen, Hannu Norjanen, Hannu Koivula and Jin Wang. Conductor Dmitri Slobodeniouk was the main guest of the orchestra in 2004-2005.
In addition to the own concerts the orchstra also has appeared at many music festivals (Ilmajoki Music Festival, LIeksa Brass Week, Korsholm Music Festival and Lohtaja Church Music Festival).
The Vaasa City Orchestra co-operates in opera projects with Vaasa Opra Foundation and Vaasa City Theatre. Joint concerts are regularly given together with Seinäjoki City Orchestra.
Concerts have also been given together with Umeå Symphony Orchestra, Pori Sinfonietta and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra has been on tours abroad to Cyprus, Italy, Norway, Sweden, USA and Iceland.
Jyväskylä Sinfonia consists of 38 musicians and is known for its versatile and broad-minded way of interpreting music. Modern music from all over the world as well as pieces from the classic and romantic eras form the basis of orchestra’s repertoire.
Jyväskylä Sinfonia was founded in 1955, with Ahti Karjalainen as its first conductor. The orchestra was municipalized for the first time in 1965 and its history has seen various stages, among them phases also as a private organization in addition to the communal unit. During the years, the orchestra has been conducted by Jukka Hapuoja, Onni Kelo, Jorma Svanström, Kyösti Haatanen, William Boughton, Ari Rasilainen, Markus Lehtinen, and Patrick Gallois. Nowadays, it is the cornerstone of the cultural life in Jyväskylä and in Central Finland and very popular among its listeners. Orchestra’s chief conductor Ville Matvejeff began his period in the beginning of 2014. Matvejeff is one of the most interesting Finnish musical talents. Successful as a composer, conductor, pianist, and singer, he has established himself as an exceptionally wide-ranging musician. The orchestra’s principal guest conductor is Moshe Atzmon.
There are several Finnish and foreign top conductors and soloists who visit Jyväskylä Sinfonia’s concerts regularly. Familiar visitors are, for instance, conductors Tibor Bogányi and Alberto Hold-Garrido, conductor-pianists Ralf Gothóni and Olli Mustonen, conductor-violinist Jaakko Kuusisto, violinists Pekka Kuusisto and Tianwa Yang and cellists Arto Noras and Marko Ylönen.
Jyväskylä Sinfonia has published nearly 40 recordings and has released music for some of the largest classical music publishing companies, such as Naxos, Ondine, Finlandia Records, and Fazer Records. The most successful cd in the orchestra’s history is the platinum-selling recording together with the luminous opera star Karita Mattila. The recording, which is published in 1998, includes music by Lasse Mårtenson. The more recent releases include Saint-Saëns’ violin concertos (2010), American overtures from the 18th century (2011), Ignaz Pleyel's music (2012), and Mauricio Kagel's flute concerto (2012). During the previous year, four cds were published: one cd of Mendelssohn’s violin concertos with Tianwa Yang, one of Domenico Cimarosa’s opera overtures, one of Peteris Vasks’ flute concerto, and another of Saverio Mercadante’s flute concertos.
At the moment, Jyväskylä Sinfonia is recording a double cd in order to celebrate Aulis Sallinen’s 80th jubilee year. The forthcoming cd contains the whole Chamber Music suite together with pianisti Ralf Gothóni, cellist Arto Noras, and string quartette Meta4. It is the first total recording of the suite and will be published by Ondine in 2015.