From our colleague Vesa Siren in Helsinki:
Valery Gergiev held a masterclass at Turku Music Festival yesterday. Two minutes before the concert he asked talented young Eero Lehtimäki to conduct the first piece in the concert, Mother Goose by Maurice Ravel.
“Sure”, Lehtimäki agreed. Managing Director Liisa Ketomäki asked artistic director, conductor VIlle Matvejeff to double-check this with Gergiev. “I know he can do it. He has good hands and he knows the piece”, said Gergiev.
One minute before the concert, the orchestra didn’t know. Lehtimäki walked on stage and conducted well, with Gergiev in the audience. “I told you”, Gergiev grinned and conducted the rest of the concert himself.
Later Gergiev raised a toast “to my new colleague Eero”. Previously, Eero was the “artistic misleader” of well known humour band Retuperän WPK but also a conducting student in Vienna and Helsinki and the winner of international NWBC conducting competition.
Next Finn on the block? Eero is 27.
Short video of his performance here.