Finnish maestros bring Finn composers

Finnish maestros bring Finn composers


norman lebrecht

August 19, 2020

Klaus Mäkelä becomes chief conductor tonight of the Oslo Philharmonic. He opens his accouint with Mahler’s first symphony, preceded by ‘Wiegenlied’ by a little-known Finnish composer, Sauli Zinovjev.

This is a common ocurrence among that newest breed of Finnish conductors. They like to export their own.

Let’s see who Mäkelä promotes in his other job, at the Orchestre de Paris.



  • PHF says:

    Sauli Zinovjev sounds nice… studied with W. Rihm in Karlsruhe. Young but sounds good.

  • Trevor S. says:

    While 500 other young conductors try to survive and get an assistant position in the second hand german theatre. Well, I think it’s enough music for today (or for this year)

  • Luciano says:

    A common occurrence amongst all generations of Finnish conductors – they are excellent ambassadors for their homeland. All kicked off by Salonen and Saraste.

  • Day Radebaugh says:

    This would be worth hearing; Mahler’s 1st, from a youngster. Watch this space.

  • fflambeau says:

    Why not?

  • icebreaker says:

    is this really surprising? many conductors over the years have successfully promoted their national repertoires, giving concert time to composers and works that might not otherwise get more widespread exposure

  • We privatize your value says:

    This composer is mostly little-known because he’s still very young. Let’s see in 30 years.

  • Composer colleague says:

    Little-known and not a particularly interesting composer are what would very well characterise him. Mäkelä should be promoting higher quality music from Finland. Especially women are rising: Wennäkoski, Tarkiainen, Damström, Leinonen – Saariaho of course is already mainstream. All the above way more interesting and imaginative.

    • Alexander Hales Freeman, Composer Colleague says:

      “Composer Colleague” should focus more on creating music than taking anonymous potshots at composer colleagues. This comment is super lame, hostile, and cowardly for its anonymity.”

    • Newmusicisalive says:

      Well, get ready for more Zinovjev – Mäkelä has stated in an interview a few years ago that he plans to conduct every single piece Zinovjev writes, and so far, he has!

  • William Safford says:

    I’m partial to Kalevi Aho’s music, but I’m game to listen to music by other Finnish composers.

    • We privatize your value says:

      Try Sibelius, for a start.

      • William Safford says:

        Um, I perform Sibelius’s music as well as listen to it, but he’s not exactly a living representative of Finnish composers.

        I did have several pleasant conversations with Aho some years ago, and I like listening to his music. I haven’t yet performed any of his works, but I’m considering tackling one or more of his chamber works. We’ll see.

  • Ben G. says:

    If he ever plans to program a marathon concert of the complete symphonic works of Segerstam, I will definetly buy a front row seat!

    • William Safford says:

      Is there such a thing as a front row berth? 🙂

      (That’s a commentary on the length of the program, not the quality.)