How Rouvali rejuvenates an orchestra

How Rouvali rejuvenates an orchestra


norman lebrecht

July 09, 2021

We hear from the Mikkeli Festival that the orchestral sound was transformed when Valery Gergiev left and Santtu Matias Rouvali took over.

The photographer Laura Luostarinen had exclusive access and sent us these shots.

(c) Laura Luostarinen


  • Gustavo says:

    rubber baton vs tooth-pick

  • RW2013 says:

    right hand – figure of eight (the horizontal type), left hand – early Parkinson, walks in circles around the podium (and fell off it the last time I saw him), keeps his rhythm by bending his knees, an optical distraction, and all of this, all the time, no matter what the dynamic or tempo.
    But it’s all about the young, exxxxciting energy, isn’t it?

    • Alexander Hall says:

      The antics on the rostrum are very distracting. It wouldn’t be so bad if the interpretations were memorable. They aren’t. But who cares? Orchestral managements believe the buzz brings in the punters. And that matters.

      • FrauGeigerin says:

        Because most young conductors these days don’t understand that they conduct to serve the music and that everything they do has to carry an intentional music meaning, and instead conduct for the audiences and do what makes them look “cool”.

    • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

      Enough about Gergiev. What about the new guy?

    • Musician says:

      Tell that to the Philharmonia. They’re not pushovers, and they love him.

      I’ve never though of rhythm as needing personal pronoun before. Perhaps I’ll bend my knees next time and see if it helps.

  • Karajan says:

    ”Opera or ballet is not my thing” -Rouvali

    Millennial’s excuse to not knowing his profession. But the curly hair and ”youthful energy” makes up for all of that.