Rising conductor farms 34 acres

Rising conductor farms 34 acres


norman lebrecht

July 30, 2022

The New York Times has discovered Santtu-Matias Rouvali and visited him on his farm.

He and his wife, Elina, live in the property’s main house but make use of all the surrounding buildings. They include a sauna, a guesthouse with music and pole-dancing studios, and a garage with a room for Rouvali to slaughter and skin the game he hunts, like ducks and deer. He fishes in the nearby lake, where he was having a beach built (along with a waterfront sauna). They eat everything he kills and fill the table with dishes made from other local ingredients, such as foraged chanterelles or new potatoes from a neighbor.

“I need this,” Rouvali said, “to kind of rest and have a mental break and not really think about music.”

Too much information?


  • Qwerty1234 says:

    The NY Phil PR department already hard at work promoting him?

  • Yodi says:

    Actually a nice profile of a refreshingly interesting maestro.

    At first, I thought it was just another one of those pieces by a critic trying to pre-annoint a music director.

    No, it’s more than that, it’s a good read in any context.

    Anyway, as to the substance of what some of what was said by Borda and by Rouvali:

    1) “Its music director search, said Deborah Borda, the orchestra’s chief executive, is ‘a very confidential and sacrosanct process, and we just don’t discuss it.’ ”

    Oh please, the NY Phil just doesn’t discuss it because it has been burned so many times by maestros who have turned down the offer: Abbado, Rattle, Muti, Salonen…

    2) “Rouvali said ‘… has there ever been a conductor who says no to the New York Phil?’ ”

    Um yeah! The bigger the name, the more likely the hard no.

    3) As for them “saunas”, ubiquitous in Finland as swimming pools in the US, Barone doesn’t mention if he was invited to join in (as normal an invite in Finland as an invitation to a BBQ in the US), a sure sign of the maestro taking a liking to the critic as the critic is to the maestro ; )

  • IP says:

    With all respect for the New York Times, I think Santtu-Matias Rouvali has been discovered some time ago. First by his mom among the cabbages where the stork had left him, then by the musically interested.

  • Tony Sanderson says:

    “not really think about music” – I always thought one of music’s roles was to lift us on a higher plane and refresh our souls.

    So is Santtu-Matias Rouvali suggesting that slaughtering game does that better?

    • Bone says:

      There it is! I knew there would be a “slaughter” comment from someone on this site!
      Can’t wait to cook the ribeyes I have prepped for dinner tomorrow. Nothing like slaughtered animal to get the musical juices going!

      • Jef olson says:

        Did you kill and slaughter your ribeyes? I didn’t think so. You just eat mass murdered meat. Everyone should look into the eyes of any animal they kill.

  • J Barcelo says:

    Good for him! There are so many people today completely out of touch as to how and where food comes from. And he’s no city boy! Yevgeny Svetlanov and Arthur Rodzinkski were also very much like this.

  • Anonymous says:

    He should maybe spend more time with the music.

  • Fact-checker says:

    Has the NYT just discovered rouvali if they’ve been reviewing him for years?

  • Singeril says:

    Not too much information at all. Seeing how he wonderfully lives his life is far more interesting than Jonas’ tats.

  • Arameo says:

    Sounds nice and healthy but he should stop smoking

  • Colin48 says:

    “Too much information?”

    No, too little information! What does he produce on his 34 acres, apart from the peas (in a “room-sized area”) referred to in the NY Times article?

    Does he just wound the ducks and deer, before dragging them back to his garage for slaughtering (killing) and skinning? As he and his wife eat everything he kills, how long does it take for two people to eat a deer?

    He adds mushrooms and potatoes to his meals. What else?

    More information, please!

  • PG Vienna says:

    How many Orchestras is he going to be the musical director ?

    • Tamino says:

      The new would record would be four chief conductor positions. With a good private jet and private airport at the estate (how many hectars needed for a small jet runway?) it really should be possible, including hunting in-between concert weeks.

      Ultimately that should be decided by the agency though, since the business revolves around them, they must be happy, the rest doesn’t matter that much.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Santtu-Matias Rouvali reminds me of Charles Ives. Especially the ideas in his ‘Postface to 114 Songs’.

  • Glynne Williams says:

    Well clearly he’s not farming when he’s zipping round the world conducting. So who are the people doing the real farming work?

  • sayin' says:

    Follows in the same path as Slur Jon Eloit Gardner who has often been interviewed in his wellies round the back of a cowshed. No wonder his conducting is such cr@p.

  • microview says:

    Of course, all this background stuff was given in Artsdesk and Gramophone interviews, months and months ago. Nothing new in the NY article

  • Frank says:

    like the kid, and it’s a generational thing, this illusion that you can choose another life if you get bored with what you do for a living.