Finnish conductor Sasha Mäkilä is gaining recognition as one of the most prominent rising talents of his generation in both operatic and symphonic fields. Since 2017 maestro Mäkilä is Artistic Director of the Helsinki Metropolitan Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Krasnoyarsk Symphony Orchestra. In a short period of time, Mäkilä has made a name for himself as a versatile artist with a broad repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary. In maestro Mäkilä’s previous post as Music Director of St Michel Strings, he lifted the orchestra from near oblivion to national fame, taking them on international tours and music festivals and by inviting world-class soloists as well as introducing concert webcasts.

Sasha Mäkilä’s conducting career has taken him to four continents and to major ensembles, such as the Cleveland Orchestra and the Mariinsky Theatre. Mäkilä has performed at the Savonlinna Opera Festival, Gergiev Festival Mikkeli, Pyeongchang Music Festival (South Korea) and Nargenfestival (Estonia) and regularly collaborates with soloists such as Vadim Repin, Kyung-Wha Chung and Jian Wang. Mäkilä has conducted the world premieres of Free Will (2012, Savonlinna Opera Festival), Lovers of Mankind (2009, Musica Nova Helsinki), as well as Finnish premieres of Philip Glass’s chamber operas In the Penal Colony and Les Enfants Terribles.

Originally a cellist, Sasha Mäkilä studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy (Finland) and at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory (Russia). After completing a three-year tenure at Orchestre National de France as maestro Kurt Masur’s assistant he was nominated a Conducting Fellow at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen. Mäkilä is a prizewinner of the Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition (USA, 2006), and in 2013 the University of Helsinki presented him with the Pacius Award for his contributions to Finnish musical life.

During the season 18-19 Sasha Mäkilä will conduct his debut at the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and return to Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Pärnu City Orchestra and Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra. He will take the Helsinki Metropolitan Orchestra on tours in Finland and in China, and conduct the opera premieres of Pacius’ Kung Karls Jakt and Rautavaara’s Auringon talo in Helsinki.

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Information for June 2018