Finnish conductor Sasha Mäkilä is gaining recognition as one of the most prominent rising talents of his generation in both the operatic and symphonic fields. Since April 2012 he is Music Director of St. Michel Strings – a chamber orchestra widely known for its adventurous programming. Prior to his appointment he served two years in the conducting staff of The Cleveland Orchestra as Assistant Conductor under Maestro Franz Welzer-Möst, after completing a three-year tenure at Orchestre National de France as Maestro Kurt Masur’s assistant. In a short period of time Mr. Mäkilä has made a name for himself as a versatile artist with a broad repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary.
Maestro Mäkilä’s guest conducting schedule takes him across Finland where he regularly conducts the country’s leading orchestras, Russia, the UK and other European countries, South Africa and the US. In the field of opera he 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 (2006, Ooppera Skaala) and Les Enfants Terribles (2005, Ooppera Skaala).
Originally a cellist, Sasha Mäkilä studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy (Finland) and at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory (Russia). He was nominated a Conducting Fellow at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen (2009) and he was also a prize winner at the Sixth Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition (USA, 2006) as well as finalist in the Suwon International Conductors Competition (South Korea, 2005).