“The young maestro conducted the Eroica Symphony with a straightforward, single-minded approach reflecting clarity, a keen musical intelligence and concentrated intensity.” PRETORIA NEWS (South Africa) 7.5.2010 Paul Boekkooi

Sasha Mäkilä

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 under maestro Franz Welser-Möst, after completing a three-year tenure at Orchestre National de France as maestro Kurt Masur’s assistant. 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.

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, Asia, South Africa and the USA. He has recently collaborated with artists including Vadim Repin, Kyung-Wha Chung, Jian Wang, and Anneleen Lenaerts. In the field of opera 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 (2006, Ooppera Skaala) and Les Enfants Terribles (2005, Ooppera Skaala). In 2015 he made his Mariinsky Theatre conducting debut by the invitation of Valery Gergiev.

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 prizewinner at the Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition (USA, 2006). In 2013 the University of Helsinki presented Sasha Mäkilä with the Pacius Award.