Music Director

Pietari Inkinen

Pietari Inkinen, now working internationally at the highest level, was appointed Music Director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 2008. He has won unanimous praise from audiences and critics both for his performances on tour in New Zealand and for his recordings with the Orchestra on Naxos. In November 2010 he led the NZSO on a major tour of European cities including Vienna, Lucerne, Geneva, Frankfurt and Hamburg with Hilary Hahn, earning international acclaim. Pietari Inkinen is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, a post he has held since September 2009.

As guest conductor, Inkinen works with orchestras including Dresden Staatskapelle, Deutsche Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Bayerische Rundfunk, WDR Cologne, Maggio Musicale, La Scala Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, CBSO, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Staaskapelle Berlin.

He enjoys successful collaborations with soloists such as Vadim Repin, Hilary Hahn, Pinchas Zukerman, Nikolaj Znaider, Jean Yves Thibaudet, Alexander Toradze and Elisabeth Leonskaya.

In the operatic pit he has conducted three productions at the Finnish National Opera, including Eugene Onegin, and he made a very successful debut at La Monnaie in Brussels conducting The Rite of Spring with the Pina Bausch Dance Company, after which he was immediately re-invited.

In spring 2012 Pietari Inkinen has been invited to make his debuts at the Bayerische Staastoper Munich and the Staatsoper Berlin. A major highlight of his 2013 season will be his appearance at Palermo’s Teatro Massimo, conducting Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

In the studio his recordings for Naxos with the New Zealand and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras have been warmly received, including Rautavaara’s Manhattan Trilogy, music by Sibelius and the Brahms Violin Concerto. Gramophone said of his Sibelius Symphonies 4 and 5 recording with the NZSO on Naxos:

“Inkinen proves a relatively cool, self-effacing guide, eschewing originality for its own sake in the pursuit of sweet-tempered naturalness. It is the restraint that impresses most… Inkinen makes the music sounds as though it’s playing itself.”

Of his earlier Sibelius release, The Guardian said: “Inkinen seems a conductor of bold, sure-footed intelligence, and on this evidence the New Zealand orchestra is a fine, responsive unit, too. In the First Symphony, Inkinen is more successful than I’ve ever heard before in purging the work of Tchaikovsky’s influence…It’s a fierce, sometimes confrontational approach…but certainly a valid and exciting one.”

Inkinen’s recording for EMI of Wagner arias and orchestral pieces with Simon O’Neill earned a rare double five-star review from BBC Music Magazine. His recording with the Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic received outstanding reviews and was voted BBC Music Magazine’s recording of the month.

Inkinen is also an accomplished violinist and studied at the Cologne Music Academy with Zakhar Bron. He has appeared as soloist with many of the leading Finnish Orchestras including Finnish Radio Symphony and Helsinki Philharmonic, with whom he performed the Sibelius Concerto in a concert marking the 100th anniversary of their performance of the work. He has appeared with orchestras including WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Teatro Carlo Felice Genova, RAI Torino, Norrkopings Symphony and Orchestre National de Lyon. He also enjoys chamber music collaborations and has appeared with the Inkinen Trio at various festivals and at the Wigmore Hall.

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