Vesa-Matti Leppänen, Concertmaster of the NZSO, was born and raised in Turku, Finland. After completing his studies at the Turku Conservatory and Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Vesa-Matti Leppänen joined the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the oldest symphony orchestras in Europe. Over the following ten years he held a number of positions including Principal Second Violin, Third Concertmaster and Co-Concertmaster. Leppänen’s early success in solo and chamber music competitions helped to establish himself as a chamber musician and a soloist.
Since moving to New Zealand in 2000, Vesa-Matti Leppänen has toured the country as NZSO Concertmaster, soloist and chamber musician, working alongside internationally renowned soloists such as Pinchas Zukerman, Hilary Hahn, Steven Isserlis and Lang Lang. Leppänen has also performed as a featured soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Southern Sinfonia and Christchurch Symphony. He has also toured the country with chamber music groups like Stroma and Felix the Quartet.
Vesa-Matti Leppänen led the NZSO on its European/Japanese Tour in 2005 and in 2010 he lead the NZSO on their European tour that included performances in the Musikverein in Vienna and Lucerne Festival Hall. Leppänen has also led other leading orchestras, including Melbourne Symphony and Sydney Symphony orchestras, most recently during SSO’s tour to China in October 2012.
Vesa-Matti Leppänen is a featured artist with Naxos Records. His recording of Lyell Cresswell’s work for violin and voice (with Madeleine Pierard) has won critical acclaim. He also teaches at the NZ School of Music and is a member of the jury for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition.
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