Photo: Matt Grace

Vesa-Matti Leppänen

Supported by Diessl Investments Ltd.

Born and raised in Turku, Finland, Vesa-Matti Leppänen moved to New Zealand in 2000. He was appointed NZSO Concertmaster 11 years ago and has earned national recognition for his musicianship as a chamber musician, teacher, jurist, and soloist. He has performed as a soloist with all the major orchestras in New Zealand. With the NZSO he has performed Sibelius, Lalo, Mozart, Bach concertos and works by leading New Zealand composers.

Internationally, Leppänen has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Australia, China, Japan, Philippines and Scandinavia. In 2005, he led the NZSO on its European/Japanese Tour and again in 2010 including the unforgettable performance in the Musikverein in Vienna. On both of those tours he was also featured as a soloist. He has worked alongside internationally renowned soloists Hilary Hahn, Lang Lang, Pinchas Zukerman, and Steven Isserlis and he has also appeared as a guest Concertmaster with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony and Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. In 2015, Leppänen will be guest leading the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. He will also be featured in a series of chamber music concerts with Diedre Irons and Andrew Joyce and he has been invited back to perform with Kathy Selby on an extensive tour in Australia.

Leppänen is teaching at the New Zealand School of Music and has given masterclasses and coached the NZSO National Youth Orchestra and the Asian Youth Orchestra. He is also a member of the Jury in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition.

Following his acclaimed performance of Vaughan William’s The Lark Ascending with the NZSO in 2013, Leppänen returns for a highly-anticipated repeat performance of the much-loved work in November 2015, touring Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch and Auckland.

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