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NZSO announces new role for Music Director

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce that Music Director Pietari Inkinen will assume the role of NZSO Honorary Conductor from 2016.

NZSO Chief Executive, Christopher Blake says: “The NZSO is delighted to continue its ongoing relationship with our exceptional Music Director as Honorary Conductor and we look forward to showcasing Maestro Inkinen in future seasons, including this year’s Season highlight – the monumental Inkinen Festival.”

Pietari Inkinenetari, now 34, is currently in his eighth season as Music Director of the NZSO. This June, he will conduct the Inkinen Festival which will take the Orchestra to new heights as well as celebrate his artistic achievements with the NZSO.

“The Festival brings together some of my most significant projects with the NZSO”, says Maestro Pietari Inkinen.2014A Pietari Inkinen

“Our 2012 performance of The Valkyrie with Simon O’Neill and Christine Goerke, the complete Naxos recordings of the Sibelius symphonies, and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto – an extension of last year’s successful Beethoven symphonic cycle. Those moments I wouldn’t trade for anything.

“There’s the unique power of Wagner in the Gala, one of most famous violin concertos by Beethoven, plus the highly original and wonderful Lemminkäinen Suite by Sibelius who is our most important composer in Finland.”

The Inkinen Festival is an exciting opportunity to watch Inkinen conduct an inspiring round up of his signature repertoire and memorable moments conducting the NZSO. The Wagner Gala will include well-known scenes from the last two operas of Wagner’s Ring Cycle – Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, and the return of powerhouse singers New Zealand tenor Simon O’Neill and soprano Christine Goerke. Inspired by the epic tales of his homeland Finland, Sibelius’ Lemminkäinen Suite is Inkinen’s personal Season highlight.

“There is no question that performing these big works shows some of the real strengths of the NZSO. I want to create more unforgettable moments for the audience and performers in this Festival. I want to bring people to the edge of their seat,” says Inkinen.

Since joining the NZSO in 2008, Inkinen’s work with the NZSO has been internationally acclaimed with critics lauding his “bold, sure-footed intelligence” (Guardian) and describing him as having “confidence and talent to spare” (Gramophone).

Highlights include leading the NZSO on its 2010 international tour to Vienna, Lucerne, Geneva, Frankfurt and Hamburg, when the Orchestra received a standing ovation at the hallowed Musikverein, conducting Wagner’s epic music drama The Valkyrie in full, recording the complete cycle of Sibelius symphonies (Naxos), and conducting all nine Beethoven symphonies consecutively over four days in both Wellington and Auckland.

“I’m thrilled to become the Honorary Conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra”, says Inkinen. “It is a privilege to continue my artistic relationship with the NZSO in New Zealand, one of my favourite international orchestras. I look forward to sharing my future experiences with this very special Orchestra in New Zealand.”

Internationally, Maestro Inkinen will assume the role of Chief Conductor of the Prague Symphony Orchestra from September 2015. He will also become the Chief Conductor of the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestpiele in Germany. He is currently in his sixth season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and last year he was honoured for Best Music Direction for Opera Australia’s Ring cycle at the Helpmann Awards in Australia.

The new NZSO Music Director will be announced shortly.

View Pietari Inkinen’s website


For further information please contact:

Janina Hanify  Publicity & Communications Manager
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra  | Te Tira Pūoro o Aotearoa
P +64 4 801 2037 Ext. 709 | M +64 275 745 294