In 2015 Pietari Inkinen became Chief Conductor of Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele. In 16/17 he will also take up the role of Chief Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, having held the role of Principal Guest since 2009. Inkinen is also Honorary Conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having previously been Music Director from 2008 to 2016.
As a guest conductor Inkinen has worked with the Staatskapelle Berlin, Munich Philharmonic, La Scala Philharmonic, Orchestra of Santa Cecilia, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Vienna Radio Symphony, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Spanish National Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony and Oslo Philharmonic as well as the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Leipzig Gewandhaus.
Highlights of the 2016/2017 season include Inkinen’s debuts with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the RSB Berlin as well as performances of a highly successful new production of Eugene Onegin at the Dresden Semperoper. He will also take the Prague Symphony on tour to Spain and Austria, begin a project to present the Ring in concert version with the Japan Philharmonic with a performance of Das Rheingold, and conduct the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and Orchestra Verdi in Milan. In autumn 2016 he will return to Melbourne to conduct a revival of Opera Australia’s acclaimed 2013 production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen directed by Neil Armfield. In August 2014 Australia’s Helpmann Awards, recognising artistic excellence throughout Australia’s vibrant performing arts scene, voted Inkinen as the award winner for Best Music Direction for Opera Australia’s Ring Cycle.
Previously Inkinen has conducted at the Finnish National Opera, La Monnaie in Brussels, Staatsoper in Berlin and the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. He has conducted Wagner’s Walkure and Das Rheingold in Palermo’s Teatro Massimo for which he was awarded Italy’s National Association of Music Critics with the Franco Abbiati Prize for “Best Show” for Das Rheingold.
Inkinen has recorded widely for Naxos. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s complete cycle of Sibelius Symphonies, the premiere recording of Rautavaara’s Manhattan Trilogy and a further live Sibelius Cycle recorded with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in Suntory Hall, have been widely acclaimed. Inkinen has a large number of other recording credits, including Wagner arias and orchestral pieces with Simon O’Neill and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for EMI, which earned a rare double five-star review from BBC Music Magazine, and the Shostakovich Cello Concerto and Britten Cello Symphony with Johannes Moser for Haenssler.
Also an accomplished violinist, Inkinen studied at the Cologne Music Academy with Zakhar Bron, winning various awards and prizes for his solo work, before taking further studies in conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He continues to enjoy play-directing and performing chamber music with his regular musical partners.
Chief Conductor of Honour
Principal Guest Conductor
Jac van Steen
Jac van Steen was born in Eindhoven. In September 1985 his participation in the BBC European Conductor’s seminar resulted in guest engagements with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1986 to 1990 he was conductor and music director of the Bach Choir in Nijmegen. He was also Music Director of the National Ballet, Amsterdam, a post which he held up until the end of the 1993–94 season. The Bochumer Symfoniker in Germany appointed him in the 1992–93 season as their permanent guest conductor, a position which he held until September 1994. As of September 1997, Jac van Steen has been chief conductor of the Nuerenberg Symphony Orchestra in Germany and in September 1999 was also appointed Chief Conductor and Music Director of the New Berlin Chamber Orchestra. In August 2002 Jac van Steen was appointed Music Director of the Deutsches National Theater Weimar and chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Weimar (up to August 2005) and in that same year he was appointed chief conductor of the Musikkollegium Winterthur, Switzerland. As per August 2007, Jac van Steen has been appointed General Music Director of the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Theatre Dortmund. His first visit to the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London in 1997 lead to immediate return engagements, CD recordings and his Proms debut.
Rudolf Pekárek 1934–1942
Václav Smetáček 1942–1972
Ladislav Slovák 1972–1976
Jiří Bělohlávek 1977–1990
Petr Altrichter 1990–1992
Martin Turnovský 1992–1995
Gaetano Delogu 1995–1998
Serge Baudo 2001–2006
Jiří Kout 2006–2013
Pietari Inkinen from 2015