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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, along with soloist Hilary Hahn, he will head the orchestra on a major tour of European cities, including Vienna, Lucerne, Geneva, Frankfurt, and Hamburg. Inkinen has also been invited to become the Principal Guest Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, a post he assumed in September 2009.
As a guest conductor, Inkinen has worked with orchestras such as the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Deutsche Symphony Orchestra Berlin, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Bayerische Rundfunk, the WDR Cologne, the Maggio Musicale, La Scala, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, and the CBSO. In future seasons he will make his debuts with orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris.
Inkinen enjoys successful collaborations with soloists such as Vadim Repin, Hilary Hahn, Pinchas Zukerman, Nikolaj Znaider, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Alexander Toradze, and Elisabeth Leonskaya. He has conducted three productions at the Finnish National Opera, including Eugene Onegin. 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 the studio, his recordings for Naxos with the New Zealand and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, including Rautavaara’s Manhattan Trilogy and the Brahms Violin Concerto, have been greeted with critical acclaim. Of the most recent release of music by Sibelius, Gramophone said, “Here’s further proof that Pietari Inkinen is a young conductor with confidence and talent to spare … the New Zealand SO respond with conspicuous poise and application for their Finnish chief (they really do sound like a rejuvenated band). Inkinen’s readings, too, show a real feeling for the idiom: phrases are shaped – and textures sifted – with fastidiousness and imagination, and he brings abundant recreative flair and cogent grip to the task in hand….” His recording with the Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic received outstanding reviews and was voted the BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Month. In August, 2010 he returns to the studio to make a recording of Wagner arias and orchestral pieces with Simon O’Neil for EMI. 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 the Finnish Radio Symphony and the Helsinki Philharmonic – with whom he performed the Sibelius Concerto in a concert that celebrated the 100th anniversary of their performance of the work. He has play/directed orchestras including the Teatro Carlo Felice Genova, the RAI Torino, the Norrkopings Symphony, and the Orchestre National de Lyon. He also enjoys chamber music collaborations and has appeared with the Inkinen Trio at the Wigmore Hall and St. John’s Smith Square.
Inkinen plays a Carlo Bergonzi violin (c.1732) owned by the Gyllenberg Foundation.