Apr 8, 2016

Me and my Sibelius

— How did you first get interested in Sibelius?

It was actually the Fourth Symphony that made the biggest impact on me, and I think contact with some interpretations, for example Paavo Berglund, reinforced my interest, and the way he was conducting made me convinced that there’s an incredible truth in the music, which I didn’t discover so early in the other symphonies – with No. 2, for example, it took a long time before I was completely ready for it.

— What was the first work by Sibelius that you ever conducted, and what was the occasion?

It must have been No. 2, when I was in the music camp of Lapua, and had a youth/student/festival orchestra at that music camp.
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Feb 29, 2016


19 & 20 February 2016
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, WDR Rundfunkchor, Laura Aikin

“A magnificent Ravel with Saraste”

“Ravel’s large-scale piece was a sensational experience, with Jukka-Pekka Saraste on the podium, drawing out the full musical drama from the WDR Symphony Orchestra and the WDR Rundfunkchor. Although this music was originally intended to support a ballet, when played with so much impetus it needs no additional imagery. It all develops in the mind”.

22 February 2016
Johannes Zink, Kölnische Rundschau

Jan 20, 2016

32nd International Music Festival of the Canary Islands

Jukka-Pekka performs at the 32nd International Music Festival of the Canary Islands
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Dec 20, 2015


4 & 5 December 2015
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, Johannes Wohlmacher

“The audience was electrified by his energy as soon as he stepped on the podium. With impulsive gestures, Jukka-Pekka Saraste raised a storm from the explosive WDR Symphony Orchestra … with their perfect synergy, conductor and orchestra prove themselves to be a highly versatile chameleon.”

7 December 2015
Rainer Nonnenmann, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

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Dec 1, 2015


12 & 13 November 2015
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Karita Mattila, Jennifer Pike

“The Oslo Philharmonic’s sole Conductor Laureate possesses a closeness and an under-standing for his compatriot’s music which does not render the mysticism alienating – nor the lyrical affected.

Completely free of the sentimentality which lies within, he captures the whole and reveals the paths to the Finnish forests – and the unfathomable depths which carry within them a strong existential appeal.”

13 November 2015
Vaart Land

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Nov 9, 2015


4 November 2015
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Paul Lewis

“Big-boned readings, free of gratuitous effect or personal glory, precisely articulated, planned in the long term, are his hallmark.”

“Saraste proved himself unrivalled in getting his 95 players to respond as one to every nuance of tempo, phrasing, pause and inflexion…The cumulative effect was thrilling, cinematic, enriching.”

“Unleashed, the LPO, more than a few members no doubt remembering the molten Tennstedt days, rose to the occasion.”

6 November 2015
Ateş Orga,

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Oct 6, 2015

Brahms in China and South Korea

WDR Sinfonieorchester tour with Brahms cycle
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Oct 1, 2015


11 & 12 September 2015
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, Leonidas Kavakos

“…an unexpected triumph; the audience went wild … Jukka-Pekka Saraste has made it his mission in life to make his compatriot more popular and virtually proselytised his musicians to this effect. The WDR Symphony Orchestra’s sound and playing culture was sensational”

15 September 2015
Kölner Stadtanzeiger

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Sep 30, 2015

BRAHMS/SIBELIUS – Wiesbaden Kurhaus, Germany

10 September 2015
WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, Leonidas Kavakos

“Saraste’s familiarity with the Lemminkäinen Suite op. 22 by Sibelius was evidenced by an abundance of sceneries unfolding with exquisite dynamics and tone colours, realised by the WDR Symphony Orchestra with great understanding of this fantastical subject. As ever, The Swan of Tuonela in particular made a lasting impression.”

12 September 2015
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung