Artistic Board

The Artistic Board consists of the General Manager and two musicians elected by orchestra members. In the 2019/20 season, they are Timo Holopainen, 2nd Violin, and Deputy Principal Double Bass Mikko Kujanpää.
The Board picks out concert programmes, guest conductors and guest soloists and puts them into a proposal submitted to the Repertoire Committee.

Artists in Association

The Tapiola Sinfonietta engages in close collaboration with its Artists in Association and with an annually appointed Artist in Residence.
In the 2019/20 season, conductor and cellist Klaus Mäkelä and guitarist and composer Marzi Nyman continue in their roles as Artists in Association. Our Artist in Residence for the season is conductor Taavi Oramo..

The orchestra has been appointing Artists in Association since 2006.
Chief conductors and artistic partners of Tapiola Sinfonietta since 1987 were:

Chief conductors:
1987-1988 Jorma Panula
1987-1990 Juhani Lamminmäki
1990-1992 Osmo Vänskä
1993-2006 Jean-Jacques Kantorow
1999-2001 Tuomas Ollila

Artistic partners
2001-2002 John Storgårds
2003-2009 Olli Mustonen
2006-2013 Pekka Kuusisto
2006-2012 Stefan Asbury
2010-2019 Mario Venzago
2011-2014 Santtu-Matias Rouvali
2013- Marzi Nyman
2014-2019 Alexander Melnikov
2018- Klaus Mäkelä

Klaus Mäkelä, condutor and cellist

Klaus Mäkelä, a conductor and cellist creating a meteoric international career, became an Artist in Association with the Tapiola Sinfonietta in autumn 2018. He is also the Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the artistic director of the Turku Music Festival and Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.
In autumn 2018, the Tapiola Sinfonietta launched a Beethoven series designed and conducted by Mäkelä, featuring all of Beethoven’s symphonies in numerical order. The series proved hugely popular; it concludes in autumn 2020 with Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 and his masterpiece of sacred music, the Missa solemnis.
In recent years, Klaus Mäkelä has made débuts with a number of prominent orchestras, including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Kammerakademie Potsdam, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, the Bern, Malmö and Bergen Symphony Orchestras and Sinfonia Lahti.
Mäkelä has appeared as a cellist with a number of Finnish symphony orchestras and has performed chamber music at the major Finnish music festivals. In 2014, he won 2nd prize and the ‘audience favourite’ prize at the Turku XII Cello Competition.

“The Tapiola Sinfonietta allows the music to live and breathe. They give it all they’ve got at every concert, whether playing a piece for the first time or for the thousandth time.”


Marzi Nyman, guitarist, composer and singer

Marzi Nyman – a Finnish guitarist, composer and singer – does not, perhaps, represent the conventional image of an Artist in Association to a classical chamber orchestra. But his mastery as a guitarist, singer, composer and arranger, and his light-music networks have been put to good use in producing concerts, especially those for the young.  Nyman’s roles as Artist in Association with the Tapiola Sinfonietta includes appearing as soloist in his own Concerto for electric guitar and in a concert of music by Frank Zappa.

“I feel deeply passionate about chamber and orchestral music,” he says. “When the Sinfonietta players invited me to be their partner, I had to pinch myself. My feelings had been reciprocated! The partnership is absolutely one of the biggest honours I have received. The contact with the players is extremely important to me, and I dream of even closer dialogue with them. I also hope that we may, at our concerts, hear a real “band” of which I am privileged to be a member. My feeling is this: ‘The playground is open: Come on in!’

Artist in Residence

Conductor and clarinetist Taavi Oramo is working Artist in Residence with the Tapiola Sinfonietta for the 2019/20 season.

Artists of the Y generation such as Taavi Oramo are typically comfortable with shifting between various genres of music and branches of the arts. Oramo is a wide-ranging musician: a conductor, clarinettist and singer, besides being involved in electronic music. His creative and experimental readings of orchestral music provide a hint of what orchestral music might evolve into in the future. As a conductor, he appeared on the Finnish musical horizon in autumn 2017 when he was called upon to conduct the Tapiola Sinfonietta at a few days’ notice.
“The Tapiola Sinfonietta has a mind of its own and a unique culture of musicianship, and working with them is a wonderful growth opportunity for me. I anticipate deep dives into magnificent mindscapes, a down-to-earth approach and mutual commitment,” says Oramo.

Taavi Oramo has been appointed artistic director of the VocalEspoo festival in 2020. As artistic director of the VocalEspoo festival, Oramo succeeds choir conductor Pasi Hyökki, who led the festival from 2014 to 2018. Oramo sees this as an opportunity for creating an exciting playing field for a unique event, while acknowledging the festival’s history.

Taavi Oramo, photo / kuva: Tero Ahonen

“This will be a festival of the human voice. It will accommodate all kinds of music, of whatever genre, where the human voice plays a central role. The programme will focus heavily on Finnish music, with both old favourites in repertoire and performers and fresh, custom-made events.”


Honorary Conductor

French conductor and violinist Jean-Jacques Kantorow was given the title of Honorary Conductor of the Tapiola Sinfonietta in 2011. He was the orchestra’s Artistic Director from 1993 to 1999 and its regular conductor from 2000 to 2006. His tenure was of crucial importance to the shaping of the sound of the Tapiola Sinfonietta. He also conducted the orchestra in a substantial number of recordings: of the 60 items in the discography, about one third were conducted by Kantorow.
About one third of the more than 70 albums in the discography of the Tapiola Sinfonietta were recorded under Jean-Jacques Kantorow. The most recent of these, a recording of Piano Concertos nos. 3 to 5 by Saint-Saëns with Alexandre Kantorow as soloist, has received several international prizes and accolades.
Apart from his conducting career, Kantorow is also a successful concert violinist and has won prizes in several international competitions.