Jukka Iisakkila, Conductor
The Finnish conductor Jukka Iisakkilas versatility and broad repertoire have taken him to symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, contemporary ensembles and opera houses throughout Europe.
A regular guest with many of the leading Scandinavian orchestras, conductor Jukka Iisakkila is renowned for his innovative programming. He was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Pori Sinfonietta from 2004 to 2012.
Since 2003 he has been Artistic Director of one of the most innovative and artistically rich and praised music festival in Scandinavia, the Saaksmaki SoundsMusic Festival. Iisakkila is founder of both the festival and the orchestra in residence.
Jukka Iisakkila has achieved nationally acclaimed results with innovative programming. He has succeeded in combining well known repertoire with music which is rarely heard in the concert halls with great success. He has launched highly successful programs collaborating with other art institutions as well as pre-talks and hosted events bringing the audience closer to the musicians.
Iisakkila is known for his affinity with contemporary music and has conducted numerous world premieres having close links with many of todays foremost composers.
Jukka Iisakkila conducts all major Finnish orchestras on a regular basis and enjoys frequent collaboration with the majority of Danish and Swedish orchestras. Other guest appearances include orchestras in Denmark, UK, Slovakia, Hungary, Russia, Moldova, Italy, Canada, Holland and Germany.
Iisakkila has conducted opera performances throughout various Scandinavian opera houses and also in Northern Sweden Opera Festival, Helsinki Opera, Finnish Castle Opera Festival, Pori Opera and in various semi-staged productions. His operatic repertoire spans from Mozart to contemporary operas including composers like Verdi, Donizetti, Poulenc, Bartók, Berg, Zimmermann and Luigi Dallapiccola. Highly successful productions span from Don Giovanni to Wozzeck and from Zimmermann s Soldaten to music by Helmut Lachenmann.
Recent and current highlights include performances with the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan, Jena Philharmonie, Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, Orchestra dell Arena di Verona, Savaria Symphony Orchestra, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Danish Radio Chamber Orchestra, Norrlandsoperan, Helsinki Philharmonic, Tampere Philharmonic, Avanti! and Tapiola Sinfonietta.
Jukka Iisakkila has received many major awards including the Royal Music Academy Award in Sweden 2006; Finnish Culture Foundation award for achievements the field of conducting; in 2008 he was named Cultural person and Musician of the Year 2008 for his work with the Saaksmaki Sounds!Music Festival. Jukka Iisakkila won the First Prize in the Helsingborg Nordic Conducting competition and the Third Prize in the International Jorma Panula Conducting competition.
Jukka Iisakkila graduated from the orchestral conducting diploma class at Royal Academy of Music, Stockholm, after studies with the world renowned Professor Jorma Panula. Besides Professor Jorma Panula his most important teachers have been Martyn Brabbins, Esa-Pekka Salonen (Conductor Laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra), and Alan Gilbert (Music Director of the New York Philharmonic).