JUKKA-PEKKA SARASTE (born April 22, 1956,
Saraste was trained as a violinist. He later studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy with Jorma Panula in the same class as Esa-Pekka Salonen and Osmo Vänskä . Before becoming a conductor, Saraste was co-principal second violinist and later an associate to Leif Segerstam , with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO).
In 1983, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Saraste co-founded the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, which specialises in performances of contemporary music. In 2000, Saraste also founded the Ekenäs Summer Concerts-Festival with the Finnish Chamber Orchestra, and he is currently the artistic advisor to both Festival and Orchestra. Saraste has directed the Finnish Chamber orchestra on several tours, including tours in the United States and China.
In 1987, Saraste became the chief conductor of the RSO, and held the position until 2001. In 1987, he also became the principal conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and remained with the orchestra until 1991. Saraste now holds the title of Conductor Laureate of the RSO. He has twice recorded the complete symphonies of Jean Sibelius with the RSO.
Saraste became Music Director of the
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
From 2002 to 2005, Saraste served as the principal guest conductor of
BBC Symphony Orchestra . In August 2006, he became Music Director