Jukka-Pekka Saraste

Biography

Born: 1956; Heinola, Finland  
Jukka-Pekka Saraste established himself as a leading conductor of his generation at a remarkably early age, and has gone on to fulfill the promise that was implied by becoming one of the world's leading conductors. He is particularly known for his interpretations of Mozart and of twentieth-century classics, particularly new Finnish music.

He studied piano and violin at the Lahti Conservatory. His teachers encouraged him to consider
Read more conducting when he was as young as twelve years old. After graduating from the Conservatory in 1978 he continued his conducting studies while playing professionally as a violinist in the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra.

That orchestra gave him his chance to have a conducting debut on their podium at the age of twenty-three. In 1981, he also won the first prize of the Scandinavian Conducting Competition. The Helsinki Philharmonic invited him to lead several of their concerts on its important North American tour of 1982. He repeated this feat when the orchestra toured China in 1985.

He also founded the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, a group devoted mainly to contemporary music. This gained him considerable international recognition for his informed and exciting choices of new music.

His biggest breakout year was 1987. In that year he was appointed as principal conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Edinburgh and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. His tenure with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (until 1991) saw him lead it on important tours throughout the British Isles and North America, including a series of performances at New York's Carnegie Hall.

He also brought the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra to the Edinburgh Festival, and has toured with it to Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Germany, the United Kingdom and, several times, to Vienna. His first appearance there with the orchestra, in 1993, has led to several return trips.

In 1994 he became Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. This is a major orchestra that has varied in quality over the years and, before Saraste, never had a regular recording contract. Saraste brought it to one of its highest points. He also brought it a contract with Finlandia Records.

He began his connection with Finlandia with a complete set of Sibelius Symphonies, recorded by the Finnish National Radio Orchestra in St Petersburg, Russia in 1995. Previously, he had made records with the Virgin Classics, BIS, Classic for Pleasure, Conifer, Ondine, Simax, and Decca labels. His exclusive contract with Finlandia began in 1995 and included both the FRSO and the Toronto SO, and brought both to a major international record company, since Finlandia is owned by the giant American media firm Warner Classics.

He has been credited with bringing a large and diverse audience to the Toronto Orchestra's home of Roy Thompson Hall. Their first recording for Finlandia, of orchestral music by Modest Mussorgsky, won a nomination for the Juno Award, Canada's recording academy prize. He frequently takes the Toronto Symphony to Carnegie Hall.

Known for most of his career for incisive, energetic performances, he has stated that he is changing his approach as a result of studying the recordings of great conductors of the past such as Toscanini and Furtwängler. He says that in their day, conductors led the broad outlines of the work and left the orchestra's principal players in charge of their respective sections, generating "an exciting kind of friction, combining sizzling energy with the broad outline." He now strives for a broad sound and more rubato.

He announced that he would leave his Toronto position at the expiration of his contract there in 2000. Read less
Stravinsky: Danses concertantes, etc / Saraste, Avanti CO
Release Date: 09/22/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 292   Number of Discs: 1
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Stamitz: Flute Concerto / Helasvuo, Saraste, Helsinki
Release Date: 09/22/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 268   Number of Discs: 1
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Silvestrov: Symphonies No 4 & 5 / Saraste
Release Date: 02/02/2010   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1703   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 78 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Henri Dutilleux 1916-2013
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 42755 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Henri Dutilleux
    Performer:  Bernard Balet,  Maurice Bourgue,  Bernard Cazauran,  Huguette Dreyfus  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Paul Sacher,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris,  Collegium Musicum Orchestra,  French National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Brahms: Symphonies 1 & 3 / Saraste, Wdr Sinfonieorchester Koln
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 13028 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5 & 6, Tapiola / Saraste, Finnish Radio Symphony
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7715212 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Prokofiev, Britten: Cello Symphonies / Muller-Schott
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 847121 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Daniel Müller-Schott
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $22.49
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  • 5.
    Secret Memories
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1324 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lera Auerbach,  Teppo Hauta-Aho,  György Kurtág,  Olav Anton Thommessen  ... 
    Performer:  Dan Styffe,  Peter Herresthal
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
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  • 6.
    Schoenberg: Pelleas und Melisande, Erwartung / Charbonnet, Saraste
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 12021 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg
    Performer:  Jeanne-Michele Charbonnet
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    The Olympic Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4667024 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  James Bowman,  Michael Chance
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard,  Louis Martini,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Christoph von Dohnányi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
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  • 8.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto (Arranged From The Violin Concerto); Bach / Olli Mustonen
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443118 Release Date: 05/21/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Olli Mustonen
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Olli Mustonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen
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    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 9.
    Saariaho: Works For Orchestra
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1113 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Kaija Saariaho
    Performer:  John Storgĺrds,  Anu Komsi,  Jouko Laivuori,  Petteri Salomaa  ... 
    Conductor:  Hannu Lintu,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Christoph Eschenbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Avanti Chamber Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Relaxing Mozart
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 7317092 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Naoko Yoshino,  Samuel Coles,  Jean-Bernard Pommier,  Sabine Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Christopher Warren-Green,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    CD: $7.99
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  • 11.
    The Nordic Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4671621 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Christian Sinding,  Jean Sibelius,  Erkki Melartin  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Izumi Tateno,  Harald Aadland,  Jon Wien Sonstebo  ... 
    Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen,  Sakari Oramo,  Shuntaro Sato,  Pertti Pekkanen  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 12.
    Nordheim: Epitaffio, Monolith, Canzona, Fonos, Adieu / Saraste, Gupta, Oslo Philharmonic
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1318 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arne Nordheim
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Rolf Gupta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Sibelius: Symphony No. 5; Lutoslawski: Concerto For Orchestra / Saraste, London Philharmonic
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 57 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Witold Lutoslawski
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Stravinsky: The Firebird; Scherzo Fantastique / Saraste, WDR Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 11041 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wdr Sinfonieorchester Köln
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  • 15.
    Mozart: Symphonies 32, 35, 36, 39, 41 / Saraste, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 96370 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Harry Somers: Live From Toronto
    Label: Centrediscs   Catalog: 15910 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Harry Somers
    Performer:  Robert Silverman
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Victor Feldbrill,  Alex Pauk
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  • 17.
    Magnus Lindberg: Orchestral Music / Saraste, Oramo, Salonen
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1110-2 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Magnus Lindberg
    Performer:  Esa Tapani
    Conductor:  Sakari Oramo,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Avanti Chamber Orchestra,  Toimii Ensemble,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 18.
    Mahler: Symphony no 9 / Saraste, WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 10035 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 6 / Saraste, Oslo Philharmonic
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1316 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
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  • 20.
    50 Best Adagios
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57489 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Pachelbel,  Gregorio Allegri,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Giovanni Scaramuzzino,  Véronique Gens,  David Daniels,  Steven Isserlis  ... 
    Conductor:  Ian Watson,  Andrew Parrott,  Christopher Warren-Green,  Fabio Biondi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Taverner Consort,  Seminario Musicale  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 21.
    Essential Highlights Of Karita Mattila
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 252-2 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Antonín Dvorák,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Ilmo Ranta
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Nicolaus A. Huber: Weisse Radierung; Mit Etwas Extremismus Und Eine Muskel-coda; Air Mit Sphinxes; Dasselbe Ist Nicht Dasselbe
    Label: Coviello Classics   Catalog: 61003 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicolaus Huber
    Performer:  Rainer Römer
    Conductor:  Peter Rundel,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Modern
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  • 23.
    The Irresistible Karita Mattila
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1171-2 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thelonious Monk,  Erroll Garner,  Jerome Kern,  Frederick Loewe  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila
    Conductor:  Kirmo Lintinen,  Pekka Savijoki,  Riku Niemi,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  How Many Sisters Vocal Trio,  Fever Band Bandoneon,  Tapiola Sinfonietta  ... 
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  • 24.
    Violet Archer, Larysa Kuzmenko, Alexina Louie: Concerti
    Label: Centrediscs   Catalog: 15610 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexina Louie,  Larysa Kuzmenko,  Violet Archer
    Performer:  Christina Petrowska Quilico
    Conductor:  Alex Pauk,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  John Eliot Gardiner
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  • 25.
    Silvestrov: Symphonies No 4 & 5 / Saraste
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1703 Release Date: 02/02/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Valentin Silvestrov
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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