The Korea Herald


Finnish conductor takes helm of KBS Symphony Orchestra

By Im Eun-byel

Published : May 12, 2021 - 16:21

    • Link copied

Conductor Pietari Inkinen (KBS Symphony Orchestra) Conductor Pietari Inkinen (KBS Symphony Orchestra)

The KBS Symphony Orchestra has appointed Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen as its chief conductor and music director.

The orchestra announced Tuesday that the Finnish conductor, 41, would fill the post. It had remained empty for two years, since conductor Yoel Levi left in 2019.

The new conductor will begin in January and is set to stay until the end of 2024.

Inkinen, who is also a violinist, studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He is currently the chief conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbruecken and the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has also worked with numerous prestigious orchestras around the world, such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, SWR Stuttgart and the BBC Philharmonic.

The KBS Symphony Orchestra’s decision to appoint Inkinen is part of a Finnish wave affecting all of South Korea’s classical music scene. The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra is also led by a Finnish conductor, Osmo Vanska.

Inkinen and Vanska both studied at the Sibelius Academy under Jorma Panula, who is considered a legendary mentor of conductors.

Inkinen went onstage with the KBS Symphony Orchestra in 2006 and 2008 in Korea. He also took the baton for the orchestra last year.

“I was touched by the orchestra members’ fearless dedication and their beautiful musical performance,” Inkinen said in a press release in Korean. “We will strive to perform great music across Korea, not just in Seoul.”

The new conductor and the KBS Symphony Orchestra plan to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, “Choral,” Dec. 24.

By Im Eun-byel (