The orchestra and its history

The current Artistic Director of the orchestra is conductor Eero Lehtimäki. He works together with the artistic partners Minna Pensola and Iiro Rantala.

Orchestral activities in Joensuu began already over 100 years ago. The foundation for the present-day orchestra was laid in 1953 and it started as a municipal orchestra in 1978. The first artistic director was Pekka Haapasalo, followed by Juozas Domarkas, Atso Almila, Hannu Koivula, Esa Heikkilä and Jurjen Hempel. The past decades have seen many successful concerts and operas, guest performances and recordings, concert balls, open-air concerts at the market-place and concerts together with rock bands at Ilosaari Rock Festival.

Recordings of the orchestra include the world premiere of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s opera “Thomas”, orchestral music by Kalervo Tuukkanen (Alba), a CD entitled Elegy with trumpeter Jouko Harjanne (Cryston) and a CD containing Chopin’s piano concertos with Pianist Janne Mertanen (Alba). In addition, the orchestra has made recordings of film scores and performed on various Finnish popular artists’ recordings.

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