Who we are

When you mention the term “Finnish conducting school”, no doubt the first thing to come to mind are the Finnish conductors of nearly legendary status such as Paavo Berglung (1929–2012), Leif Segerstam (b. 1944), Okko Kamu (b. 1946) or Esa-Pekka Salonen (b. 1958). Finns seem to be disproportionately well represented in the world of conducting and perhaps only Estonia, our southern neighbour, has more well-known international orchestra conductors per capita! But what is meant by the Finnish conducting school, and does such a thing exist?

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Next masterclass


Finnish Conducting School Masterclass in Sofia, Bulgaria July 1–6, 2024

 Ten students will have the opportunity to work with Sofia Sinfonietta on masterpieces by Beethoven, Mozart and Mendelssohn. The course consists of five rehearsals and a public concert at the cultural center “Nadezhda”, as well as technique sessions together with a faculty pianist. 

Helping you find your strengths

Read more about the workshops

Studying with Sasha Mäkilä is the best thing I could’ve done to help my development as a conductor. He has inspired me to think of the different colors of the orchestra, and how I can encourage the musicians, both through interaction and technique, to showcase the music. Sasha Mäkilä makes himself relatable to his students so that he creates an environment of good communication, creativity, and learning.

Dorian Neuendorf,
Artistic Director of the Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Union Symphony Orchestra

Solid technique as a basis for creativity


Finnish conductor Sasha Mäkilä is gaining recognition as one of the most prominent rising talents of his generation in both operatic and symphonic fields. Since 2017 maestro Mäkilä has been Artistic Director of the Helsinki Metropolitan Orchestra. In a short period of time, Mäkilä has made a name for himself as a versatile artist with a broad repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary. In maestro Mäkilä’s previous post as Music Director of St Michel Strings, he lifted the orchestra from near oblivion to national fame, taking them on international tours and music festivals and by inviting world-class soloists as well as introducing concert webcasts.