Topi Lehtipuu. Photo: Monica Rittershaus (detail) View full image

Topi Lehtipuu appointed in Finland

Topi Lehtipuu has been appointed as an Artistic Partner of Kymi Sinfonietta as part of the orchestra’s innovative new strategy of sharing the artistic leadership between three experts in different fields of music.

According to the three-year agreement he will plan and conduct concerts each season and help develop the orchestra’s vocal and early music offering. His first concert in October 2023 is ‘Sparkling Italian Opera’, featuring music ranging from Baroque to 19th-century classics, and his November ‘In Memoriam’ programme features choral works by Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.

The other Artistic Partner is jazz musician and saxophonist Jukka Perko, and a third will be appointed at a later date. The orchestra also welcomes a new Managing Director, Mikko Missi, on 1 June.

As a tenor and performer, Lehtipuu is renowned for repertoire ranging from early music to contemporary compositions. He also enjoys a career as artistic consultant and curator and was Director of the Helsinki Festival from 2015 to 2018 and of Turku Music Festival from 2010 to 2015. In recent years he has developed his work as a conductor and appears regularly with orchestras in his native Finland.

Lehtipuu said of his new role, ‘Artistic planning is a multi-dimensional process. Kymi Sinfonietta is embarking on a new planning model, based on a dialogue which combines the orchestra’s collective know-how with the conductor’s vision. This resonates perfectly with my own way of thinking, and I am excited to join the orchestra as Artistic Partner at this pivotal moment of their development. It is a joy to collaborate and make music with their wonderful musicians.’

Raymond Cox, the orchestra’s concertmaster, said: ‘Starting this year, we will move away from collaborating with a single Artistic Director and adopt a new model in which the orchestra engages multiple artistic partners in different fields. Kymi Sinfonietta has always been an orchestra of various colours and contrasts. Now it is time to focus on those contrasts with experts. Artistic partners can bring new depth, new perspective, and new demands to our ensemble and we are more than ready to take on the challenge.’