Since the beginning of the 21th century, Jyväskylä Sinfonia has filled its concert halls year after year and the seats are almost 100 % sold. Orchestra’s chief conductor Ville Matvejeff began his period in the beginning of 2014 and will continue until the year 2022. Matvejeff is one of the most interesting Finnish musical talents. Successful as a composer, conductor, pianist, and singer, he has established himself as an exceptionally wide-ranging musician.
The orchestra has 39 full-time musicians and the orchestra’s activities reach every year more than 30 000 people. Jyväskylä Sinfonia organizes each year over 100 music events ranging from classical symphony concerts to chamber music concerts, open-minded entertaining evenings, and audience development events.
Jyväskylä Sinfonia was founded in 1955, with Ahti Karjalainen as its first conductor. The orchestra was municipalized for the first time in 1965 and its history has seen various stages, among them phases also as a private organization in addition to the communal unit. During the years, the orchestra has been conducted by Jukka Hapuoja, Onni Kelo, Jorma Svanström, Kyösti Haatanen, William Boughton, Ari Rasilainen, Markus Lehtinen, and Patrick Gallois.
Jyväskylä Sinfonia performs mainly on Wednesdays in Jyväskylä City Theatre; church concerts are usually held in Taulumäki Church. Yearly chamber concerts are held in various places, such as Jyväskylä City Hall and Kuokkala Church. Biennally, Jyväskylä Sinfonia plays in the opera production of Jyväskylä Opera; the latest co-production is La Bohème, which still has performances left.
Jyväskylä Sinfonia gives concerts actively in Central Finland and on numerous festivals during summertime. Next summer the orchestra performs, for instance, on Kimito Island Music Festival and in Art Centre Salmela together with the conductor Tomas Djupsjöbacka. Also tours abroad belong to the orchestra’s activities; in the 21th century, the orchestra has toured in Spain, France, Norway, and Japan.
Jyväskylä Sinfonia has published over 40 recordings and has released music for some of the largest classical music publishing companies, such as Naxos, Ondine, Warner, Finlandia Records, and Fazer Records. The most successful cd in the orchestra’s history is the recording together with the luminous opera star Karita Mattila; the cd that includes music by Lasse Mårtenson has sold over 80.000 pieces after the publication in 1998.
The latest recordings include Pekka Kostiainen's Requiem together with St. Michel Strings, Olli Virtaperko's music and Aulis Sallinen's 80th jubilee album together with Ralf Gothóni, Arto Noras and Meta4 string quartet. Three albums with baritone Waltteri Torikka have been a huge success and the latest Christmas album (2018) was the most sold recording in Finland for several weeks.
Versatile audience development projects and contacting the audience actively have a high importance in Jyväskylä Sinfonia’s life. Almost a tradition already, the Sinfonia on the Move week in every May brings orchestra members close to the daily life of the citizens. Small groups perform all over the city in exciting places, ranging from hospitals to shopping malls and railway station.
Pupil concerts and instrumental workshops reach thousands of school children yearly and bring classical music and symphony orchestra’s activities familiar to schools. The orchestra visits regularly retirement homes, hospitals, and organizes open general rehearsals for seniors and other groups, whereas the audience has a great opportunity to meet the performers in the artist meetings just before the concert. By these methods, Jyväskylä Sinfonia strives for meetings its listeners better and ever more versatile.