Chief conductor Ville Matvejeff
Ville Matvejeff (b. 1986) has established himself as an exceptionally wide-ranging musician enjoying success as conductor, composer and pianist. He trained at the Sibelius Academy and Espoo Music Institute and has performed throughout Europe as well as the USA, China, Japan and Mexico.
In January 2014 he assumed the position of Chief Conductor of Jyväskylä Sinfonia where his contract has been extended for a third term. He has just stepped down from the position of Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival and recently been appointed as Artistic Director Designate of Savonlinna Opera Festival which he will take up alongside his regular work as Principal Guest Conductor with the Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc, Rijeka.
Appearances last season include debuts with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir and the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, conducting repertoire from Sibelius and Ravel, to Hindemith, Aho and Rautavaara and re-invitations to the Duisburg and Tampere Philharmonic Orchestras and the Tapiola Sinfonietta. Matvejeff has developed a broad repertoire extending from the classical through to the 20th century and contemporary. In 2016 he led the Tampere Philharmonic for the Tampere Biennale 30th anniversary in an all-Finnish programme featuring two world premieres; this season he visits Vilnius Festival, again with a contemporary programme. A bass-baritone with solo performances on both concert and opera stages to his credit, he is equally conversant with choral repertoire.
Matvejeff has conducted a diversity of opera repertoire ranging from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Aribert Reimann’s Lear to contemporary productions such as Kimmo Hakola’s Akseli with Jorma Hynninen in the title role, and Mikko Heiniö’s Eerik XIV. He has conducted concert performances of Parsifal with a cast featuring Klaus Florian Vogt and Karita Mattila at the Turku Music Festival and a run of Hansel and Gretel at Malmö Opera. At the Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc this season he conducts productions including Falstaff, and Elektra. Recent opera highlights include the world premiere of Aulis Sallinen’s Castle in the Water in Savonlinna.
A musical polymath, Matvejeff is also a pianist and composer. He made his concert debut as pianist at the age of 18 with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under conductor Susanna Mälkki and has since toured the world in a recital partnership with soprano Karita Mattila. As a composer, Matvejeff has received commissions from the Finnish Chamber Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, for whom he wrote his Violin Concerto to celebrate the inauguration of the Helsinki Music Centre in September 2011. His passion for the human voice has led him to write a substantial amount of choral music, while recordings of his orchestral works Ad Astra and Cello Concerto Crossroads have been released on the Alba label.