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Tuomas Hannikainen - Conductor

Tuomas Hannikainen: Photo Eerho Aho
“...Tuomas Hannikainen showed his value in a magnificent account of Nielsen’s 5th symphony. The Maestro stayed away from cheap effects, building an admirable dramatic progression on the 1st movement. The overwhelming energy of the 2nd movement had its zenith at the furious fugue right at the middle of the movement before the conductor and the orchestra underlined the affirmative tone of the cathartic conclusion of this great symphony.”

Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona - AVUI+ / Xavier Cester

Tuomas Hannikainen, formerly named Tuomas Ollila then Ollila-Hannikainen, has been amongst the brightest in the extraordinary wave of Finnish conductors since he was appointed Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also held titles as Artistic Director of the Joroinen Festival in Finland, joint Chief Conductor of the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, joint Principal Conductor of the Tapiola Sinfonietta, Principal Guest Conductor of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Finland’s period instrument group, now The Finnish Baroque Orchestra. In 2010 the famous Jorma Panula asked Tuomas Hannikainen to join him in teaching conducting at the Sibelius Academy and Helsinki Conservatoire.

Tuomas Hannikainen has conducted many prestigious orchestras throughout the Nordic countries and beyond taking him through Europe, Australasia, N. America and the Far East with orchestras like the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, National Orchestra of Spain, BBC Scottish Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony and Malaysian Philharmonic amongst many others. His formidable talent is also reflected in the several CD recordings he has made, most of them for the Ondine label.

Tuomas Hannikainen’s successes include his work with, amongst others, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Avanti Chamber Orchestra, Kymi Sinfonietta, Pori Sinfonietta, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, WDR Rundfunk Orchester, the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona (“Good work was done in the Kraus [Symphony in C major] with the strings sounding clear, agile and very stylish …….… Nielsen’s 5th Symphony was sensational, with grip and tension, vigorous rhythms and a full orchestral sound created under the baton of Tuomas Hannikainen.” ARA: Javier Pérez Senz), Orquestra Metropolitana Lisbon, Aarhus Symfoniorkester and Jena Philharmonie (“Beethoven's "Pastorale" sounded brand new. Tuomas Hannikainen prompted the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra in every good way and we could hear the results. The Finn called for dynamic limits and also made us listen very intensely with his choice of tempi. It was both refreshing and authentic, and provided a unique experience.” Osten Thuringian Zeitung: Tatjana Mehner).

Tuomas Hannikainen was born in 1965 and he is the grandson of the famous conductor Tauno Hannikainen. He began his musical education at the Porvoo Music Institute before attending the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He continued his violin studies in France before taking his diploma at the Sibelius Academy in 1988. He started his conducting studies in the famous class of Professor Jorma Panula, who also taught Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, at the Sibelius Academy, where he graduated with Distinction. After completing his postgraduate studies in St Petersburg with Ilya Musin, he attended Tanglewood in the USA where he worked alongside Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Roger Norrington.

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