As of the autumn 2023 season, the Kymi Sinfonietta will be launching a new artistic planning policy in collaboration with two Artistic Partners. These partners will be addressing various aspects of the orchestra as befits their own genres and expertise, together with the orchestra’s management and the program committee. The two Artistic Partners are Topi Lehtipuu and Jukka Perko. Topi Lehtipuu, tenor and conductor, will be primarily fostering the orchestra’s vocal and early music know-how, and Jukka Perko, jazz musician and saxophonist, its performance of jazz and rhythm music.
Topi Lehtipuu is one of Finland’s most individual artists. An extremely versatile and a highly-skilled tenor and stage performer, he is renowned for repertoire ranging from early music to contemporary creations. 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. Developing as a conductor in recent years, he appears regularly with orchestras in his native Finland, where his creative and versatile approach to a wide range of repertoire is highly valued. Of his new Artistic Partner role he says “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.”
Jukka Perko was still only a teenager when he first made a name for himself in jazz circles at Pori Jazz in summer 1986. The very next year he was invited to join the 70th anniversary tour band of legendary trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Perko is famous for his numerous highly-acclaimed line-ups and broad repertoire as the guest soloist with big bands and symphony orchestras. He is also Artistic Director of the Viapori Jazz Festival and, with violinist Elina Vähälä, of the Oulu Music Festival, and he teaches at the Sibelius Academy. Perko and the Kymi Sinfonietta have collaborated numerous times over the years. “One of the best things about playing with the Kymi Sinfonietta has,” says Perko of his forthcoming contract with the Kymi Sinfonietta, “been that in addition to hitting the right note together, we have always found a common beat. There must be something in the tap water of jazz-city Kotka and Kouvola. It will be a special pleasure and privilege to begin working with the orchestra as an Artistic Partner. And I’m not just saying this to be polite, because I come from the other side of Finland.”