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Instructors


Atso Almila

Atso Almila

Atso Almila, a conductor and a composer, has been the second conductor of Kuopio Symphony Orchestra since the autumn season in 2007. He was principal conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra between 1987 - 1989. From 1993 - 2000 he was principal conductor of the Joensuu Orchestra, and from 1995 - 2000 the artistic director of the Kuopio Symphony Orchestra. While continuing to work as a teacher of conducting, he makes regular guest appearances with all major orchestras in Finland.

Almila studied orchestral conducting in Sibelius-Academy with Jorma Panula and choir conducting with Harald Andersén. He graduated in orchestral conducting in 1979. Later on Almila has worked as the principal assistant of conducting in Sibelius Academy in 1991-2002 and as a lecturer in 2002-2010.

Almila has worked as a conductor mainly in Finland, Sweden and Estonia. He has several opera production with Finnish National Opera and elsewhere in Finland. As a composer, he has composed three operas, a symphony for brass quintet and orchestra, many concertos, chamber music for brass and other ensembles and music for theatre and film.


Robert J. Ambrose

Robert J. Ambrose

Conductor Robert J. Ambrose enjoys a highly successful and diverse career as a dynamic and engaging musician. His musical interests cross many genres and can be seen in the wide range of professional activities he pursues. Ambrose studied formally at Boston College, Boston University, and Northwestern University, where he received the Doctor of Music degree in conducting.

Ambrose currently serves as Director of Bands and Associate Director of the School of Music at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. He conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, runs the graduate wind conducting degree program, and oversees a large, comprehensive band program comprised of four concert ensembles and three athletic bands.

Ambrose has conducted professionally across the United States as well as in Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. He is founder and music director of the Atlanta Chamber Winds and co-founder and conductor of Bent Frequency Contemporary Music Ensemble. He lives in Peachtree City, Georgia with his wife Sarah Kruser Ambrose, a professional flute player, and daughters Isabelle and Hannah.


Raine Ampuja

Raine Ampuja

Raine Ampuja (born in 1958) studied horn, music theory and in 1980-1988 in Sibelius-Academy. He graduated in 1988 and was appointed to the conductor of Guard's Band. In 2006 Ampuja relocated in Hämeenlinna as a commissioner of Panssarisoittokunta and returned to Guard's Band in 2009 when he was appointed the commissioner of Guards Band.

Raine Ampuja is well known as a composer and an arranger. Among other works he has composed music for Pope's visit in Finland and for the opening of Ski World Championships in 2001. Ampuja's most recognized piece Magic for a wind orchestra is based on Finnish national epic Kalevala.

Ampuja has been working as a conductor and conducting instructor for more than two decades and he has also authored two textbooks on wind band music. Ampuja is both the chairman of Finnish Wind Band Association SPOL and chairman of Sibelius-week.

Ampuja was elected military musician of the year in 1996.


Tuomas Hannikainen

Tuomas Hannikainen

Tuomas Hannikainen, formerly Tuomas Ollila then Ollila-Hannikainen, took his violin diploma at the Sibelius Academy in 1988. He began his conducting studies in 1985 in the famous class of Professor Jorma Panula, at the Sibelius Academy, graduating in 1991. After completing his postgraduate studies in St Petersburg with Ilya Musin in 1993, he attended Tanglewood in the USA where he studied with Seiji Ozawa, Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Roger Norrington.

Hannikainen was the Chief Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra from 1994 to 1998. He has also held positions as Joint Principal Conductor of the Tapiola Sinfonietta in Finland, as Principal Guest Conductor of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of Finland's period instrument group, The Sixth Floor Orchestra. Hannikainen has recently had his contract as joint Chief Conductor of the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra extended. In addition he regularly conducts many of the most prestigious orchestras throughout the Nordic countries and elsewhere St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, 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.

From the beginning of the year 2011, Tuomas Hannikainen has been the artistic director of the Joroinen Music Festival.


Mark Heron

Mark Heron

Mark Heron is music director of the Nottingham Philharmonic and Liverpool Mozart Orchestras, a member of the conducting faculty at the Royal Northern College of Music, and Director of Orchestras for the University of Manchester. As a guest conductor he has worked with the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Psappha, Philharmonia, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, Pori Sinfonietta and many more. Full biography.

A significant (but by no means exclusive) focus of his work is contemporary music, more details are here.

Mark is a highly regarded as a conducting teacher, read more here.





Petri Komulainen

Petri Komulainen

Petri Komulainen studied the French horn and conducting at the Helsinki Conservatory, the Sibelius Academy, the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany and the Basel Schola Cantorum in Switzerland. Komulainen graduated from the Masters programme at the Sibelius Academy with excellent grades in 2008, both in performance and in orchestral conducting. He received 3rd Prize at the International Jorma Panula Conducting Competition in 2006.

Petri Komulainen holds the position of associate principal horn with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. He has taught conducting at the Sibelius Academy and on conducting courses for several years and has worked in a pedagogical capacity with the wind sections of several orchestras.

Petri Komulainen has appeared as a guest conductor with many Finnish orchestras, such as the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Kymi Sinfonietta, Pori Sinfonietta, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra and Oulu Symphony Orchestra, He has served as conductor of the Helsinki Polytechnic Orchestra since 2005.


Peter Ettrup Larsen

Peter Ettrup Larsen

Peter Ettrup Larsen (b. 1965) studied conducting with renowned professor Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland (graduated 1993).

Today PEL has an international career as a free-lance conductor while at the same time being associate professor of conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland.

Furthermore he has a diploma in clarinet playing from The Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen (1991) and a M.A. in musicology and rhetoric from the University of Copenhagen (1994).

As an author and composer PEL has released several publications and he is also a sought after presenter in the business communities as well as at conferences where he focuses on body language and "musical communication".


Jorma Panula

Jorma Panula

Jorma Juhani Palola (born in 1930 in Seinäjoki) is a Finnish conductor. He is also as a composer, arranger and worked as a professor of orchestral conducting in Sibelius-Academy from 1973 to 1993. For example Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Osmo Vänskä, Sakari Oramo, Hannu Lintu, Susanna Mälkki, Mikko Franck, Pietari Inkinen and Santtu-Matias Rouvali have been studying under his supervision. Panula has given master courses for example in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Italy, Russia, United States, Australia, China, Mexico, Japan and South-Korea. Panula is known to be a feisty and temperamental musician and pedagogy who is proud of his Ostrobotnian origins.

Jorma Panula conducting competition has been organized in Vaasa, Finland approximately every third year since 1999. The winners have been Olari Elts (from Estonia, in 1999), Eva Ollikainen (from Finland, in 2003), Vytautas Lukočius (from Lithuania, in 2006) and Yordan Kamzhalov (from Bulgaria, in 2009). Panula was awarded the price of Royal Swedish Music Academy in 1997. Tarja Halonen, the president of Finland, awarded Jorma Panula the honorary title of Academic in 2006.


Juha Törmä

Juha Törmä

The conductor and conducting instructor Juha Törmä has a versatile musician's training. After graduating as a piano pedagogy from Tampere Conservatory he continued his studies in Sibelius-Academy with trombone as his main subject. Törmä begun his conducting studies with Osmo Vänskä and continued them in Jorma Panula's conducting class. Törmä graduated as an orchestral conductor in 1992. He studied also choral conducting with Matti Hyökki and Heikki Liimola and graduated in 1997.

Törmä began his career as a conducting instructor shortly after his graduation. Törmä has instructed conducting training for example in Jyväskylä Polytechnic and Tampere Polytechnic School. He has also instructed military band conductors. Nowadays Törmä works as a freelance arranger and a conduting instructor. He is also the artistic director of two chamber choirs.


Olli Vartiainen

Olli Vartiainen

Olli Vartiainen (born in 1964) graduated as Doctor of Music from Sibelius-Academy in 2010. He focused in student orchestra conducting in his doctor's thesis that was instructed by Atso lmila, Kari Kurkela and Géza Szilway. Vartiainen completed his studies as a master of music majoring in violin in 1995.

Vartiainen is responsible for conducting training in the department of music education in Sibelius-Academy. He has also instructed updating training courses and given lectures on student orchestra activity in Finland and abroad and authored articles on this topic in professional publications.

Vartiainen works as a student orchestra conductor and violin teacher in Espoo and Länsi-Helsinki Music Institutes. He has been the director of Savonlinna summer music course since 1996 and also conducted student orchestras on many other music camps. Vartiainen has conducted student orchestras in France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Russia and on the Faroe Islands. Furthermore Vartiainen is experienced orschestral musician.