The Turku Philharmonic Orchestra announces the appointment of violinist, violist and conductor Julian Rachlin as their Principal Guest Conductor 2017-2019.
The Turku Musical Society, which subsequently became the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, was founded in 1790. As the oldest orchestra in Finland – and one of the oldest in the world – the ensemble continues to develop and flourish under the baton of renowned conductors. Over the course of its history it has premiered pieces by Jean Sibelius under the leadership of the composer himself and worked with such legendary conductors as Paavo Berglund and principal conductors including Tauno Hannikainen, Jorma Panula and Hannu Lintu. Since 2012 the orchestra’s seventy-four musicians have been directed by world-renowned Principal Conductor Leif Segerstam. The orchestra has toured in Europe and Asia and is currently doing annual visits to Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg.
Julian Rachlin has conducted the Turku Philharmonic twice, both times for sold-out audiences in front of an immensely enthusiastic ensemble. After his last visit to Turku the overwhelming response by the orchestra led to negotiations about a deeper collaboration. Now it is with great pleasure that Turku Philharmonic Orchestra can announce a two year contract between Mr Rachlin and the orchestra, with the contract beginning in autumn 2017. Mr Rachlin will both conduct and play as soloist, as well as do pure conducting weeks. He will also engage in chamber music and audience outreach.
Born in Lithuania in 1974, Julian immigrated to Vienna in 1978. He studied violin at the Vienna Conservatory with the eminent pedagogue Boris Kuschnir and took private lessons with Pinchas Zukerman. He gained international acclaim overnight in 1988 by winning the "Young Musician of the Year" Award at the Eurovision Competition in Amsterdam. He then became the youngest soloist ever to play with the Vienna Philharmonic, making his debut under Riccardo Muti. Over the last 28 years, Mr Rachlin has worked with the world’s leading orchestras under the batons of prestigious conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Riccardo Chailly, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, André Previn and Yuri Temirkanov. His chamber music partners have included, among others, Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Itamar Golan, Janine Jansen, Evgeny Kissin, Gidon Kremer, Lang Lang, Mischa Maisky and Mstislav Rostropovich.
In addition to his prominent career as soloist, Mr Rachlin is conducting extensively and his appearances are held in high regard. He is entering his second season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and will return to the Camerata Salzburg, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Prague Philharmonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Slovenian Philharmonic. His second European tour with the English Chamber Orchestra will again include a performance at the Vienna Musikverein. Additionally, he will make his conducting debuts with the China Philharmonic, Guangzhou Philharmonic, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Luxembourg Philharmonic, State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia and Trondheim Symphony.
"We are expecting wonderful collaboration and fantastic concerts together
At the recommendation of Maestro Mariss Jansons, Julian Rachlin has studied conducting with Prof. Sophie Rachlin.
Besides delighting his audiences with his musical performances, Mr Rachlin is also receiving recognition as a young philanthropist for his charity work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and his educational outreach. Since September 1999, he has been on the violin faculty at the Konservatorium Wien University. Julian Rachlin’s recordings for Sony Classical, Warner Classics and Deutsche Grammophon have all been met with great acclaim.
The Turku Philharmonic Orchestra is honored and thrilled to embark upon this new collaboration with Julian Rachlin. “We are so proud to have Julian joining our musical family in Turku, and we are expecting wonderful collaboration and fantastic concerts together” says Executive director Emilie Gardberg and is echoed by Maestro Leif Segerstam who joins in wishing Julian warmly welcome to the orchestra.
Julian Rachlin says "I am looking forward immensely to sharing this new chapter of my conducting career, with the excellent musicians of the Turku Philharmonic.”