Tomas Djupsjöbacka appointed Chief Conductor of the Vaasa City Orchestra

Tomas Djupsjöbacka appointed Chief Conductor of the Vaasa City Orchestra

Tomas Djupsjöbacka has been appointed as the new Chief Conductor of the Vaasa City Orchestra. Known for his versatility, his strengths include his extensive contacts in Finland and internationally, and his ability to understand the needs and wishes of his musicians. Djupsjöbacka will take up the post on 1 January 2021. Once in Vaasa, Djupsjöbacka hopes to spark the imagination of the city’s residents through the power of classical music.

 Tomas Djupsjöbacka’s appointment as Chief Conductor of the Vaasa City Orchestra is welcomed like sunshine after the rain. The news comes as a beacon of light in the middle of the covid-19 maelstrom and is set to bring joy to the city and its residents, the wellbeing of whom has been tested throughout the pandemic.

“One of the most important tasks the Vaasa City Orchestra is charged with is improving the wellbeing of the city’s residents. In his role as both Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Tomas will contribute significantly to achieving this goal”, explains general manager of the Vaasa City Orchestra, Mia Huhta.

The City of Vaasa’s Director of Education and Culture Service, Christina Knookala, is also looking forward to Djupsjöbacka’s arrival.

“In addition to the concerts, I also hope that his impact will be visible in the artistic work of the orchestra as a whole and the audience engagement work, for which we have a lot of hopes”, she notes.

Djupsjöbacka is ready and willing to meet these high expectations. And he is fully aware of the pressing need of Vaasa’s residents for some brightness and inspiration. For his part, the new Chief Conductor hopes that the city will approach his appointment with sense of curiosity.

“I see my job as one of sparking the imagination of the audience through the power of classical music. I want to encourage those who live in Vaasa to sample something new and different”, he remarks.

A shared melody was struck during an autumn visit

As a musician, Djupsjöbacka is known for his versatility – evident in both his playing as a cellist and work as a conductor. He has played in the Met4 string quartet for almost 20 years and been a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for 15 years. On top of this, he has served as conductor for almost every orchestra in Finland. All this and more made him a perfect fit for the role as Vaasa’s new Chief Conductor.

“First and foremost we were looking for a fantastic musician – one with practical experience and a firm grasp of both the Finnish and international soundscape. It is also important for Vaasa’s Chief Conductor to be able to communicate fluently in both Finnish and Swedish”, Huhta adds.

For her, Djupsjöbacka’s appointment is like a shining light in the covid-19 storm. As if by fate, the new conductor and his orchestra struck a shared melody this autumn, when Djupsjöbacka, a Helsinki native, served as stand-in conductor for the 100% Beethoven concert series held in Vaasa.

“Owing to a coronavirus quarantine situation, Vaasa was in need of a conductor for a week, and it just happened to be the only free week in my calendar. The spark for ongoing co-operation usually comes from guest appearances”, Djupsjöbacka says.

As it turned out, this autumn guest appearance also helped Vaasa’s General Manager decide who the orchestra wanted as its new leader.

“One of our musicians asked during a meeting if it could always be like that week. I knew then that we’d found the right person”, Huhta says with a smile.

The natural next step in a musician’s career

Tomas Djupsjöbacka’s appointment as Vaasa’s new Chief Conductor is an important step in his career. His new position comes as a natural development of his time as Principal Guest Conductor of the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, a role he is set to continue in until summer 2021.

“While I will still be guesting for other orchestras, getting to be Vaasa’s Chief Conductor is an incredibly important opportunity to develop the city orchestra’s sound, the concert programme, and the long-term artistic direction”, Djupsjöbacka remarks.

Huhta praises Djupsjöbacka as a modern conductor who, thanks to his time as a chamber musician, can identify with the experiences of the orchestra’s players.

“Leading from within is an important part of any collaboration”, she observes.

Djupsjöbacka has signed a three-year contract with the Vaasa City Orchestra, with the deal also including an additional two-year option. First on his agenda when he arrives in Vaasa is planning a new programme for the orchestra in place of the operatic production postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The hope is that audiences will be able to safely enjoy all the city orchestra has to offer in the new year.

Tomas Djupsjöbacka

  • – Born 1978.
  • – Lives in Helsinki with his wife and two children.
  • – Starts his role as Chief Conductor for the Vaasa City Orchestra on 1 January 2021.
  • – Continuing as Principal Guest Conductor of the Lapland Chamber Orchestra until summer 2021.
  • – Graduated from the Sibelius Academy as a conductor in 2017.
  • – Made his debut as a conductor for the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra at Christmas 2013.
  • – Has led nearly every orchestra in Finland and regularly guests for the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Jyväskylä Sinfonia, and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra.
  • – Founder member of the string quartet Meta4.
  • – Regularly appears with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
  • – Enjoys watching ice hockey and cooking.


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