Sasha Mäkilä appointed Assistant Conductor
of The Cleveland Orchestra
CLEVELAND, March 31, 2010 – The Cleveland Orchestra announced today the appointment of Sasha Mäkilä as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra. The appointment is for a two-year term. Appointed by Franz Welser-Möst, Mr. Mäkilä joins the Orchestra’s conducting staff in September, at the beginning of the 2010-11 season at Severance Hall.
As Assistant Conductor, Mr. Mäkilä will conduct Education and Family Concerts, plus additional concerts as needed, and will serve as cover conductor for Severance Hall and Blossom Festival subscription concerts. Mr. Mäkilä also will help oversee the editing of archival recordings of concerts and will provide assistance to Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. As Assistant Conductor, he will hold the Sidney and Doris Dworkin Chair. Mr. Mäkilä will serve as Assistant Conductor together with James Feddeck, who became Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra at the beginning of the 2009-10 season. Mr. Mäkilä succeeds current Assistant Conductor Tito Muñoz, who completes the final year of his three-year term at the end of the 2009-10 season.
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Finnish conductor Sasha Mäkilä began his musical studies on the cello and holds a BMA degree in cello performance from the Helsinki Conservatory. Following cello studies, he turned to studying conducting at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory in Russia with Leonid Korchmar, and finished his MMA degree in conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Finland, where his primary teacher was Leif Segerstam. In 2009, he was a conducting fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, studying with David Zinman, Murry Sidlin, and visiting teachers.
After winning third prize in the Sixth Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition in the United States, Mr. Mäkilä has been in growing demand as a guest conductor. Besides his native Finland, he has guest-conducting engagements in Russia, Denmark, the UK, and South Africa. This spring, he makes his debuts with the Joensuu and Turku Philharmonic orchestras in Finland and the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra in South Africa.
In the field of opera, Mr. Mäkilä has conducted the Finnish premieres of Philip Glass’s chamber operas Les Enfants Terribles and In the Penal Colony, and worked as assistant conductor in productions of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
Currently, Mr. Mäkilä is in his final season as an assistant conductor to Kurt Masur at the Orchestre National de France.
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Ana Papakhian, Office: (216) 231-7476; Cell phone: (216) 370-2595; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org