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Ari Rasilainen

Ari Petteri Rasilainen (born in Helsinki, Finland, on February 18, 1959 ) is a Finnish conductor. He began his career as a violinist in the Radio Finland Symphony Orchestra, although his professional career has been mainly focused on conducting, where he obtained his first international recognition in 1989, by winning second prize at the Nicolai Malko International Conducting Competition in Copenhagen.


He studied conducting with Professor Jorma Panula and Arvid Jansons at the Sibelius Academy. Among his teachers were also  Alexander Labko (violin) in Berlin.

Before starting his career as a conductor, he was a violinist in the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra between 1980 and 1986.

Ari Rasilainen was Principal Conductor of the Finnish Lappeenranta Orchestra from 1985 to 1989, and 
Principal Guest Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in 1989-1994. 

In the years 1994 to 2002, he was the Principal Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and in the same year also the Conductor of the German Bundesjugendorchester in Germany. In Jyväskylä Symphony he was the Chief Conductor in 1994-1998, in 1994-2004 he was the Chief Conductor of Pori Sinfonietta, and since January 2002 until 2009, he was the Principal and Artistic Director of the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz Orchestra of Ludwigshafen, Germany. Starting in 2002, Ari Rasilainen was the Principal Guest Conductor of the Ålborg Symphony Orchestra in Denmark. After that, he was the Chief Conductor of South West German Philharmonic in Konstanz.
Ari Rasilainen regularly conducts leading Scandinavian orchestras, and also throughout Europe, including the Belgian Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Hungarian Philharmonia, Bundesjuvend Orchester, Oslo and Bergen Philharmonics, Umeå Sinfonietta, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Prague Symphony, Opera North in Leeds, Symphony Orchestras of Radio Frankfurt, Leipzig and Stuttgart, the Philharmonic of Radio Hanover, the Orchestra of the Gewandhaus of Leipzig and Symphony Orchestra Radio Berlin, Suisse Romande, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonica des Strassbourg, Bamberg Symphoniker, Bremen Philharmoniker, RSO Berlin, VDR Köln, MDR Leipzig, NDR Hannover, Bochumer Symphoniker, Prager Philharmoniker, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Danmarks Radio Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmoniker, Århus, Ålborg, Sönderborg Philharmoniker, Izmir Symphony Orchestra, Presidential Symphony Orchestra in  Ankara Türkiye, as well as Tonkünstler Orchester Niederösterreich, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, Ari Rasilainen has conducted also Orchestra Santiago de Chile and Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

In Spain he has conducted Orchestra Symphony Barcelona and National Orchestra of Catalonia, Madrid Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta de Euskadi, Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de Espana, Orquesta Radio y TV de Espana, Galicia Symphony Orchestra, Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, Valencia Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica Del Principado De Asturias and orchestras of Bilbao, Galicia, Sevilla, Tenerife and Valencia.

In Finland, he has conducted Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Helsinki Radio Orchestra, addition to them also all others of the Finnish orchestras.

For the Finnish National Opera he conducted Lohengrin by Wagner, the Magic Flute by Mozart  as well as Tosca by Puccini. In the seasons 2005-2006, he made his debut at the Savonlinna Opera Festival by conducting Horseman by Sallinen, which was later performed also in Bolshoi. In Montpellier, Ari Rasilainen conducted Jevgeni Onegin by Tchaikovsky, and in Bremen the Flying Dutchman by Wagner. In Chmenitz, he conducted Nabucco by Verdi and in St. Gallen the Barber of Sevilla by Rossini. 

Ari Rasilainen has worked with soloists like a.o. Montserrat Caballe, Jose Carreras, Hilary Hahn, Nigel Kennedy, Grigory Sokolov, Andrej Gavrilov, Johannes Moser, Daniel Müller-Schott, Frank-Peter Zimmerman, Christian Tetzlaff, Arcadi Volodos, Doris Soffel, Eva Marton, Hildegard Behrens, Igor Levit, Nikolaj Znaider, Son Gabetta, Viktoria Mullova, Julia Fisher, Igor Oistrah, John Lill, Bella Davidovits, Juliane Banse, Lucia Aliberti, Bernd Glemser, Shlomo Miontz, Ole-Edward Antonssen, Håkan Hardenberger, Sergej Nakariakov, Lisa Bathiasvili, Javier Petrianes, Renaud Capucon, Gautier Capucon as well as the Finnish Matti Salminen and Olli Mustonen.

Since 1982 numerous CD-recordings  at different labels (e.g. Sony, Finlandia Records, Apex, CPO, Naxos) demonstrate the scope of Ari Rasilainen’s artistic work and his wide-spread repertoire. More than 70 recordings include e.g. the complete symphonies of Kurt Atterberg as well as a major part of the symphonic output of his compatriot Aulis Sallinen. Recent releases include Siegmund con Hausegger’s Nature Symphony with the WD Symphony Orchestra Cologne.

In 2011, the Music Academy Würzburg appointed Ari Rasilainen as Professor for conducting.


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