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Kaapo Ijas (b.1988) has been fiercely interested in composing, performance, drama, group dynamics and the orchestra itself for all his life. In 2012 it lead him to conducting studies first in Sibelius Academy then Zürcher Hochschule der Künste and ultimately Royal College of Music in Stockholm where he will graduate in spring of 2017. He conducted his diploma concert with Norrköping Symphony Orchestra 18.5. In program was Sibelius’ 7th Symphony and his own composition Schizophonia for orchestra which was also the premiere of the piece.

Broadmindedness and unprejudiced attitude towards other arts and all genres is in the very core of Ijas' approach. Music, as any other art, is breathing together whatever the style or period.

His teachers during his studies and masterclasses include Jorma Panula, Johannes Schlaefli, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Zinman, Neeme and Paavo Järvi and Atso Almila.

Ijas has been invited to various prestigious masterclasses including Riccardo Muti Opera Academy 2017 in Ravenna, the 8th Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich master class with David Zinman in 2017 and Järvi Academy with Paavo and Neeme Järvi in 2016 during which he was one of 8 students selected to conduct in the final concpert. He was also a semifinalist in Donatella Flick Conducting Competition 2016 after invited to the competition with 2 weeks notice and among the top 7 in Cadaqués Conducting Competition 2017.

During fall of 2016 Ijas was assistant to Damian Iorio during a production of Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the city of Mahagonny in NorrlandsOpera in Umeå. He has also conducted opera productions in co-operation with Operahögskolan in Stockholm including Behind the Masks (combined production of Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte) and STHLM New Opera 2017.

Ijas is the founder and conductor of ArtsOrchestra, an amateur orchestra specialized in combining other arts, pedagogical elements and social critisism with concert music. Such concerts has been i.a. Nutcracker 2.0 (New dramaturgical arrangement of the Tchaikovsky’s ballet with audiovisual elements and contemporary dance) and Ekokalypsi (composition of Ijas for orchestra and mixed choir, with the text dealing with environmental issues).

Ijas has conducted i.a. Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Norrköping SO, South Jutland SO, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Gävle Symfoniorkester, Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester (Mannheim), Hradec Kralove Philharmonia, KMH Symphony Orchestra, Seinäjoki City Orchestra, KammarensembleN, Norrbotten NEO, Swedish Army Band, Helsinki Police band and numerous other project ensembles and choirs during masterclasses and in concerts.

Kaapo’s studies and projects are supported by Wihuri Foundation and The Sibelius Academy Foundation

updated 21.01.2018

Photo: Antti Kokkola