Ari Rasilainen


Chief Conductor Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz (from 2016/17)

Ari Rasilainen is one of the most outstanding conductors of his generation. He studied in Jorma Panula’s famous conductors‘ class at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, and was a student of Arvid Jansons (conducting) and Aleksander Lobko (violin) in Berlin.

Following a series of highly successful concert projects the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz appointed Ari Rasilainen as new Chief Conductor from 2016/17 onwards.

Before embarking on a full-time career as a conductor, Ari Rasilainen played violin with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and, from 1980 to 1986, was leader of the 2nd violins with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. He appeared both as solo violinist and as chamber musician and up to this day this remains one of his passions. His early teachers were in violin Jarkko Santasalo, Ilkka Talvi, Leena Siukonen, A. Labko master cov 1. Bezrodmyi, Eugen Sarbu and György Park.

From 1985 to 1989, Ari Rasilainen was Chief Conductor of the Lappeenranta City Orchestra in Finland and subsequently Principal Guest Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra until 1994. He then became Chief Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Symphony Oslo where he remained until 2002. Simultaneously he held the position of Chief Conductor with the Jyväskylä Sinfonia until 1998 and from 1999 to 2004 with the Sinfonietta Pori, both Finland.

In 2002 Ari Rasilainen was appointed Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz in Ludwigshafen, a position he held until 2009 and where he continues to guest conduct. Starting with the 2002/03 season he still holds the post of permanent guest conductor of the Aalborg Symfoniorkester Denmark.

Ari Rasilainen has also enjoyed remarkable success as an opera conductor, e.g. at the Finnish National Opera Helsinki with productions of Lohengrin, The Magic Flute and Tosca as well as at the Opera Festival Savonlinna 2005, where he conducted the Finnish opera Ratsumies (The Horseman) by Aulis Sallinen. In January 2014 he conducted a new production of Eugen Onegin at Opéra National de Montpellier.

In addition to his work as chief conductor in Ludwigshafen, Ari Rasilainen has conducted the leading German radio-orchestras (Hessischer Rundfunk Frankfurt, SWR Stuttgart, MDR Sinfonie­orchester Leipzig, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, RSO Berlin and WDR Sinfonie­orchester Köln), as well as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Bamberger Symphoniker, Staats­orchester Hannover, Bremen Philharmonic, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Bochumer Symphoniker, Orchestra Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Slovenian Philharmonic, Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, Orquestra de Euskadi, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Bern Symphony Orchestra, Spanish National Orchester, Barcelona Sinfonieorchester, Duisburger Sinfonieorchester, Odense Sinfonieorchester, Prager Philharmoniker, Umeå Sinfonietta, Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, Bremen Philharnoniker, Würzburher Sinfonieorchester, Südwestdeusche Philharmonic Konstanz, Robert Schumann Philharmonic Chemnitz, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln and Tonkünstler Orchester Niederösterreich.

He has worked with soloists like Lucia Aliberti, Juliane Banse, Claudio Bohorquez, Montserrat Caballé, José Carreras, Julia Fischer, Andrej Gavrilov, Hilary Hahn, Nigel Kennedy, Shlomo Mintz, Daniel Müller-Schott, Johannes Moser, Olli Mustonen, Grigory Sokolov, Christian Tetzlaff, Arcadi Volodos, Frank-Peter Zimmerman, Doris Soffel, Eva Marton, Hildegard Behrens, Igor Levit and Nikolaj Znaider.

Numerous CD-recordings demonstrate the scope of Ari Rasilainen’s artistic work and his wide-spread repertoire. More than 50 recordings for different labels include the complete symphonies and solo concertos of Kurt Atterberg as well as a major part of the symphonic output of his compatriot Aulis Sallinen. Recent releases include Siegmund von Hausegger’s »Nature Symphony« with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne.

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