The Lahti Symphony Orchestra have announced that their new Principal Conductor, succeeding Okko Kamu, will be Dima Slobodeniouk. Slobodeniouk is currently Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and he will continue in that capacity alongside the new job in Lahti, which he assumes in autumn 2016. He will also become Artistic Director of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra's Sibelius Festival.
Of the announcement Slobodeniouk said, ‘I was lucky enough to be able to build and maintain a very open and fruitful relationship with Lahti Symphony Orchestra ever since I first conducted them in 2001, replacing Leif Segerstam. Today – this is a big honour and a challenge for me to create something new on the foundation of a great orchestra tradition in Lahti’. I believe and hope, that with our music making we can influence people’s lives regardless of their age or social background. The unique thing about classical music is the fact that it does not have to be verbalised or explained. That way it can reach and touch anyone.’
Slobodeniouk has made recordings of music by Vagn Holmboe, Kalevi Aho, Osmo Tapio Räihälä and Sebastian Fagerlund for the BIS, Alba and Dacapo labels. His recording of Holmboe's concertos for violin and viola with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra was an Editor's Choice in the July 2013 issue. Gramophone's Guy Rickards wrote of that recording: 'That this is one of the finest viola concertos ever penned I have not the slightest doubt, and it is thrown off with dazzling virtuosity by Tomter and the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra under Russian-born, Finnish-resident Dima Slobodeniouk, who displays a real affinity for Holmboe’s idiom.'
Slobodeniouk's recording of Aho's Symphony No 15 with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra was well received by David Fanning when he reviewed it for Gramophone last year: 'This recording of Aho’s 15th, and I think still latest, Symphony has been a while coming – the concert premiere, an unforgettable event, was with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester in March 2011. But it’s worth the wait. The symphony’s co commissioners in Lahti, with a long track record in Aho performances, are every bit as dedicated and deft under the Moscow-born, Finnish-resident conductor Dima Slobodeniouk.'
You can watch an extract of Slobodeniouk leading the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in Aho's Symphony No 15 below: