Nicholas Collon has been announced as the new Chief Conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, making him the first non-Finnish Chief Conductor in the orchestra's history.
He has signed a three-year deal, with an additional two-year option, and will join the orchestra from autumn 2021. He will be with the orchestra for a minimum of 10 weeks every season.
Collon is the founder and Principal Conductor of the Aurora Orchestra, which has become renowned for its eclectic repertoire and its commitment to contemporary music. He also has formal positions with the Residentie Orkest, The Hague, and the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne.
Collon succeeds Hannu Lintu who has been the FRSO's Chief Conductor since 2013. Prior to that, the all-Finnish line-up of Chief Conductors was: Toivo Haapanen, Nils-Eric Fougstedt, Paavo Berglund, Okko Kamu, Leif Segerstam, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Sakari Oramo.
Lintu and the FRSO won Gramophone's Concerto Award last year for their account of Bartók's Violin Concertos with Christian Tetzlaff for Ondine. In his review of that recording, Rob Cowan concluded: 'I’m inclined to place his expertly recorded CD of the two concertos ahead of all rival versions. It’s that good!' They were also shortlisted in the Orchestral category last year for their recording of Sibelius's Tapiola and En Saga.
Of his new appointment, Collon says: 'I look forward to sharing in the FRSO’s amazing musical culture, from the music of Sibelius and his modern Finnish counterparts, to the musicians’ astonishing professionalism, skill and thirst for experimentation when tackling all shapes and sizes of challenging repertoire. Together, I hope we can build on this enviable position, and continue to expand the orchestra’s horizons, lighting a beacon for what a 21st century symphony orchestra can and should be.’
Collon made his debut with the orchestra in 2017, conducting Adès’s Violin Concerto alongside Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances. You can still enjoy the live stream of this concert here: https://areena.yle.fi/1-3854917