The young Finnish conductor Eva Ollikainen impresses with her natural authority and infectious enthusiasm as well as with her elegant and nuanced technique, whether it be in orchestral concerts or leading operatic performances.
Following her recent success leading The Magic Flute at the Royal Swedish Opera, Carmen at the Gothenburg Opera as well as numerous symphonic programmes, the conductor is looking forward to debuts with the Finnish Radio Symphony and Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, where she will conduct Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. She has also been invited back to conduct the Finnish National Opera in Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Royal Swedish Opera in Mats Ek’s Julia & Romeo and various productions at the Semperoper Dresden, including the premiere of 100C° with choreography from Peck, Kylián and Schecther. Her complete Beethoven symphony cycle with the Jönköping Sinfonietta will also continue. At the beginning of the 2018/19 season Eva Ollikainen will become artistic director of the Nordic Chamber Orchestra, based in Sundsvall in Sweden.
Her decision to pursue a career in conducting was reached as a young student at the Sibelius Academy, where she studied with Leif Segerstam and Jorma Panula and also trained as a pianist. At the age of 21 she won the international Jorma Panula Conducting Competition and subsequently worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Kurt Masur as well as the Philharmonia Orchestra and Christoph von Dohnányi as part of the Conducting Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation. Also important was the instruction she received from Bernard Haitink, Herbert Blomstedt and James Levine as a Conducting Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center.
She has subsequently developed a comprehensive repertoire with a focus on the great German symphonies, and continues to work with the leading Scandinavian orchestras such as the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Turku Philhramonic and the Lahti Symphony. In addition, she is also a frequent guest conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden and has received invitations to lead the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Brussels Philharmonic and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.