JORMA PANULA (b 1930 )
The Finnish conductor Jorma Panula graduated from the Sibelius Academy as a cantor-organist in 1950, aged 20, and as a conductor in 1953. He subsequently served as Professor in Orchestral Conducting at the academy from 1973 to 1993. From 1965 to 1972, he was Principal Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic and from 1963 to 1997 he served as artistic director of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra of Finland and of the Aarhus Symphony of Denmark.
Jorma Panula has been a visiting professor at the music academies of Stockholm and Copenhagen, and has conducted the world’s leading symphony orchestras. Panula has also been credited with the proliferation of conducting excellence from Finland. His former students were Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sakari Oramo, and Mikko Franck.
As composer, Professor Panula has written operas (Jaakko Ilkka, The River Opera), musicals, church music, a violin concerto, a jazz capriccio as well as vocal music. In 1997, he was awarded the distinguished Music Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science.
For Naxos, with the Turku Philharmonic, Jorma Panula has recorded Sibelius’ symphonic poem Kullervo (Naxos 8.553756); Uuno Klami’s Kalevala Suite and Sea Pictures (Naxos 8.553757); a selection of Einar Englund’s orchestral works and a very popular and acclaimed disc of Finnish Orchestral Favourites (Naxos 8.553758).
On Dacapo, with the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, he has made a disc of Per Norgard’s Remembering Child and Between.