Pietari Inkinen is named the new Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie. He will begin his four-year tenure at the beginning of the 2017/18 season.

The orchestra was founded in 2007 following the merger of Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra (SR) and Radio Orchestra Kaiserslautern (SWR) under the leadership of its first Chief Christoph Poppen, followed by Karel Mark Chichon, from whom Pietari takes over. In addition to its concerts in Saarbrücken and Kaiserslautern, DRP regularly performs in France; Luxembourg; Belgium; and Mainz, Karlsruhe and Mannheim Germany. In recent years, the orchestra has also toured throughout Switzerland, Korea, China and Japan.

Pietari Inkinen said:

“I am thrilled to become the new Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie. Since our first collaboration together in 2010, I have always felt a strong connection with the musicians and I look forward to strengthening this bond even further.  During our most recent concerts together in 2016, the performances were again so exciting and such a joy that I believe we have many wonderful moments ahead of us.”

Director of Saarland Radio Professor Thomas Kleist said:

“It was impressive to witness the inspiration and freshness with which Pietari Inkinen realised Beethoven’s 5th Symphony with the orchestra this spring. He has the gift of the emotional force that allows classical music to fully unfold. With his enormous international experience, he will promote the development of our great orchestra. We are proud to have him as a future Chief Conductor.”

Director of Südwestrundfunk Peter Boudgoust continues:

“With Pietari Inkinen we have a young, but already world experienced and esteemed conductor, as the new Artistic Director of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie. All of his experience from working with other orchestras and top soloists will be brought to bear in his work with the orchestra, and thus not only shape its sound, but also the programs of the SWR and SR.”

In addition to his new position with Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Pietari Inkinen is the current Chief Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra and Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele. He is also Honorary Conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, following his acclaimed tenure as its Music Director from 2008 – 2016.

As a guest conductor, Inkinen has worked with the Staatskapelle Berlin, Munich Philharmonic, La Scala Philharmonic, Orchestra of Santa Cecilia, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Vienna Radio Symphony, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Spanish National Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony and Oslo Philharmonic as well as the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Leipzig Gewandhaus.

His 2016/17 highlights include a revival of the award-winning Opera Australia Ring Cycle in Melbourne, Eugene Onegin with Dresden Semberoper, his debuts with both the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Radio symphony Orchestra Berlin, and a Spanish and Austrian tour with the Prague Symphony Orchestra.

Also an accomplished violinist, Pietari studied at the Cologne Music Academy with Zakhar Bron before studying conducting at Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy.


Pietari Inkinen is managed in association with Bridge Arts Management.

Photo: Atsushi Yamaguchi