Finnish conductor Sasha Mäkilä is gaining recognition as one of the most prominent rising talents of his generation in both the operatic and symphony music. Since 2012 Finnish conductor Sasha Mäkilä has been Music Director of the St Michel Strings chamber orchestra, and since 2017 he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Krasnoyarsk Academic Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his appointment he served two years in the conducting team of the Cleveland Orchestra under maestro Franz Welser-Möst, after completing a three-year tenure with the Orchestre National de France as maestro Kurt Masur’s assistant. In a short period of time Mäkilä has made a name for himself as a versatile artist with a broad repertoire ranging from the baroque to contemporary opuses.
Maestro Mäkilä’s guest conducting schedule takes him across Finland, where he regularly conducts the country’s leading orchestras, Russia, the UK and other European countries, Asia, South Africa and the USA. He has recently collaborated with artists including Vadim Repin, Kyung-Wha Chung, Jian Wang and Anneleen Lenaerts. In the field of opera Mäkilä has conducted the world premieres of Free Will (2012, Savonlinna Opera Festival), Lovers of Mankind (2009, Musica Nova Helsinki) and the Finnish premieres of Philip Glass’ chamber operas In the Penal Colony (2006, Ooppera Skaala) and Les Enfants terrible (2005, Ooppera Skaala).
Originally a cellist, Sasha Mäkilä studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy (Finland) and at the St Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire (Russia). He was nominated a Conducting Fellow at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen (2009) and he was also a prize-winner at the VI Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition (USA, 2006) as well as a finalist in the Suwon International Conducting Competition (South Korea, 2005). In 2013 the University of Helsinki presented Sasha Mäkilä with the Pacius Award.