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Vaasa City Orchestra

Vaasa City Orchestra, established in 1930, has 31 musicians. Tomas Djupsjöbacka has been the chief conductor of the orchestra since January 2021.

The orchestra

Vaasa City Orchestra

The Vaasa City Orchestra is a high-level symphony orchestra consisting of 31 musicians, profiling itself through the tonal colors of classical instruments. The orchestra performs classical repertoire, chamber music, entertainment, children’s concerts, and opera music. The concert venue for the orchestra is the Vaasa City Hall, located in the center of Vaasa.

In addition to symphony concerts, the orchestra engages in entertainment and school concerts, as well as concerts that blend various genres of music. Collaborative concerts with other orchestras in the nearby region are also part of the City Orchestra’s activities. The Vaasa City Orchestra collaborates with the Vaasa City Theatre on opera productions. During the summer, the orchestra performs at music festivals. Since 1999, the City Orchestra has participated in the International Jorma Panula Conducting Competition organized by the Viljo and Maire Vuorio Foundation every three years. The Vaasa City Orchestra also serves as the orchestra for the Jorma Panula Conducting Course.

Tomas Djupsjöbacka serves as the chief conductor of the orchestra until the end of 2024. The designated composer for the orchestra is Markus Fagerudd. The working and concert venue for the orchestra is the Vaasa City Hall, located in the center of Vaasa. The Vaasa City Orchestra originally started its operations in 1930, founded by the Orchestra Association. In 1974, it was municipalized and renamed the Vaasa City Orchestra. In 2024, the Vaasa City Orchestra celebrates its 50th anniversary!


Chief Conductor Tomas Djupsjöbacka

Tomas Djupsjöbacka has been Chief Conductor of the Vaasa City Orchestra since January 1st, 2021.

Known for his versatility, his strengths include his extensive contacts in Finland and internationally, and his ability to understand the needs and wishes of his musicians. Once in Vaasa, Djupsjöbacka hopes to awake the imagination of the city’s residents through the power of classical music.

Tomas Djupsjöbacka’s appointment as Chief Conductor of the Vaasa City Orchestra is welcomed news for the city of Vaasa and its residents.

“One of the most important tasks the Vaasa City Orchestra is charged with is improving the wellbeing of the city’s residents. In his role as both Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Tomas will contribute significantly to achieving this goal”, explains general manager of the Vaasa City Orchestra, Mia Huhta.

Djupsjöbacka is ready and willing to meet these high expectations, and he is fully aware of the pressing need of Vaasa’s residents for some brightness and inspiration during the covid-19 pandemic. For his part, the new Chief Conductor hopes that the city will approach his appointment with sense of curiosity.

“I hope to awake the imagination of the audience through the power of classical music. I want to encourage those who live in Vaasa to experience something new and different”, he remarks.

As a musician, Djupsjöbacka is known for his versatility – evident in both his playing as a cellist and work as a conductor. He has played in the Meta4 string quartet for almost 20 years and been a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for 15 years. On top of this, he has conducted almost every orchestra in Finland. All this and more made him a perfect fit for the role as Vaasa’s new Chief Conductor.

“First and foremost we were looking for a fantastic musician – one with practical experience and a firm grasp of both the Finnish and international soundscape. It is also important for Vaasa’s Chief Conductor to be able to communicate fluently in both Finnish and Swedish”, Huhta adds.

Djupsjöbacka, a Helsinki native, was asked to replace the conductor for the 100% Beethoven concert series held in Vaasa. As it turned out, this autumn guest appearance also helped Vaasa’s General Manager decide who the orchestra wanted as its new leader.

“One of our musicians asked during a meeting if it could always be like that week. I knew then that we’d found the right person”, Huhta says with a smile.

Tomas Djupsjöbacka’s appointment as Vaasa’s new Chief Conductor is an important step in his career.

“While I will still be guesting for other orchestras, getting to be Vaasa’s Chief Conductor is an incredibly important opportunity to develop the city orchestra’s sound, the concert programme, and the long-term artistic direction”, Djupsjöbacka remarks.

Huhta praises Djupsjöbacka as a modern conductor who, thanks to his time as a chamber musician, can identify with the experiences of the orchestra’s players.

“Leading from within is an important part of any collaboration”, she observes.

Djupsjöbacka has signed a three-year contract with the Vaasa City Orchestra, with the deal also including an additional two-year option. First on his agenda when he arrives in Vaasa is planning a new programme for the orchestra in place of the operatic production postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The hope is that audiences will be able to safely enjoy all the city orchestra has to offer in the new year.


Musicians of the Vaasa City Orchestra


Matilda Haavisto / Maano Männi, Alternating 1st Concertmaster
Anna-Leena Merikivi, Principal
Henrik Perello/ Hilkka Miettunen
Terje Männi


Liisa Makkonen, Principal
Leenakaisa Sandberg, Sub-principal
Tarmo Isokangas
Marko Konttinen


Nana Raitaluoto, Principal
Viktor Olaus Nygård, Sub-principal
Ida Kosonen


Vladimir Reshetko, Solo cellist
Elena Hämäläinen, Principal (absent)
Tuomas Roos, Principal
Laura Martin


Pontus Grans, Principal
Eero Marttila, Sub-principal


Erica Nygård, Principal
Stella Michael, Sub-principal


Siri Alanko, Principal
Panu Sivonen, Sub-principal


Eneko Iriarte Velasco, Principal (absent)
Hugo Olsson, Principal
Astrid le Clercq, Sub-principal


Marco Bottet, Principal
Samuli Krohn, Sub-principal


Harri Ala-Aho, Principal
Vesa Ania, Sub-principal


Ilari Pälli, Principal
Mari Pakarinen, Sub-principal


Tuomas Länne, Principal


Patrik Knif, Principal