Kaapo Ijas is new Junior Fellow in Conducting

We are delighted to announce Kaapo Ijas will be joining us in September as our new Mills Williams Junior Fellow in Conducting.

Kaapo was one of 12 candidates chosen to attend the live auditions in February, selected from over 60 applications worldwide. Three made it through to the final round, each conducting the RNCM Symphony Orchestra following five rounds featuring opera, contemporary and chamber orchestra repertoire. This year’s panel was Sir Mark Elder (Music Director of the Hallé and the RNCM’s International Chair in Conducting), Clark Rundell (Head of Conducting, RNCM) and Mark Heron (Deputy Head of Conducting, RNCM).

A graduate of the Sibelius Academy and Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Kaapo has worked with, among others, the KMH, Norrköping and South Jutland Symphony Orchestras, the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Gävle Symfoniorkester, Hradec Kralove Philharmonia, the Seinäjoki City Orchestra, and the Swedish Army and Helsinki Police Bands in masterclasses and concerts. He has also worked as Assistant Conductor at Stockholm Royal Opera, Norrlands Opera, and OperaBox in Helsinki.

He said: ‘From the first day of auditions the atmosphere among students and staff at the RNCM was absolutely remarkable. The feedback we received after each round really pushed me to do my absolute best, and it’s this drive and support that I’m looking forward to over the next two years. Having Sir Mark Elder as my mentor and such a strong institution supporting my artistic development is just an amazing opportunity at this point of my career.’

Kaapo will now receive tuition from Sir Mark Elder, Clark Rundell, Mark Heron and visiting conductors. He will conduct the RNCM’s orchestras, ensembles and opera productions, and benefit from the College’s strong links with the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata. The RNCM has developed special partnerships with the BBC Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras where Junior Fellows, as well as postgraduate conducting students, work as Assistant Conductors several times a year.

The RNCM would like to thank the Mills Williams Foundation for supporting this position.

25 February 2019