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Lappeenranta City Orchestra / Saimaa Sinfonietta

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Live orchestral music adds colour and sparkle to everyday life. Founded a hundred years ago, the Lappeenranta City Orchestra continues to be active and influential on the contemporary musical scene.

The Lappeenrannan Musiikinystäväin yhdistys (Lappeenranta Music Association) was founded in 1909, and immediately set up an orchestra that remained active until the First World War. A new rise did not start until after the Winter and Continuation wars towards the end of the 1940s. The conductors of that time included the legendary Martti Similä and Jouko Tolonen. During Mauri Hannikainen’s period in 1980s, the orchestra developed into a fully municipal string orchestra. At the end of 1980s, the orchestra had its first full-time wind instrument players. The artistic directors have included Ari Rasilainen, Ari Angervo, Pertti Pekkanen, Hannu Norjanen, Jan Söderblom and Tibor Bogányi. Conductor Vytautas Lukočius begins as Artistic Director from the beginning of the spring 2016.

Currently, the orchestra has an active “mini-sinfonietta” of 21 regular players, which can through assistants and cooperation projects be extended to Saimaa Sinfonietta.

Many remembers the Lappeenranta City Orchestra from the TV and radio, because it performs at the finals of the Lappeenranta National Song Contest. This highly rated song contest is organized every third year. In the two intermittent years, a Singing Lappeenranta festival is organized in its stead. The Lappeenranta City Orchestra performs with Kymi Sinfonietta in Lappeenranta, Kotka, and Kouvola under the name Southeast Philharmonic.

The first digital recording of the Lappeenranta City Orchestra, Sailing in the Moonlight, was released in 2009. In addition to Lappeenranta and other Finnish locations, in the coming years the orchestra will play in Russia, Germany, Hungary, and Estonia.

The orchestra most often performs in the 700-seat Lappeenranta Hall. Every year, the orchestra makes around 50 productions from classical to popular music. Read more about our concerts on the City Orchestra’s own website, or visit our office.

Welcome to experience live orchestral music!

Milko Vesalainen
Lappeenranta City Orchestra
General Manager
Lappeenranta National Song Contest

Office: Villimiehenkatu 1, tel. +358 40 547 8706

Lappeenranta Tourist Service, Kauppakatu 40 D, 1st floor, open Mon-Fri 9:00 – 16:30, tel. +358 5 6 67788.