PETRI SAKARI (b. 1958, Helsinki) began his violin studies at the age of nine and completed a conducting diploma under Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy in 1981. He began his professional career with the Vaasa City Orchestra in 1983–1984 and formed a special relationship with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, whose Chief Conductor and Artistic Director he was from 1988 to 1993 and again from 1996 to 1998. Because of this close connection, he was invited to conduct the inaugural concert of the new Harpa concert hall in 2011.
Sakari was the Artistic Director of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra from 2007 to 2011. He has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras around the world, including the orchestras of the Finnish National Opera and the Royal Opera in Stockholm; the Stuttgart and Saarbrücken symphony orchestras; the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; the BBC Wales Symphony Orchestra; and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded the complete symphonies of Leevi Madetoja, Aarre Merikanto and Jean Sibelius and also music by Hugo Alfvén, Franz Berwald, Edvard Grieg, Uuno Klami, Jón Leifs and others.