The roots of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra stretch back to the year 1790 and the founding of The Musical Society in Turku. The oldest orchestra in Finland – and one of the oldest in the world – the Turku Philharmonic was taken over by its host City in 1927. At the time it had 29 players, as against 74 today. Leif Segerstam was the orchestra’s Artistic Director and Chief Conductor from 2012 to May 2019. During his tenure, he made a significant contribution to the orchestra’s artistic quality and profile. The orchestra’s home composer is Mikko Heiniö.
The orchestra has been on tour to Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Germany, Hungary and China. It released its first record in 1979. Year 2015 the orchestra released six CDs of Jean Sibelius’ music with conductor Leif Segerstam. Favourite Finnish Classics (1995) and Karita’s Christmas (2002) both merited a platinum disc. Conductor Juha Kangas and the Turku Philharmonics won the EMMA award for Classical Album of the Year for their recording Transient Moods – Rajatiloja, published in 2009, with music by P.H. Nordgren.
Side by side with the weekly symphony concerts, the orchestra’s chamber music ensembles perform in the historical venues of Turku and the beautiful archipelago. The orchestra also puts on concerts for the whole family and takes regularly part in opera productions. Also, Turku Philharmonic works with accessibility questions and is leading the way in Finland on the field of Internet concerts. The orchestra streams live concerts on its website on a monthly basis.