Riihimäki Summer Concerts' Artistic Director
Riihimäki Summer Concerts’ Artistic Director is Joel Laakso (born 1978), the new principal cellist of The Royal Danish Orchestra (Det Kongelige Kapel).
With this assignment Joel returns back home – as a 5-year-old boy he started his lessons with cello in Riihimäki music school. Joel Laakso’s father, Ilari Laakso was the first Artistic Director of Riihimäki Summer Concerts and actually one of the few who originally started the festival in the early 80’s.
Since leaving Riihimäki Joel has studied in the Sibelius-Academy with Martti Rousi, Erkki Rautio, Marcel Bergman, Hannu Kiiski and Lea Pekkala, among many others. In the Edsberg chamber music institute he studied with Torleif Thedeen.
As a cellist Laakso has toured USA, Asia, Australia and most of the countries in Europe, especially with the famous New Helsinki Quartet. He has performed as a soloist with the Finnish RSO and Tapiola Sinfonietta playing concertos by Beethoven, Saint-Saens and Tischtsenko.
Laakso’s instrument is a Nicolo Amati -cello (late 17th century) owned by The Royal Danish Theatre, Det Kongelige Teater.