Kaapo Ijas
Kaapo Ijas (b.1988) is the Mills Williams Junior Fellow in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music. He has been fiercely interested in composing, performance, drama, group dynamics and the orchestra itself for all his life. In 2012 it lead him to conducting studies first in Sibelius Academy then Zürcher Hochschule der Künste and ultimately Royal College of Music in Stockholm where he graduated from in spring of 2017.

Broadmindedness and unprejudiced attitude towards other arts and all genres is in the very core of Ijas‘ approach. Music, as any other art, is breathing together whatever the style or period.

His teachers during his studies and masterclasses include Jorma Panula, Johannes Schlaefli, Jaap van Zweden, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Zinman, Neeme and Paavo Järvi and Atso Almila. Ijas has conducted i.a. BBC Philharmonic, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Norrköping SO, South Jutland SO, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Gävle Symfoniorkester, Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester (Mannheim), Hradec Kralove Philharmonia, KMH Symphony Orchestra, Seinäjoki City Orchestra, KammarensembleN, Norrbotten NEO, Swedish Army Band, Helsinki Police band and numerous other project ensembles and choirs during masterclasses and in concerts. In 2019 Ijas made his debut concerts with Guards Band Helsinki and Lappenranta city orchestra.

Ijas has been invited to various prestigious masterclasses including Gstaad Menuhin Festival 2018 with Jaap van Zweden, Riccardo Muti Opera Academy 2017 in Ravenna, the 8th Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich masterclass with David Zinman in 2017 and Järvi Academy with Paavo and Neeme Järvi in 2016. He was semifinalist in Donatella Flick Conducting Competition 2016 as well as in Lovro von Matačić competition in 2019 and among the top 7 in Cadaqués Conducting Competition 2017. In 2018 Ijas was selected as 24 conductors from 566 applicants to take part in Nikolai Malko competition in Copenhagen and won the 3rd prize in Jorma Panula Conducting Competition in Vaasa.