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Juha Kangas

Juha Kangas

Country of origin: Finland
Birthday: November 27, 1945

About Juha Kangas

Juha Kangas was born in 1945 in the Finnish town of Kaustinen in the Ostrobothnian region, where there is a strong tradition of itinerant musicians. At the age of thirteen he began to take violin lessons, particularly influenced by the traditional music of itinerant players. Later, Juha Kangas studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with the composers Rautavaara, Heininen, and Sallinen. But it was the legendary violin professor Onni Suhonen who became his mentor. Suhonen’s quartet class was actually a clandestine training ground for many future conductors. From 1966 to 1971, Kangas played viola in the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, where he became acquainted with the classical repertoire from the inside. Thereafter, he was a violin teacher at the Ostrobothnian Conservatory in Kokkola, a small town on the Bothnian coast, where he founded a chamber orchestra with the young students. In 1989, the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra became completely professional and in 1993 received the Nordic Council Music Prize, one of the most prestigious music awards in Scandinavia. Juha Kangas helped many Scandinavian and Baltic composers to become known, among them Pehr Henrik Nordgren, Anders Eliasson, Per Nørgård, Pēteris Vasks, Erkki Salmenhaara, Kalevi Aho, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Lepo Sumera, Erkki-Sven Tüür, and Onute Narbutaite, to mention but a few.