Angus Webster, 2018

Jorma Panula Junior Conducting Competition 4-7.9.2024


The first Jorma Panula Junior Conducting Competition is held from the 4th to 7th of September 2024. The first round starts on the 5th of September in the evening. The application period for contestants from Finland begins the 1st of January 2024 and continues until the end of February 2024.

Contestants from Finland and foreign students studying in Finland are welcome to apply. A total of 8 contestants will be chosen to compete in Vaasa alongside The Jorma Panula International Conducting Competition at the same time. The contestants are welcome to freely follow the international competition as an audience.

Maestro Jorma Panula is introducing this new competition for young students in Finland to secure and add the interest in conducting. The competition will hopefully also increase the interest in conducting as a musical profession.

Junior Competition schedule


The first prize 1 000 euros
The second prize 750 euros
Third prize 500 euros

Special prize: Maestro Jorma Panula is also offering Master Classes in conducting to the winners, arranged by the Panula Academy.

The Jury

Atso Almila

Atso Almila
Chairman, Finland

More info
Ville Mankkinen

Ville Mankkinen

More info
Jukka Iisakkila

Jukka Iisakkila

More info


  • Application period for the First Jorma Panula Junior Conducting Competition begins 1.1.2024 and ends 29.2.2024.
  • Applicants must study in Finland.
  • The upper age limit is 20 years. The competition is open to applicants born after 7th of September 2004.
  • Eight contestants will be selected among the applicants by a professional team, led by prof. Jorma Panula. Every approved contestant will be personally contacted by the secretary about the result.
  • Application is made online on website Application period is from 1st of January to 29th of February 2024.
  • Attachments:
    • short introduction letter and Curriculum Vitae. (not more than 300 words)
  • Attachments (continued):
    • A copy of personal identity card or valid passport. One high resolution photo (new/recent), digital format jpg, jpeg, pdf (max 4 MB, resolution 300dpi).
    • Video recording: Attached link which includes digitally recorded video material for downloading (on YouTube, Vimeo, google drive).
      The video recording must include material that shows the competitor conducting an orchestra or ensemble in a rehearsal and/or concert situations, a total length of 10 - 12 minutes. (Very low picture/sound quality can be discarded).
  • The selection will be made based on the recordings by 30.4.2024.
  • A non-refundable registration fee of 50 euros must be paid together with the application. The chosen contestant can request hotel accommodation from the organizer not later than 2 months prior to the competition.

The Contestants (in alphabetical order)

Fagerlund Maximilian

Fagerlund Maximilian, Finland

I am a 17-year-old pianist, conductor, and composer from Helsinki. I began playing the piano at the age of 6 under Junio Kimanen at the West Helsinki Music Institute. In 2015 I began my studies with Liisa Malmivaara, first at Turku Conservatory and later at Helsinki Conservatory of Music where I have also studied percussion. I have also sung in the children’s choir of the Finnish National Opera in

2017‒2020. I’ve received cello and piano diplomas in the Jugend Musiziert international competition, and the Pro Musica fund has granted me a scholarship for my music studies. In 2023 I performed as a soloist in the student orchestra of the Sibelius Academy and in the summer of 2024, I will perform as a soloist at Turku Music Festival and the Riihimäki Kesä concert series.

Hukkanen Touko

Hukkanen Touko, Finland

I am a 15-year-old musician from Oulu. I have played the piano since I was 6 years old, and later taken lessons on the flute and other instruments (saxophone, clarinet). I mainly play piano and flute. I have taken lessons in both classical piano and free accompaniment. My interest in working as a conductor arose when I sang three parts in The Magic Flute at Oulu theatre.

I wanted to try out orchestral conducting and took my first masterclass in the summer of 2023. In addition to my instrument studies, I study partitures and compose, which is also a good way to learn partiture analysis. I have composed piano pieces from an early age. These days I compose for different orchestral setups.

Kujala Helena

Kujala Helena, Finland

I am a 17-year-old Finnish-German student of violin and conducting. I started playing the violin at the age of 4 at the West Helsinki Music Institute. Since last year, I have been studying at the East Helsinki Music Institute, where my teacher is Emma Vähälä, the second concertmaster of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO). I have been studying orchestral conducting since the beginning of 2024. My interest in conducting was sparked by Jukka Iisakkila’s introduction to conducting. I have been playing in the symphony orchestra Vivo since

spring 2023 and have also served as the first violinist in the Helsinki Junior Strings. In 2022, I competed in the finals of the solo violin category of the Jugend musiziert competition in Germany. I have participated a couple of times in the Panula Academy and received mentoring from Dalia Stasevska and Taavi Oramo. I made my debut as a conductor in the summer of 2024 in the chamber music hall of the Berlin Philharmonie with the Deutsch-Skandinavische Jugendphilharmonie.

Leicher Max

Leicher Max, Germany

I am an 18-year-old conductor student from Munich, Germany. I play the violin and piano and have significant experience as a composer. I was a choir member and soloist with the Tölzer Knabenchor for seven years, during which I performed numerous sacred works and appeared in over 60 opera performances across Europe, Asia, and the USA, including at Lincoln Center. A notable highlight was performing as Yniold in Debussy’s ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’ at the age of thirteen, under the baton of Stéphane Denève with the Concertgebouw Orchestra. I started conducting studies with Prof. Miguel Harth-Bedoya in 2020.

Under Prof. Harth-Bedoya’s tutelage, I developed a strong theoretical foundation and gained first my experiences with orchestra. Since autumn 2022, I have been studying at the Panula Academy in Finland. Under Prof. Jorma’s Panula’s guidance, I have regularly worked with ensembles and acquired conducting experience with professional orchestras such as the South Denmark Philharmonic, the MÁV Symphony Orchestra, the Vaasa City Orchestra, and the Jyväskylä Sinfonia. Currently, I am studying Orchestral Conducting under Professor Ole Kristian Ruud at the Norwegian Academy of Music.

Šereckis Arijus

Šereckis Arijus, Lithuania

I am a 12-year-old music student and began studying the piano at Kuopio Conservatory under Katariina Liimatainen in 2018. I have participated actively in concerts and piano competitions: In the Kuopio IX piano competition in 2021 I received an encouragement award and an honorary award for best interpretation of a Finnish

piece, in the XII Leevi Madetoja piano competition in Oulu I received an honorary award, and in the V Tapiola piano competition in Espoo I reached the final of the international series. In 2024 I began my conducting studies at the open Savonia University of Applied Sciences under Rauno Tikkanen.

Vauhkonen Leo

Vauhkonen Leo, Finland

I am a 16-year-old music student from Espoo. I study at Espoo Music Institute under Jaakko Välimäki with French horn as my major. I also play in Tapiola Youth Symphony Orchestra and in Vivo Symphony Orchestra. As minor I study composition under Markku Klami. My orchestral conducting teacher is Jukka Iisakkila.

I have also been advised by Jorma Panula. I conduct Tapiola Youth Chamber Orchestra which I founded in 2022. At the concerts of the orchestra, I have conducted the Mendelssohn series A Midsummer Night’s Dream, his Fifth Symphony, and a premier of my own viola concert.

Väyrynen Elviira

Väyrynen Elviira, Finland

I am a 19- year-old music student from Turku. In May 2024 I graduated as musician from Turku Conservatory with classical piano as my major. In December 2023 I graduated from Puolalanmäki Upper Secondary School, where I took a triple degree in cooperation with the conservatory. Once I graduate from the conservatory, I aim at studying classical piano or music education at the Sibelius Academy or piano education at Turku Conservatory. Later I am hoping to study orchestral conducting, which I have practiced on my own since upper secondary school. In 2023 I conducted my music diploma for Timo

Lehtovaara, the minimusical “Åvikin sirpaleita”. In the summer of 2023, I took part in a basic course in orchestral conducting at the open university of the Sibelius Academy with teacher Petri Komulainen, and in the academic year of 2023‒2024 I took part in Olli Vartiainen’s course in ensemble conducting at Turku Conservatory. I have won prizes in the Pianoaura V (2019) and VI (2023) competitions and was a finalist in the II series of the XII Leevi Madetoja piano competition (2022). In 2021 I was appointed young artist of city of Salo.


Monica Johnson
+358 (0)50 911 33 49

The Competition Office is located at Vaasa City Hall during the competition.
Street address: Senaatinkatu 1, 65100 Vaasa
Postal address: PO Box 3, FI-65101 VAASA