One of the most prestigious conducting competitions in Europe, The Jorma Panula International Conducting Competition will be held for the ninth time in Vaasa on 4-8 September 2024. About 150 applicants from all over Europe have applied for the competition, which is held for four days. An international jury of five will gather in Vaasa during the week of the competition to choose the best conductor among the 20 contestants in the Finals on Saturday 7 September. Thursday 5.9. you can listen to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart´s arias from the Opera ”The marriage of Figaro” performed by the soloists, soprano Iris Candelaria and baritone Luke Terrence Scott. I the semifinals 6.9. and the finals 7.9. you see violinist Tami Pohjola, in Jean Sibelius ‘great Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47. Orchestras in the competition are Vaasa City Orchestra and Jyväskylä Sinfonia.

NEW this year is the first JORMA PANULA MINIKAPU Conducting Competition for young aspiring conductors under the age of 20. The competition is arranged alongside the international competition in the Vaasa City Hall. The competition orchestra here is Wasa Sinfonietta, from Vaasa.

The audience is welcome to follow the competitions every day in Vaasa City Hall.

4.9. Wednesday
10.00–21.00 International competition´s first round
Claude Debussy: Prélude à l´après-midi d´un faune

10.00–18.00 International competition´s second round
Soloists: Iris Candelaria, soprano, Luke Terrence Scott, baritone.
Jukka Tiensuu: commissioned work, W.A. Mozart: arias from the opera “The marriage of Figaro”

18.30–21.00 MINIKAPU -competition´s first round
W.A. Mozart: Symphony No 36, first part

6.9 Friday
10.00–18.00 Semifinals of the International competition
Claude Debussy: La Mer, Jean Sibelius: Violin concerto in D minor, op. 47
Soloist: Tami Pohjola, violin.
18.30–20.00 MINIKAPU – semifinals
J. Sibelius: from the opera Pelléas & Mèlisande.

7.9 Saturday
17.00–17.45 MINIKAPU-competition finals
J. Sibelius: Pelléas & Mèlisande
Wasa Sinfonietta
19.00–20.30 International Competition´s Grand Finale
Claude Debussy: La Mer, Jean Sibelius: Violin concerto in d Minor, op. 47
Soloist: Tami Pohjola, violin.
Vaasa City Orchestra & Jyväskylä Sinfonia
20.30–21.00 Entr’acte, Wasa Sinfonietta & MINIKAPUS

21.15 Announcement of the winners

Tickets available in advance from and Studio Ticket, Rewell Center, Vaasa, or at the door during the competition week.

The contestants are chosen!

The contestants are chosen!

By the deadline (29 February), 147 eligible applications from 21 European countries had been received for the ninth international competition, which will take place from 3rd to 7th of September 2024. The largest number of applications came from France (22), Germany (17), Spain (15), Italy (14), the United Kingdom (12), Poland (9), Switzerland and Finland (7), Latvia and Greece (6), Norway (5), the Netherlands (4), Estonia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Austria (3), Ireland (2) and Hungary, Lithuania and Portugal (1).


A video jury chaired by Jorma Panula, has selected 20 contestants and four in reserve for the final competition in Vaasa on 20.3.2024. The video jury consisted of conductors Atso Almila, Jukka Iisakkila and Pietro Rizzo, Michael Claussen, secretary.

The selected competitors are (in alphabetical order): Bénati Félix (France), Cagnasso Francesco (Italy/Switzerland), Castro Grinstein Anna (Spain), Combémorel Yoann (France), Dickopf Katharina (Germany), Gwizdalla Mateusz (Poland), Haugli Guro (Norway), Malek Anna (Germany), Müller-Monod Louise (Switzerland), Måseidvåg Nils Erik (Norway), Pasquina Serra Noemi (Spain), Petrenko Konstantins (Latvia), Przybycien Jakub (Poland), Sieber Joseph (Switzerland), Siret Vincent (France), Sorokine Nikita (France), Staiger Eric (Germany), Toikka Erno (Finland), Uusitupa Kasmir (Finland), Zinca Sebastian (Romania). The reserve competitors are in this order: Benedikt Sauer (Germany), Federico Tibone (Italy), Pierre Mosnier (France), Carl Anders Nilsen (Norway).

The jury of the competition in September

Maestro, professor, conductor, composer Jorma Panula, has been the artistic director and chairman of the competition since its inception. In addition to Jorma Panula, this year's jury includes conductor Ed Spanjaard (Netherlands), conductor Maria Badstue (Denmark), conductor Vytautas Lukočius (Lithuania), conductor Mikko Franck (Finland) and musicians from the Vaasa City Orchestra and the Jyväskylä Sinfonia. Michael Claussen will be the secretary of the jury.

The MINIKAPU contestants!

Seven applications were received by the deadline for the first MINIKAPU competition for young conductors under the age of 20, which will take place from 4th to 7th of September 2024. All applicants were accepted. The MINIKAPU contestants are from Finland: Fagerlund Maximilian, Hukkanen Touko, Kujala Helena, Vauhkonen Leo, Väyrynen Elviira, Šereckis Arijus from Lithuania and Leicher Maximilian from Germany (studying in Finland). The MINIKAPU competition will take place at the same time as the international competition. The competition orchestra is Wasa Sinfonietta.

The MINIKAPU jury members are professor, conductor Atso Almila, chairman of the jury, conductors Jukka Iisakkila and Ville Mankkinen. Festival director Milla Virta will be the secretary of the jury during the competition.



The application portal for the 9th Jorma Panula International Conducting Competition 3-7.9.2024 and the first Jorma Panula MINIKAPU Junior Conducting Competition 4 – 7.9.2024 are closed.

The International Conducting Competition attracted mor than 150 applicants from all over Europe. Citizens from EU member countries, Switzerland, Great Britain, Norway, and Iceland were welcome to apply. The first MINIKAPU conducting competition also attracted enough applicants from very young students in Finland.

The procedure now is that an expert group appointed by prof. Jorma Panula will select 20 international contestants and 4 in reserve from the applicants for the 9th competition. By the end of April, the final contestants will be announced. The secretary of the expert group and the competition jury is Music Director Michael Claussen.



Viljo and Maire Vuorio Foundation is preparing for the 9th version of JORMA PANULA INTERNATIONAL CONDUCTING COMPETITION 3-7.9.2024 in the city of Vaasa.

The timing is being changed from November to September to make it easier and more comfortable for visitors to attend the competition. The beautiful surroundings in the Vaasa region will probably be more attractive than in the darkness of November. The Vaasa City Hall is the venue for the competition.

Academician Jorma Panula has invited members of the jury together with himself to find the best conductor of the competition among 20 chosen contestants. The members beside the chairman Jorma Panula are, Professor Ed Spanjaard from The Netherlands, conductor Maria Badstue from Denmark, Vytautas Lukočius from Lithuania, and Mikko Franck from Finland. All members of the jury have long experience of conducting and some from teaching. Besides this, the orchestras in the competition, Vaasa City Orchestra and Jyväskylä Sinfonia will name one musician as member to the jury. The two orchestras have been competition orchestras since the year 2003.

The competition is open for applicants under the age of 40, from countries in EU, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Great Britain. The application period open 1.12.2023 – 29.2.2024. And the registration form and rules will be found on this webpage by the end of November.

In year 2021 the competition attracted over 150 applicants. For the next competition we hope for as many applicants again. A group of expertise together with the Maestro Jorma Panula, will choose 20 contestants to compete in one of the most prestigious conducting competitions in Europe.



For the first time in history Professor, academician Jorma Panula introduces in year 2024 a new conducting competition for especially young, talented conductors, JORMA PANULA MINIKAPU COMPETITION (in English meaning JUNIOR CONDUCTING COMPETITION).

The reason, as Panula describes it, is that he is worried about the future education of conductors in Finland and wants to further raise the interest for orchestral conducting among young musicians. As a professor still teaching orchestral conducting at the age of 93, his work is making fantastic results, both as professor at the Sibelius Academy earlier, and now still, within his own master class program The Panula Academy. One of Finland's most important exports within classical music are conductors making careers abroad. Most of them have at some stage been taught by Maestro Panula, such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Osmo Vänskä, Susanna Mälkki, Sakari Oramo, Mikko Franck, Pietari Inkinen, Klaus Mäkelä, Dalia Stasevska, Dima Slobodeniouk, Tarmo Peltokoski just to mention a few.

The competition will run alongside the international competition during the same time but is two days shorter. The competition is meant for Finnish students and foreign students living in Finland. The maximum age for the applicants is 20 years of age. There is no lower limit in age. The period of application is 1.1 - 29.2.2024 through this web page.

The orchestra in the competition will be the Wasa Sinfonietta. The jury for the competition will be professor Atso Almila, conductors Jukka Iisakkila and Ville Mankkinen.

Greetings from the Producer

Greetings from the Producer

As the new webpage is opened, we wish you welcome to follow our page and to share our news. We will from now on publish information and news regarding the conducting competitions, both the 9th international and the first MINIKAPU competitions. As we now are having the warmest time in Finland, summer – or green winter – depends on what you prefer to call it, we will intensify the news from September onwards.

I have by the Viljo and Maire Vuorio Foundation got the possibility to be part of the organizing committee as producer for the competitions in year 2024.

The task feels lovely and interesting. I have earlier had my own chamber music festival Korsholm Music Festival, which now is in good hands, and therefore can continue to work with classical music in this format. Some winners and participants in the international conducting competitions during the years have been performing in the Korsholm Music Festival. Also, the cooperation with Vaasa City Orchestra is familiar. I really look forward to the excitement and musical experiences that the competitions will bring. Welcome to follow our news.

Monica Johnson


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