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French Youth Orchestra Appoints New Music Director

The Estonian conductor Kristiina Poska will step into the role from 2025


Estonian conductor Kristiina Poska has recently been named as the new Music Director of the Orchestre Français des Jeunes (OFJ). She will step into the position in 2025, at which point she will succeed the Danish conductor Michael Schønwandt.

The Chief Conductor of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra since the 2019/20 season and Principal Guest Conductor of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra since 2021/22, Poska studied choral conducting at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater in Tallinn, and orchestral conducting at Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin.

Early in her conducting career, she was a finalist at the Donatella Flick LSO Competition in 2010 and at the Malko Competition in May 2012 — where she also won the audience prize.

Founded in 1982, the OFJ is France's pre-eminent national training orchestra for young musicians. It replicates the conditions of a professional orchestra, providing a springboard from which these young players can transition into their orchestral careers.

"Her commitment to the younger generation, interest in the music of our time, and ability to unite orchestral musicians supports the ambitions of the OFJ, a unique training facility in France and acclaimed abroad for its very high standards," said Charlotte Ginot-Slacik, the leader of the OFJ administrative team.

"I am extremely proud and honored to become the new Music Director of the French Youth Orchestra, and to follow into the footsteps of such magnificent predecessors," Poska said. "In recent years, I have been fortunate to work with young musicians and conductors on a regular basis. I find it very inspiring and rewarding, as one can focus fully to the music and work, shape and explore together in depth."

"I am looking forward to passing on some of my experience and knowledge to the future generation of French musicians, to enjoy the inspiring setting of the orchestra’s home base — Saline royale d’Arc-et-Senans and to perform together in some of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls."

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