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Paavo Berglund (1929 - 2012)


Paavo Berglund was born in the capital of Finland, Helsinki. When he was eleven years of age he began to learn the violin, using an instrument made by his grandfather; formal study took place in Helsinki at the Sibelius Academy, in Vienna and in Salzburg. At the age of twenty, in 1949, he joined the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra as a violinist. In 1952, together with several other players, he helped to form the Helsinki Chamber Orchestra, becoming its first conductor; the orchestra’s aim was to expand the repertoire of orchestral music to be heard in Helsinki. Henceforth Berglund’s career as a conductor developed at a steady pace in his home country. In 1956 he was appointed assistant conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, becoming the orchestra’s chief conductor in 1962 and retaining this position until 1971. Through rigorous and extensive rehearsals, he greatly improved its performing standards and gained a reputation as a strict orchestral disciplinarian. In 1967 he led the orchestra on its first tour of England.

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