Marjo Riihimäki, Kuvaaja: Tuomas Vihavainen

”Conducting is my vocation and making music lights up my heart. My job is to help musicians shine. In the music world the most relevant thing is conveying emotions together with the musicians for the audience.”

Marjo Riihimäki completed her post-graduate diploma studies in orchestral conducting at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki. She is known as a determined, energetic, captivating – and if the music demands – swinging conductor.

After her graduation in 2014, Marjo and her friend and colleague, Anna-Leena Lumme, founded the Finnish Symphonic Wind Professionals, a project consisting of professional musicians and teachers. 

Marjo has been invited as a guest conductor for example to Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, Pori City Orchestra, Joensuu City Orchestra, Mikkeli City Orchestra, UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra and the Air Force Big Band and Kaunas Big Band. Before her conducting studies Marjo Riihimäki worked as a music teacher in high school and at the Tampere Conservatory. She also worked for several years as the Intendant of the Military Music of the Defense Forces. Marjo has been awarded with the Military Merit Medal by the Commander of the Defense Forces, the National Defense Medal and the Cross of Merit of the White Rose of Finland.

In addition to classical music Marjo Riihimäki is in her element within entertainment music – thanks to her versatile background within different genres. She conducted a crossover concert in Mikkeli Music Festival working with an awarded jazzsinger Elena Mindru and Mikkeli String Orchestra.  Elena Mindru’s program from the record Hope bridge the worlds of art-rock, jazz and Finnish folk music combined with symphony orchestra.

For years Marjo wrote arrangements and performed as a clarinetist in an interactive theatre. Marjo has been working in musical productions as a music teacher in high school and a choir leader in Tampere Conservatoire.

Marjo grew up in Iisalmi, where her life was surrounded by music and theatre thanks to the hobbies of her family. During her school years, Marjo sang in choirs, played in musical theatre, and played clarinet in wind and symphony orchestras.

Studies took Marjo to the Univeriversity of Joensuu in Savonlinna, the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa, and the University of Jyväskylä. Her studies focused on conducting and multicultural music education.