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Finnish Conductor Dismissed Over Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

By Sara Schabas on June 10, 2024

Jonas Tannila conducting, Black and white.
Jonas Tannila (Photo: via artist’s website)

The prominent Finnish conductor Jonas Rannila has been dismissed from conducting posts at the Sibelius Academy for harassment allegations. And apparently, those working alongside Rannila have known of his behaviour for years.

Playing catch-up: The 35-year-old conductor Jonas Rannila is well-known in Finland’s musical communities. Recently appointed as chief conductor of the Pori Sinfonietta, Rannila has conducted over 30 operas with the Finnish National Opera. He also works at the Sibelius Academy, is music director of Opera Box, and artistic director of both the Helsinki Philharmonic Choir and the Finnish Oratorio Choir.

So, what’s the deal?: In May 2024, the Finnish investigative blog Long Play published an article about a classical musician who used his professional clout to coerce younger musicians into performing unwanted sexual acts. Long Play separately interviewed 11 young musicians for their article. Soon after the article’s publication, the conductor Jonas Rannila announced on his social media that the piece described himself.The authors of the Long Play article, Karoliina Paananen and Sonja Saarikoski, expressed that they didn’t write the article to accuse the subject of a crime. Rather, their piece highlights the long-established tolerance of coercion and abuse within the classical music industry. Rannila has since been removed from his responsibilities at the Sibelius Academy. Whether or not he will fulfill his other scheduled conducting responsibilities is unclear.

Sara Schabas
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