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Taru Lehto

Solo Viola Player

Taru Lehto was only 22 years old when she took up the position of solo viola player with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra in 1996. She had trained at the Hyvinkää Music Institute, taken lessons at the Sibelius Academy’s Junior Academy for a few years and spent three years studying at what was then the Helsinki Conservatory. Taru began her master’s studies at the Sibelius Academy during the same autumn that she started working in the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, and perhaps it was this early combining of work and study that led to her continued interest in studying even after graduating with a master’s degree. Alongside her work, Taru has studied psychology, special education and social work, and considers herself a “perpetual student”.

Already during her studies, Taru was a sought-after player for various semi-professional orchestras, in addition to various youth and school orchestras. During her time in the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Taru has continued to be an in-demand guest performer and has played with, for example, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tapiola Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of Finnish National Opera, often in the role of section leader. Taru was also a regular member of the Savonlinna Opera Festival Orchestra for nine summers, serving as principal of the viola section there as well. Taru was elected President of the Finnish Viola Society in 2018. This means that she is prime position with regard to developing the role of the viola and viola players in orchestras and the field of teaching, as well as making the instrument better known on a larger scale.