Ulf Söderblom, Finnish conductor, Died at 86


Ulf Söderblom was born on February 5, 1930, in Turku and died on February 4, 2016.

He was a Finnish conductor and music professor.

He was the Principal Conductor of the Finnish National Opera from 1973 to 1993 and was a key figure in the revival of the Savonlinna Opera Festival.

Ulf Söderblom champion of Finnish music, he has conducted the world premieres of several works by Finnish composers including Kokkonen’s The Last Temptations and Sallinen’s Kullervo and The Horseman.

Mr.Söderblom was the son of Arne Paulinus Soderblom and Gerda Mathilda Rajalin.

Ulf Söderblom studied at the Åbo Akademi University in Turku with Otto Andersson from 1950 to 1952 and at the Vienna Music Academy with Hans Swarowsky from 1954 to 1957.

As a conductor, he made his debut in 1957 conducting a production of The Magic Flute in Turku.

During the same year, he married physiotherapist Karin Helena Ehrnrooth.

Söderblom started conducting for the Finnish National Opera in 1957, originally as a choral conductor, and in 1973 became its Chief Conductor and Music Director, a position he would hold for the next 20 years.

Ulf was also instrumental in the revival of the Savonlinna Opera Festival in 1967 after 50 years of dormancy.

The re-opening was honored with Söderblom conducting Beethoven’s Fidelio in the Olavinlinna castle.

Whilst he was a music professor, he taught conducting at the Sibelius Academy and conducted its orchestras from 1965 to 1968 and at the Åbo Akademi University from 1991.

He was awarded by The University, the honorary doctorate in 1998.

Ulf Söderblom passed away at 86 yrs old.