Kamu, Okko (Tapani)
- Noël Goodwin
(b Helsinki, March 7, 1946). Finnish conductor and violinist. The son of a double bass player in the Helsinki PO, he was given violin lessons and entered the Sibelius Academy at the age of six as a pupil of Onni Suhonen. He became a violinist in the Helsinki Youth Orchestra, and at 18 the leader of the Suhonen Quartet. A year later he joined the Helsinki PO as associate principal second violin, and became leader of the Finnish National Opera Orchestra (1966–8), where he also gained experience as third conductor with the opera company. Self-taught as a conductor, he won the first Herbert von Karajan International Competition at Berlin (1969), which led to engagements with major orchestras in Europe, the USA, Israel and Japan, and to recordings; these brought him a reputation for youthful spontaneity tempered by sensitivity and disciplined feeling. His British début was with the NPO at the Festival Hall in ...