‘Classical music is a big part of my values’

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Per-Otto Johansson became famous is Sweden and Denmark because of his performances with almost all orchestras in both countries. He is an internationally much wanted conductor. On Friday the 29th of June he will conduct the opening concert of CityProms with pianist Behzod Abduraimov.

The start of a long journey

“Even though my parents didn’t know anything about classical music and never talked to me about it, I was fascinated by it. I started my musical education at the marine orchestra, which was the start of a long journey. Classical music meant everything to me. It is a big part of my culture and all my values.”

Happy for weeks

Finding the balance in music is the biggest challenge to him as conductor: “The moment you find the balance is euphoric. A moment like that can make me feel happy for weeks.” Classical music draws a very broad audience according to Johansson: “I hardly see any young people during my concerts in Sweden. I see a lot more people going to classical music concerts in the Netherlands, that makes me happy.”

‘Keep on fighting for the things you stand for’

He advises young musicians who consider a musical career to never give up and to keep on fighting for the things you stand for: “Make demands and make sure your voice is heard. That won’t just make you a great musician but also a better person who is to be trusted.”


Opening concert with the North Netherlands Orchestra and Behzod Abduraimov
Main stage Wilhelminaplein
Friday 29 July
20.30 – 21.45

This article is part of the CityProms Festival Newspaper

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