About Sebastian Zinca

Sebastian Zinca graduated from the Sibelius Academy as a student of Sakari Oramo. As part of his studies, he conducted nearly every major orchestra across Finland, making his guest conducting debut there with the Oulu Symphony Orchestra. He has additionally led the PKF Prague Philharmonia, Brasov Philharmonic, and Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, among others. He has served as assistant conductor for Nicholas Collon and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and won a Silver Medal at the Antal Doráti Conducting Competition.


Besides his symphonic work, Zinca is deeply passionate about opera. He has conducted 3 productions - Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz, and Handel’s Alcina, the latter of which was performed on period instruments. He was one of four young conductors from around the world chosen to conduct an act of La Bohème in concert with the Orquesta Filarmònica de Gran Canaria. During his conducting fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival, he served as assistant conductor for Missy Mazzoli’s opera Proving Up, and at the European Music Academy was awarded the president’s prize for his work on Così fan tutte.


One of Zinca’s main goals as a musician is to expand the ways classical music is presented to have the greatest impact on as wide an audience as possible. In New York City, he assembled an orchestra comprised of top young players from Juilliard and Yale. The orchestra’s final concert, celebrating Martin Luther King Day, featured several world premieres, a collaboration with young jazz virtuoso Vuyo Sotashe, a Mendelssohn Symphony, and culminated in a large-scale rendition of the civil-rights-era song We Shall Overcome, arranged by Zinca for orchestra, singer, spoken word poet, and full audience choir. In Helsinki, Zinca curates and hosts an open-mic event which regularly features artists and performers from classical musicians to more or less every genre imaginable playing together in an intimate and approachable setting.


Zinca earned his bachelor’s degree in double bass at the Juilliard School. As an orchestral musician, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Mariinsky Theatre, Moscow Conservatory, and Suntory Hall, sharing the stage with such distinguished conductors as Valery Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda, Fabio Luisi, David Zinman, Pablo Heras-Casado, and Thomas Adès. In 2017, Zinca and violinist Ariel Horowitz gave a recital tour of Europe culminating in a performance of Holocaust memorial music at the Altejudenramp in Auschwitz. He has played over 40 concerts in hospitals, nursing homes, and homeless shelters and has done extensive volunteer teaching and performing with underserved communities on the Navajo Reservation and in New Orleans.


Zinca's path into classical music began at the age of 13 when he first heard Bach’s unaccompanied violin Sonata No. 3. He felt instantly in love, listening to Bach’s music relentlessly for the next year. Only just having started to learn the double bass, he became committed to learning every note of the solo Cello Suites.


Zinca was born in Miami, Florida to Romanian and Peruvian parents. He currently resides in Berlin where he is completing his advanced studies with Steven Sloane and Harry Curtis at the Universität der Künste.


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