Swedish conductor, composer and orchestrator Joakim Unander made his Stockholm Royal Opera conducting debut 2002 with Hans Gefors' Clara, reinvited following seasons with Zauberflöte, Carmen, world premiere of Miklós Maros' Castratos, L'Heure espagnole/L'Enfant et les sortilléges, Mats Ek's Orphée and concerts.
Debut at Folkoperan, Stockholm 2001 with Sven-David Sandström/Claes Fellbom's Jeppe, reinvited for Entführung, Così fan tutte, Rigoletto, the world premiere of Anders Nilsson/Claes Fellbom's Zarah, Die Lustige Witwe and Freischütz.
First appearence at Gothenburg Opera in 2004 with Pelléas et Mélisande, reinvited following seasons for Rigoletto, Fidelio, Entführung and Zauberflöte. World premiere of Daniel Börtz' grand opera Goya in 2009.
Musical director and Principal conductor at Folkoperan 2008-2013 with productions of Madama Butterfly, Faust, The Consul, Gianni Schicchi, Les Pecheurs de perles, Un Ballo in maschera, L'Elisir d'amore, Giulio Cesare, Der Silbersee (Weill) as well as numerous concerts/appearences in the experimental vein of Folkoperan, like the hailed Carmina Burana, premiered in 2012.
In 2014, Joakim Unander made his German opera debut at Staatstheater Kassel, conducting Rigoletto.
He was invited back 2015 for a new production of Norma, and in 2016 for Die tote Stadt.
The season 2015/16 was an exciting year in the footsteps of iconic composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Joakim Unander made a very successful reduction for chamber orchestra of Korngold's opera Die tote Stadt for Wermland Opera, Sweden, and also conducted this highly acclaimed production by Sofia Jupither.
Most insightful in contemporary music, Joakim Unander has premiered a number of new works and also recorded with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, KammarensembleN, Min-Ensemblet, Narvik, and others. On the concert stage, Joakim has worked with SRSO, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Helsingborg, Trondheim and Norrköping symphony orchestras to name a few.
"You just cannot conduct for years without somehow absorbing the craft of orchestration", says Joakim. "Orchestration is a joy, like coloring a painting; you have so many possibilities and your only boundaries are your imagination. I never get tired of studying the old masters. We have so much to learn from them, in every genre, style and period. From Rameau, Mozart or Berlioz to Strauss, Mahler, Debussy, Lutoslawski or John Williams - all great composers have their own colour and it is an obsession of mine to be able to understand and grasp that colour and use it when the occasion calls for it. And try to invent new ones, of course."
In recent years Joakim Unander has turned his focus to composition, around his busy schedule as a freelance conductor. The aim is film music. "It is just something I always wanted to do and I believe I have a skill for. I have written music since childhood, and all those years in the opera pit has given me a lot of understanding for drama in music. Movie scoring is of course something completely different, and I spend many hours a day practicing how to do it" , says Joakim. His ambitions has so far generated a 3rd prize in the Vienna Instruments Competition in 2014 and a nomination to the final of last year's International Film Music Competition in Zürich. In 2016, Joakim also wrote the music for a highly acclaimed new production of Astrid Lindgren's Mio, min Mio at Stockholms Stadsteater.