Joakim Unander, Chief Conductor and Musical Director of Stockholm’s Folkoperan, studied conducting and composition at the Royal University College of Music in Stockholm and graduated with diploma in 2001.
Since his debut he has been a recurring guest in several of the leading orchestras in Sweden; the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the symphony orchestras in Malmö, Norrköping and Helsingborg, the Nordic Chamber Orchestra, Musica Vitae, Västerås Sinfonietta, KammarensembleN and the Stockhom Sinfonietta. He has also made a great number of radio-and CD recordings with, a.o. the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and KammarensembleN. He has also been engaged by orchestras in Norway, such as the Bodø Sinfonietta and Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.
Early in his career, Joakim Unander made a name for himself as an opera conductor much appreciated by singers and audiences alike. His first productions at Folkoperan were Così fan tutte, Jeppe (Sven-David Sandström), Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Rigoletto. In 2007, Joakim Unander was musical director for the new opera Zarah, composed by Anders Nilsson to Claes Fellbom's libretto about the Swedish movie star and later in the same season he conducted Weber's Der Freischütz , also at Folkoperan. Since becoming musical director at Folkoperan, he has added Die Lustige Witwe (Lehàr), The Consul (Menotti), Les pécheurs des perles (Bizet), Der Silbersee(Weill) and Faust (Gounod) to his extensive opera repertoire.
Apart from his duties as Folkoperan’s Musical Director, Joakim Unander is a returning conductor at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, where he has conducted new works like Hans Gefors' Clara and Carl Unander-Scharin's [no relation!] Loranga, Masarin and Dartanjang as well as a number of classical operas, including Carmen, Die Zauberflöte, Orphée and the Ravel double-bill L'Enfant et les Sortilèges/ L'Heure Espagnole. In 2004 he conducted the world première of Miklos Maros’ The Castrati at The Drottningholm Court Theatre.
At the Gothenburg Opera Joakim Unander has conducted Debussy’s Pelléas and Mélisande, Rigoletto, Fidelio and Die Entführung aus dem Serail. In autumn 2009, Joakim Unander was the conductor for the world première of Daniel Börtz's opera Goya, commissioned by Gothenburg Opera.