Previn steps down at the end of the 2005-06 season after leading the Philharmonic for four years. Saraste will take up his post in August of 2006; he has signed a five-year contract.
Born in 1956, Saraste is part of the wave of talented Finnish conductors that emerged in the 1980s and '90s (and which also includes Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sakari Osmo, and Osmo V‹nsk‹). He will conduct the Philharmonic for ten weeks per season, as well as leading tours and recordings.
"Together we will form a fascinating Nordic artistic unit," said chief executive Morten Walderhaug in a statement.
Saraste was chief conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony from 1987 to 2001, and music director of the Toronto Symphony from 1994 to 2001. He completes a term as principal guest conductor of the BBC Symphony later this year.