He succeeds James Judd, who stepped down at the end of March (and is now music director emeritus). It is expected that Inkinen will spend 10 to 12 subscription weeks each year in New Zealand.
The NZSO made the announcement last week as Inkinen was in New Zealand to guest-conduct the orchestra. He will return to the NZSO podium in July; the programs include works by Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Sibelius and New Zealand composer Anthony Ritchie; violinist Leila Josefowicz will be the soloist.
New Zealand Symphony chief executive Peter Walls said in a statement, "I am delighted that Pietari Inkinen will be the NZSO's next music director. He is a brilliant musician and is already providing immense musical stimulation to our players and audiences. Already, too, we've become aware of some of Pietari's illustrious friends who are keen to come and work with him here as soloists and our early discussions with him about his artistic vision suggests that we are in for exciting times."
Upcoming guest conducting engagements for Inkinen include appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Japan Philharmonic and the Cincinnati Symphony.
Inkinen is also an accomplished violinist and has played in rock bands.