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A much sought-after artist on the international conducting circuit, Susanna Mälkki’s versatility and broad repertoire have taken her to symphony and chamber orchestras, contemporary music ensembles and opera houses across the world. She has recently been appointed Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, effective from the 2016/17 season.
2014/15 marks Mälkki’s second season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, which includes a gala opera evening with soprano Karita Mattila, Sibelius’ Tapiola and Mahler’s Symphony No.9. Later in the season she conducts Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No.1 with Natalia Gutman and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra.
Previously, Mälkki has been Music Director of the Ensemble intercontemporain and Artistic Director of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. As a guest conductor at the highest level in both Europe and North America, Mälkki’s recent highlights include performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchestra Sinfonica della Scala, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai. Notable recent debuts include the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo.
This season Mälkki debuts with The Philadelphia, Cleveland and New York Philharmonic orchestras, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and La Fenice. She also returns to the San Francisco Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic orchestras.
A renowned opera conductor, Mälkki performed Le nozze di Figaro with Finnish National Opera in August 2014 and follows this with her debut with Staatsoper Hamburg, conducting a revival of Janáček’s Jenůfa with Karita Mattila in the title role. In April 2011 Mälkki made her debut at Teatro alla Scala, Milan – the first woman to conduct a production there in the company’s history – and returned in January 2014. Future highlights include a return to the Opéra national de Paris where she previously conducted the world premiere of a ballet by Bruno Mantovani in spring 2010, and last season conducted Janáček’s The Makropolous Case.
A former student at the Sibelius Academy, Susanna Mälkki studied with Jorma Panula and Leif Segerstam. Prior to her conducting studies, she had a successful career as a cellist and from 1995 to 1998 was one of the principals of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden. In June 2010 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London and she is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. In 2011, Mälkki was awarded the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland, one of Finland’s highest honours.