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 around the world.
The 2016/17 season marks Mälkki’s debut year as Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra where highlights of her inaugural season will include such orchestral works as Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Mahler’s Symphonies Nos.2 and 6, Debussy’s La Mer and Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony.
Mälkki was recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, beginning in autumn 2017 and is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra. Previously she held the position of Music Director of the Ensemble intercontemporain and Artistic Director of Stavanger Symfoniorkester.
As a guest conductor at the highest level in both Europe and North America, Mälkki’s recent highlights include returns to the San Francisco and Chicago Symphony Orchestras (both of which she returns to in summer 2017), New World Symphony, Bayerischer Rundfunk, London Sinfonietta and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras. She has previously worked with the Philadelphia and New York Philharmonic orchestras, BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Teatro La Fenice. Notable recent debuts include the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España. In 2017 she also returns to the Swedish Radio Symphony and The Cleveland orchestras.
A renowned opera conductor, this season Mälkki makes her debut with The Metropolitan Opera conducting its premiere of Saariaho’s L’Amour de loin in a new production by Robert Lepage. She will also return to Opéra National de Paris in spring 2017 for the world premiere of Francesconi’s new opera Trompe-la-mort, having previously conducted the world premiere of a ballet by Bruno Mantovani there as well as Janáček’s The Makropolous Case in 2013. Previous opera highlights include Der Rosenkavalier and Le nozze di Figaro with the Finnish National, her debut at Staatsoper Hamburg conducting a revival of Jenůfa and in 2011 she became the first woman to conduct a production at Teatro alla Scala, Milan – she later returned in 2014.
A former student at the Sibelius Academy, 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. 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, and in January 2016 was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in France. In October 2016 she was named Musical America’s 2017 Conductor of the Year.