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.
Appointed as the Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, effective from the 2016/17 season, she has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra since 2013, and was previously 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 Symphony (where she returns again in autumn 2015), Los Angeles Philharmonic and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and the Aldeburgh festival where she conducted the UK premiere of A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez. Notable recent debuts include The Philadelphia, Cleveland and New York Philharmonic orchestras, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Teatro La Fenice.
Summer 2015 saw Mälkki return to the BBC Proms conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the UK premiere of Francesconi’s Violin Concerto performed by Leila Josefowicz. Highlights in 2015/16 include returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Wiener Symphoniker at the Bregenzer Festival, London Sinfonietta and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras. She will also make her debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España in November 2015.
A renowned opera conductor, Mälkki performed Le nozze di Figaro with the Finnish National Opera in August 2014 and followed this with her Staatsoper Hamburg debut, conducting a revival of Janáček’s Jenůfa. In 2011 she made her debut at Teatro alla Scala, Milan – the first woman to conduct a production there in the company’s history – and returned in 2014. Future highlights include a return to Opéra national de Paris conducting a Francesconi premiere where she previously conducted the world premiere of a ballet by Bruno Mantovani and in 2013 conducted Janáček’s The Makropolous Case.
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.