Susanna Mälkki is Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra where highlights of her 2016-17 inaugural season include performances of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 2 and 6, Debussy’s La Mer, and Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony. She was recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Portugal. Previously she was music director of the Ensemble InterContemporain and artistic director of Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. She made her San Francisco Symphony debut in 2012
As a guest conductor in both Europe and North America, Ms. Mälkki’s recent highlights include returns to the Swedish Radio Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, New World Symphony, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, and Oslo Philharmonic. She has previously worked with the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, 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 the world of opera, Ms. Mälkki makes her debut this season with the Metropolitan Opera conducting the first company performances of Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de loin. She also returns to Opéra National de Paris for the world premiere of Luca Francesconi’s new opera Trompe-la-mort, having previously conducted the world premiere of a ballet by Bruno Mantovani and Janáček’s The Makropolous Case. Previous opera highlights include Der Rosenkavalier and Le nozze di Figaro with the Finnish National Opera and her debut at Hamburg State Opera conducting Jenůfa. In 2011 she became the first woman to conduct a production at Teatro alla Scala, Milan.
A former student at the Sibelius Academy, Ms. 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 is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. In 2011, Ms. Mälkki was awarded the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland, one of Finland’s highest honors, and in 2016 was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in France. She was recently named Musical America’s 2017 Conductor of the Year.