This season marks Susanna Mälkki’s debut year as Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and includes such works as Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Mendelssohn’s complete incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and R. Strauss’s An Alpine Symphony. In her second season as Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic, she continues the orchestra’s survey of Mahler’s symphonies with concerts of Nos. 5 and 9; performs works by R. Strauss, Bartók, and Mozart, among others; and tours to Salzburg and Paris with cellist Truls Mørk. 2017 marked the conclusion of Ms. Mälkki’s four-year tenure as principal guest conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra. She was previously music director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain from 2006 to 2013. She made her San Francisco Symphony debut in 2012.
Ms. Mälkki began the 2017-18 season with a return with the Berlin Philharmonic, conducting two concerts as part of the Berliner Festspiele. Other recent and upcoming highlights include her debuts with the London Symphony Orchestra and Czech Philharmonic, and appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Gothenburg Symphony.
In demand as an opera conductor, Ms. Mälkki made her debut at the Vienna State Opera in February 2018 leading Gottfried von Einem’s Dantons Tod, directed by Josef Ernst Köpplinger. In recent seasons she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, conducting the company premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin; and returned to the Opéra National de Paris in for the world premiere of Luca Francesconi’s new opera Trompe-la-Mort. Ms. Mälkki previously collaborated with Mr. Francesconi on Quartett, and in 2011 became the first woman to conduct a production at Teatro alla Scala, Milan; she returned to conduct at La Scala in 2014.
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. She has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London and is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. Ms. Mälkki has been awarded the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland, one of Finland’s highest honors; the Nordic Council Music Prize; and was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in France. She was named Musical America’s 2017 Conductor of the Year.