Philharmonia Orchestra names Santtu-Matias Rouvali as new principal conductor

The 33-year-old takes over from Esa-Pekka Salonen as the orchestra’s sixth principal conductor

Copyright: Camilla Greenwell

Santtu-Matias Rouvali will take on the role of principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in the 2021/22 season, taking the reins from fellow Finn Esa-Pekka Salonen, who has held the title since 2008 and will continue with the orchestra as conductor emeritus.


Rouvali has been principal guest conductor of the orchestra since 2017. His five-year contract will see him leading the orchestra in its residency at the Southbank Centre, as well as joining them on international tours and recording projects. 

The Finnish conductor is currently the chief conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden, a role he will continue alongside his new position at the Philharmonia.


‘This is the start of a great adventure,’ says Rouvali. ‘London is such an exciting place for orchestras, and the Philharmonia is at the heart of classical music life in this city. There is huge possibility with this orchestra, and we will do great things together.’