Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki will become principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2017. She is the first to be given this title since British conductor Sir Simon Rattle, who held the role from 1981-1994.
Mälkki has worked regularly with the LA Philharmonic since 2010. ‘She is one of the most gifted conductors I know, and the orchestra also loves and trusts her’, said current music and artistic director, Gustavo Dudamel. ‘It is wonderful to have such a vibrant artist as our principal guest, and I am very pleased and proud to welcome her to the LA Phil family.’
Before she began a conducting career Mälkki was a successful cellist, and worked as principal cellist of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. As a conductor she has become best known as an interpreter and champion of contemporary music. ‘We don’t play and listen to difficult music out of a sense of duty, but because it reflects the difficulties of the world we live in,’ she said in a recent interview with the Financial Times. ‘It’s not something like cod liver oil – distasteful but good for you – but something fascinating and exhilarating which keeps our playing and listening real.’