Susanna Mälkki has been announced as the new chief conductor of Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Starting in Autumn 2016, her three-year contract will include eight to ten concerts per year, as well as tours and recordings.
The first female chief conductor of the orchestra, she will take over from John Storgårds who has held the position since 2008.
Mälkki’s list of appointments and accolades is a long and sparkling one. This 2014/15 season she debuts with The Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the New York Philharmonic, to name just a few. Her most recent concert with the Helsinki Philharmonic took place last December, when she led their annual performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
Born in Helsinki, Mälkki studied the cello at the Sibelius Academy before moving to the Royal Academy of Music in London. From 1995 she was principal cellist in the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, but in 1998 decided to put down the bow and focus on conducting.
In 2004 she made her debut with the Ensemble InterContemporain and in 2006 became that orchestra’s first female music director. In 2013, she was appointed principal guest conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, a post she will hold until taking on her new job in 2016.