Meet The Performers

Visiting Artist

Susanna Mälkki

A much sought-after artist on the international conducting circuit, Susanna Mälkki’s versatility and broad repertoire have taken her to symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, contemporary music ensembles and opera houses throughout the world. 2013/14 marks her first season as Principal Guest Conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, and she has previously been Music Director of the Ensemble intercontemporain and Artistic Director of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. Her first season with the Gulbenkian Orchestra sees her conduct performances of Mahler’s Symphony No.1 as well as the Portuguese premiere of Luca Francesconi’s chamber opera Quartett, a work that Mälkki premiered at Teatro alla Scala, and has also conducted in Paris and Amsterdam.

Guest conducting at the highest level in both Europe and North America, Mälkki’s recent highlights have included performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (at the Holland Festival), Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, and appearances with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra (for Mahler’s Symphony No.3 and at the BBC Proms in 2012), Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Detroit, Pittsburgh, Gothenburg and Finnish Radio symphony orchestras.

This season sees Mälkki return to the Chicago Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Helsinki Philharmonic orchestras, as well as to Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai Torino and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. She makes her debuts with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, and at the Ravinia Festival (with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra). Future plans include concerts with The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

A renowned opera conductor, in April 2011 Mälkki made her debut at Teatro alla Scala – the first woman to conduct there in the company’s history – and returns in January 2014. In spring 2010 she conducted the world premiere of a ballet by Bruno Mantovani at Opéra national de Paris and this season she conducts Janáček’s The Makropulos Case for the house. Other forthcoming opera commitments include a return to Finnish National Opera, and debuts at Hamburgische Staatsoper and The Metropolitan Opera.

A former student at the Sibelius Academy, Susanna 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 she was one of the principals of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden. In June 2010 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London and she is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. In 2011, Mälkki was awarded the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland, one of Finland’s highest honours.

This biography is based on information provided by the artist, ensemble or representatives thereof and may only be as current as the artist’s or ensemble’s most recent performance at Symphony Center.