Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, John Storgårds has a dual career as a conductor and violin virtuoso and is widely recognized for his creative flair for programming. He additionally holds the titles of Artistic Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland and Artistic Partner of the Munich Chamber Orchestra and served as the Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic from 2008–2015.
Internationally, Mr. Storgårds appears with such orchestras as WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, Bamberg Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Italy’s RAI Torino, as well as all of the major Scandinavian orchestras and the Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand symphonies. Soloists with whom he collaborates include Yefim Bronfman, Colin Currie, Sol Gabetta, Håkan Hardenberger, Karita Mattila, Gil Shaham, Christian Tetzlaff, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Frank Peter Zimmermann.
John Storgårds made his North American debut with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra during the 2005/06 season. Since then, he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, and with the Toronto, St. Louis, Detroit, Atlanta, Montreal, Cincinnati, Vancouver, Baltimore and Houston symphonies. During the 16/17 season, he returns to the Toronto, St. Louis and Cincinnati symphonies and continues his work with the National Arts Centre Orchestra as their Principal Guest Conductor.
Highlights of Mr. Storgårds’ 16/17 season in Europe included a return to the Proms with the BBC Philharmonic and debut performances with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France and the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin.
Equally at home in the opera house, John Storgårds conducted the Finnish premieres of both Haydn’s Orlando Paladino at the Finnish National Opera and Schumann’s only opera, Genoveva and in summer 2016, he led a new production of Don Giovanni at the Savonlinna Opera Festival. He has also conducted most of the Mozart operas as well as the major operas of Strauss and Verdi.
Storgårds’ vast discography includes recordings of works by Schumann, Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn. With the BBC Philharmonic, his much anticipated cycle of Sibelius symphonies was released on Chandos Records in spring 2014 and most recently a cycle of Nielsen symphonies was released to critical acclaim. Other successes have included discs of works by Korngold and Rautavaara, the latter receiving a Grammy nomination and a Gramophone Award 2012. His 2013 disc of Holmboe symphonies with Lapland Chamber Orchestra was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award and his recording of Pēteris Vasks’ Second Symphony and Violin Concerto, also featuring him as soloist, won the Cannes Classical Disc of the Year Award in 2004. His recording of concertos for theremin and horn by Kalevi Aho received the distinguished ECHO Klassik Award in December 2015.
John Storgårds’ repertoire includes all of the Sibelius, Nielsen, Bruckner, Brahms, Beethoven and Schumann symphonies and he conducted a historical cycle of all of Mozart’s symphonies with the Lapland Chamber Orchestra. He gave the Finnish premieres of Schumann’s early Zwickau symphony as well as the world premieres of Sibelius’ Suite op. 117 for Violin and Strings and the Late Fragments. As a violinist, he performed the Finnish premiere of Schumann’s own violin version of the cello concerto and his Violin Sonata No 3. Mr. Storgårds regularly conducts world premieres of works by contemporary composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Brett Dean, Per Nørgård and Pēteris Vasks, and several of these composers have dedicated their works to him.
Mr. Storgårds studied violin with Chaim Taub, was concertmaster of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen, and subsequently studied conducting with Jorma Panula and Eri Klas at the famed Sibelius Academy. He received the Finnish State Prize for Music in 2002 and the Pro Finlandia Prize 2012.