Born in 1969, the Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki began her career as Principal Cellist with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. She completed her conducting studies at the Sibelius Academy in her native Helsinki with Jorma Panula, Eri Klas, and Leif Segerstam. She took up her first conducting position as Chief Conductor of the Stavanger Symfoniorkester in 2002. From 2006 to 2013, she was Music Director of the Ensemble intercontemporain, and from 2016 to 2023 she stood at the helm of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, which appointed her Honorary Conductor upon her retirement. Mälkki makes regular guest appearances with leading orchestras in Europe and the USA, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where she was Principal Guest Conductor from 2017 to 2022; the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras; the Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras; the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic; the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 2024, she made her debut with the Staatskapelle Dresden, and this evening she conducts the Staatskapelle Berlin for the first time. Mälkki is also in demand as an opera conductor. She has appeared at the Vienna Staatsoper, La Scala in Milan, the Opéra national de Paris, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, and the Royal Opera House in London. In the 2024-25 season, she will perform Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in Paris and Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Metropolitan Opera in New York; at the Bavarian Staatsoper, she will lead Mozart’s Figaro and Fauré’s Pénélope. Susanna Mälkki received the Pro Finlandia Medal in 2011; she was appointed Officier in 2014, Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in 2016, and Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2022. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London and a member of the Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien in Stockholm. Musical America named her Conductor of the Year in 2017; in that year, she also received the Nordic Council Music Prize.

Lucerne Festival debut on 17 August 2002 with the Orchestre Philharmonique Suisse in a program of works by Frangis Ali-Sade, Ravel, and Rimsky-Korsakov.

April 2024