The Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki began her career as principal cellist of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, of which she was a member from 1995 to 1998. She completed her conducting studies at the Sibelius Academy in her native Helsinki with Jorma Panula, Eri Klas, and Leif Segerstam. She took her first conducting position in 2002 as Principal Conductor of the Stavanger Symfoniorkester, a post she held for three years. From 2006 to 2013, she served as Music Director of the Ensemble intercontemporain, and from 2016 to the summer of 2023 she helmed the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, which named her Honorary Conductor at her farewell. Mälkki regularly makes guest appearances with leading orchestras in Europe and the U.S., including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with which she was closely associated from 2017 to 2022 as Principal Guest Conductor; the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras; the Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras; the New York Philharmonic; the Berlin Philharmonic; and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. In the 2023-24 season she will make her debut with the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. Mälkki is also in demand as an opera conductor and has appeared at the Vienna Staatsoper, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Opéra national de Paris, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; in 2011 she became the first woman to conduct at La Scala in Milan. In the spring of 2023, she conducted Kaija Saariaho’s Innocence at the Royal Opera House in London, which will be followed by Janáček’s The Makropulos Affair in Paris in the fall. Susanna Mälkki was awarded the Pro Finlandia Medal, one of her home country’s highest honors, in 2011. She was appointed an Officier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2014 and a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2016. She is a Fellow of London’s Royal Academy of Music and a member of the Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien in Stockholm. Musical America named her Conductor of the Year in 2017; in the same year, she 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.

July 2023