The 2017–18 season marks Susanna Mälkki’s debut as principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; her highlights there include orchestral works by Berlioz, Mendelssohn, and Richard Strauss. She also enters her second season as chief conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, leading works by Mahler, Bartók, and Mozart, among others, as well as a tour to Salzburg and Paris with cellist Truls Mørk. In 2017 she concluded her four-year tenure as principal guest conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra.
As a guest conductor, Ms. Mälkki began the 2017–18 season with a return to the Berlin Philharmonic (Berliner Festspiele). She recently returned to The Cleveland Orchestra and the San Francisco, Chicago, and Swedish Radio symphony orchestras, and in March 2017 she made her London Symphony Orchestra debut, and returns there in April 2018. Other forthcoming engagements include the New York Philharmonic and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and her Czech Philharmonic debut. She has previously conducted the New World, Bavarian Radio, and BBC (at the BBC Proms) symphony orchestras as well as the London Sinfonietta, Oslo Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and La Fenice Philharmonic Orchestra.
A renowned opera conductor, Ms. Mälkki makes her debut at the Vienna Staatsoper in 2018 in Gottfried von Einem’s Dantons Tod. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in December 2016 leading Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de loin, and returned to the Opéra national de Paris in spring 2017 for the World Premiere of Trompe-la-Mort by Luca Francesconi, with whom she had previously collaborated on Quartett. In 2011 she became the first woman to conduct a production at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala; she returned there in 2014. Other highlights include Janáček’s The Makropulos Case (Opéra national de Paris), R. Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (Finnish National Opera), and her debut at the Hamburg Staatsoper for Janáček’s Jenůfa.
As a student at the Sibelius Academy, Susanna Mälkki studied with Jorma Panula and Leif Segerstam. Prior to studying conducting, she had a successful career as a cellist, serving as one of the Gothenburg Symphony’s principals from 1995 to 1998. Her honors include receiving the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland, one of Finland’s highest honors (2011), and being elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London (2010), a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in France (2016), and Musical America’s Conductor of the Year (2017).