Santtu-Matias Rouvali is chief conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony and principal guest conductor of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, where he will succeed Esa-Pekka Salonen as principal conductor in the 2021–22 season. Mr. Rouvali retains his longstanding position as chief conductor of Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, close to his home in Finland.
This season marks his debuts with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In New York he conducts the New York Premiere of Bryce Dessner’s Wires. At the Concertgebouw he conducts a world premiere by Theo Verbey and Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex. In Berlin he leads Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G minor with Alice Sara Ott and Sibelius’s First Symphony.
He has built a loyal following internationally after successful concerts in Vienna with the Gothenburg Symphony last season. He returns there to conduct the Vienna Symphony with violinist Nicola Benedetti. In 2019–20 he returns to several orchestras across Europe, including the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.
Mr. Rouvali’s Gothenburg season opens with a program featuring Leif Ove Andsnes, the 2019–20 artist-in-residence. Following last season’s tour of Germany and Austria with Alice Sara Ott and Martin Grubinger, Mr. Rouvali and the Gothenburg Symphony tour Japan in February 2020, performing works by Shostakovich, Beethoven, and Sibelius across eight cities from Fukuoka to Tokyo with violinist Fumiaki Miura and pianist Mari Kodama. He accompanies the Philharmonia Orchestra’s January 2020 Canary Islands tour, performing in Gran Canaria and Tenerife as part of the Canary Islands Festival. Highlights of his Philharmonia season in London include selections from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony, and Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony.
In January 2019 Mr. Rouvali and the Gothenburg Symphony released the first disc of a Sibelius cycle. The recording, which pairs the First Symphony with En saga, won the Gramophone Editor’s Choice award, Choc de Classica, a German Record Critics prize, and French Diapason d’Or “Decouverte.”
As chief conductor in Tampere he led Verdi’s La forza del destino and the world premiere of Olli Kortekangas’s Veljeni vartija (My Brother’s Keeper) with Tampere Opera in spring 2018. He has recorded concertos by Nielsen, Sibelius, Bernstein, Korngold, and Rozsa — with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and violinist Baiba Skride — on the Orfeo label.
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