Susanna Mälkki, who has led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in concerts at Symphony Center and the Ravinia Festival, has been named chief conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, beginning in fall 2016.
In great demand, Mälkki, 45, will mark her debuts with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 2014/15 season. Other guest conducting engagements include returns to the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Her first guest-conducting assignment with the CSO came in 2011, and she returned last season as well. This summer brought her Ravinia debut in an all-Russian program with the CSO, featuring star violinist Midori.
Her three-year contract with Helsinki, with an option to extend for two additional seasons, calls for eight to 10 concerts annually, as well as tours and recordings. She succeeds John Storgårds, who had held the post since 2008. Mälkki also will share responsibility for the ensemble’s artistic planning with general manager Gita Kadambi. Last December, Mälkki led the Helsinki Philharmonic’s annual performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (which coincidentally will open the CSO’s 2014/15 season on Sept. 18).
While at Symphony Center last year, the conductor also sat for an hourlong interview with WFMT-FM critic-at-large Andrew Patner. To listen, click here.
PHOTO: Susanna Mälkki leads a CSO concert in July at Ravinia. | Photo by Patrick Gipson, courtesy of Ravinia.