Susanna Mälkki has been honored as a Chevalier in the Order of the Légion d’Honneur  – the highest decoration in France – by the French Ambassador to Finland, Serge Mostura, at a ceremony this week in Helsinki.  This special honor recognizes her contributions to French culture as the former music director of Ensemble Intercontemporain, as well as Mälkki’s significant achievements in developing relations between French and Finnish classical music.  Ms. Mälkki joins the esteemed ranks of previous honorees with this tremendous commendation, including Finnish conductor Robert Kajanus, who received the honour in 1924.

The presentation followed shortly after Mälkki’s first concert with the Helsinki Philharmonic as the orchestra’s new Chief Conductor which was broadcast live on television.