The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Chief Conductor Susanna Mälkki have signed a new two-year agreement extending her term beyond 2021. The new agreement also includes an option for another two-year extension. Mälkki took over as Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in autumn 2016.

Chief Conductor Susanna Mälkki is delighted to be able to continue her fruitful collaboration with the orchestra. “The HPO is like the national team of Finnish music. It’s a great joy to be on the stage with them, both at home and abroad. No plans are too ambitious for this team, and now we can continue to realise them together”, she says.

Mälkki conducts between 8 and 10 concert productions with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra each year, in addition to which she is responsible for the orchestra’s tours and recordings. The chief conductor is also responsible for the artistic planning of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra together with General Manager Aleksi Malmberg.

“Susanna Mälkki’s profound musical vision and dedication as Chief Conductor of the HPO to the overall development of the orchestra have led us on a meaningful journey. The results of the work performed by her and the orchestra together can be heard and felt by our home audiences here in Helsinki, as well as internationally. I am excited that we will be able to continue our unique collaboration,” Malmberg says.

Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra Susanna Mälkki is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. During the 2019-2020 concert season she will debut at both the Orchestre de Paris and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nationale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Other highlights of the upcoming season include concerts with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as with the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. At the Paris Opera she will be conducting Philippe Boesmans’ “Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy”.

The theme of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2019-2020 programme is Italy, featuring composers such as Ottorino Respighi, Gioachino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi, Alfredo Casella, Luigi Nono, Francesco Filidei and Francesca Verunelli. In addition, the programme includes premieres of new pieces by Kaija Saariaho and Lotta Wennäkoski, among others. Double bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding and flautist Claire Chase will also interpret a new composition by Felipe Lara commissioned jointly by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, which will receive its world premiere in Helsinki. The orchestra will also continue its recordings of the Bartók Trilogy for BIS Records during the upcoming season.

The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra’s next international tour will take place in October. The concerts in Brussels and Bruges together with the Tero Saarinen Company and an event day at the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in the Belgian capital will be part of the official cultural programme of Finland’s EU Presidency.

The orchestra last visited Belgium on its first ever international tour in 1900 on its way to the Paris Exposition.