This fall, Susanna Mälkki will lead three captivating concerts with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. This will mark Ms. Mälkki’s final season as the chief conductor of the orchestra, a position she has held since 2016. As the first female appointed chief conductor of the 144-year-old Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, she has brought great acclaim to her hometown company throughout her seven-year tenure and will remain involved as chief conductor emeritus following the 2022-2023 season.

On September 16, the HPO will perform Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 “Romantic” and John Adams’ Violin Concerto featuring the renowned violinist Leila Josefowicz. Highly celebrated for her immense talent, the Los Angeles Times wrote the following about Ms. Josefowicz’ past performance of the Adams concerto with the LA Phil and Mälkki: “A daring, probing, thinking, dancing, spectacularly virtuosic soloist… she played each turn of phrase, each gesture, as though it were a new thought or feeling that suddenly astonished her”.

Along with violinist Pekka Kuusisto, the HPO will present a concert on September 30 which will include Magnus Lindberg’s Violin Concerto, a work that has been described as being “charged with a Sibelius-like sense of radiating light” (The Times). Also included on the program is Paul Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler Symphony which has musical material later incorporated into his opera of the same name. 

Noted by the The New York Times as “Saariaho’s finest interpreter”, Mälkki will lead a performance on October 14 in celebration of the Finnish composer’s 70th birthday. The program will include Kaija Saariaho’s Verblendungen as well as her Notes on Light which was dedicated to cellist Anssi Karttunen who will be featured in the concert. The orchestra will also play Sibelius’ Symphony No. 4 and premiere Matthew Whittall’s Silence Speaks which was commissioned for Helsinki Variations and inspired by a Sibelius Christmas song.

The concerts on September 16 and October 14 will be available to stream through HKO screen.

Photo: Eric Kemnitz