In her third appearance with the orchestra, she proved once again why she’s one of the most exciting and in-demand conductors of her generation.
“Susanna Mälkki is one of the most exciting and in-demand conductors of her generation […] she knew what she was doing: These works share a playful thematic thread and some intriguing musical resonances. Haydn’s refined symphony earned the name “Philosopher” because of its unconventional first movement, a stately Adagio. Strauss’s epic tone poem was inspired by Nietzsche’s philosophical novel of the same name. Ms. Chin’s “Su,” composed in 2009, might seem to have been dropped in the middle. But the composer has written that her music is a reflection of her dreams, an attempt to render into sound visions of light and magnificence. So it, too, is abstract and philosophical […] Ms. Mälkki drew a refreshingly transparent and probing performance of Strauss’s sumptuous tone poem, and she certainly delivered during moments when the piece is supposed to wallop you with a fortissimo din.”
– Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
Photo credit: Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times