Helsinki Philharmonic’s Mälkki on forging path as conductor

Posted on: October 1, 2014

“Orchestra conductor Susanna Mälkki is used to being asked what it is like working in a male-dominated world. ‘Maybe one day we will have reached a point where we won’t have to discuss the gender issue at all,’ she said with a smile,” writes Jussi Rosendahl in a Tuesday (9/30) Reuters report. “The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra has appointed her as its next chief conductor starting in 2016…. The 45-year-old Mälkki … started as a cellist, rising to be principal cellist in the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. But her passion for exploring orchestral scores prompted her to apply for a conducting class led by Jorma Panula…. This season she will make her conducting debut with the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, the New York Philharmonic and at the Hamburg State Opera as well as La Fenice in Venice…. She says she tries to strike a balance between strong leadership and working cooperatively with musicians, and cites Jorma Panula’s advice: ‘help, don’t disturb.’ ‘We all are doing this for the music, and the conductor can at best be a kind of element in the orchestra that makes everything easy. The primary job is to do justice to the music.’ ”

Posted October 1, 2014