Rising conductor Susanna Mälkki, from L.A. and Helsinki to the Metropolitan Opera

Posted on: October 25, 2016

Susanna Mälkki “is now one of the most talked-about conductors in classical music,” writes Alexandra Wolfe in Friday’s (10/21) Wall Street Journal (subscription required). “This fall, she became chief conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Next year, she will become principal guest conductor at the Los Angeles Philharmonic—a position previously held by only two others, Sir Simon Rattle and Michael Tilson Thomas. To top it off, the publication Musical America just named her conductor of the year. Ms. Mälkki will be in New York in December at the helm of [Kaija Saariaho’s 2000 opera] ‘L’Amour de Loin’ (‘Love From Afar’) at the Metropolitan Opera.… In a survey of 186 orchestras in the U.S. this year, 14.6% reported having female conductors, according to the League of American Orchestras…. Ms. Mälkki is the fourth woman to conduct for the Met Opera in its 133-year history.… To her mind, the struggle for women to become conductors has been parallel to their effort to win leadership roles in other fields. But with more women gaining prominence, she thinks that the world of classical music has reached a turning point. ‘It’s really the moment to celebrate that this is happening,’ she says.

Posted October 25, 2016

Pictured: Susanna Mälkki leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic, 2015