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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

John Storgårds

John Storgårds

Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, John Storgårds has a dual career as a conductor and violin virtuoso and is widely recognized for his creative flair for programming. He additionally holds the titles of Artistic Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland and Artistic Partner of the Munich Chamber Orchestra, and served as the Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic from 2008–2015.

Internationally, Mr. Storgårds appears with such orchestras as the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, WDR Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, Bamberg Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Italy’s RAI Torino, as well as all of the major Scandinavian orchestras and the Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand symphonies. Soloists with whom he collaborates include Yefim Bronfman, Colin Currie, Sol Gabetta, Håkan Hardenberger, Gil Shaham, Christian Tetzlaff, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Frank Peter Zimmermann.

John Storgårds made his North American debut with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra during the 2005/06 season. Since then, he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, and the Toronto, St. Louis, Detroit, Atlanta, Montreal, Cincinnati, Vancouver, Baltimore and Houston symphonies. Highlights of Mr. Storgårds’ 17/18 season in North America include his debut with the Chicago Symphony; re-engagements with the St. Louis and Toronto symphonies; and a three concert series celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada and the 100th anniversary of Finland with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, in which he conducts, performs the Sariaho Violin Concerto, and leads the North American debut of his Chamber Orchestra of Lapland. In addition, he is the Artistic Director of the Montreal Symphony’s Nordic Spring Festival, conducting music of Russian, Scandinavian and Canadian composers.

Highlights of his 2017/18 season in Europe include a return to the BBC Proms with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, debut appearances with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at the prestigious Musikverein and with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall, and return engagements with the Oslo and Warsaw Philharmonics

Equally at home in the opera house, John Storgårds conducted the Finnish premieres of both Haydn’s Orlando Paladino at the Finnish National Opera and Schumann’s only opera, Genoveva, and in summer 2016, he led a new production of Don Giovanni at the Savonlinna Opera Festival. He has also conducted most of the Mozart operas as well as the major operas of Strauss and Verdi. In September 2017 Storgårds will give the world premiere of Sebastian Fagerlund’s new opera Höstsonaten (Autumn Sonata) at the Finnish National Opera with Anne Sofie von Otter in the leading role of Charlotte.

John Storgårds’ repertoire includes not only all of the Sibelius, Nielsen, Bruckner, Brahms, Beethoven and Schumann symphonies, but many works by today’s leading composers, including world premieres of works by Kaija Saariaho, Brett Dean, Per Nørgård and Peteris Vasks, several of whom have dedicated their works to him. He gave the Finnish premieres of Schumann’s early Zwickau symphony as well as the world premieres of Sibelius’ Suite op. 117 for Violin and Strings and the Late Fragments. As a violinist, he performed the Finnish premiere of Schumann’s own violin version of the cello concerto and his Violin Sonata No 3.

Mr. Storgårds’ award winning discography includes recordings of works by Schumann, Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, but also rarities by Holmboe and Vask, which feature him as violin soloist. Two cycles of symphonies by Sibelius (2014) and Nielsen (2015) with the BBC Philharmonic were released to critical acclaim by Chandos. His most recent recording with the BBC Philharmonic is works by American avant-garde composer George Antheil. Other successes include discs of works by Nørgård, Korngold and Rautavaara, the latter receiving a Grammy nomination and a Gramophone Award in 2012. Storgårds’ recording with the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland of concertos for theremin and horn by Kalevi Aho received the distinguished ECHO Klassik award in 2015.

Mr. Storgårds studied violin with Chaim Taub, was concertmaster of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen, and subsequently studied conducting with Jorma Panula and Eri Klas at the famed Sibelius Academy. He received the Finnish State Prize for Music in 2002 and the Pro Finlandia Prize 2012.