Susanna Mälkki – advocate of contemporary music
Susanna Mälkki – chief conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic – is a compelling advocate of contemporary music. She has conducted many world and national premieres of works by UMPC composers, including Luca Francesconi’s opera Quartett
or his violin concerto Duende
, Pascal Dusapin’s Cello Concerto Outscape
, various works by Francesca Verunelli and Georges Aperghis, as well as Olga Neuwirth’s percussion concerto Trurliade – Zone Zero
, and many more.
Susanna Mälkki is also the driving force behind Enno Poppe’s new work for orchestra, Fett
– to be world premiered by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in May 2019, with further concerts by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio’s musica viva series, both co-commissioners for the project.
Her approach to scores – no matter from which epoch – seems to be driven by an enormous curiosity combined with a deep ability to understand and distill the essential materials of the composers’ ideas. Susanna Mälkki’s most recent performance of Messiaen’s Turangalila
with the LA Phil is a perfect example of how she is able to clearly communicate the composer’s ideas through an orchestra to an audience. As the LA Times writes:
»She took at face value all of Messiaen and made it purposeful.«
And finally – even if a few days early – Happy Birthday, Susanna!
Pictures: Simon Fowler