John Storgårds

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John Storgårds


Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra appoints John Storgårds as Principal Guest Conductor.

The National Arts Centre Orchestra strengthened its artistic leadership with the appointment of John Storgårds as its Principal Guest Conductor. Storgårds made his conducting debut with the NAC Orchestra in 2013 with an all-Finnish program to great acclaim, and last year shaped and conducted the orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No 8. His appointment is a three-year contract.

Commenting on the appointment, NAC Music Director Designate Alexander Shelley said, “I’m thrilled that distinguished Finnish conductor John Storgårds has accepted this post. I admire his work and look forward to his exciting artistic contribution.”

“I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to be working more with the NAC Orchestra in the coming seasons.  They are great musicians and we have already collaborated on two successful ‘test-drives.’  Our rapport was excellent,” said Storgards.

Consistent praise has followed this vibrant orchestra throughout its history of touring both nationally and internationally, recording, and commissioning Canadian works. Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, under the direction of renowned conductor/violinist/violist Pinchas Zukerman, continues to draw accolades both abroad and at home in Ottawa where it gives over 100 performances a year. Storgårds will be the second Principal Guest Conductor in the NAC Orchestra’s history; the other was the late Franz-Paul Decker, who held the position from 1991 to 1999.

John Storgårds in Concert

9. June 2015, The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra


The sheer force and magnetism of the event boiled down to two words: John Storgards. [...] Storgards totally galvanised and ignited the RSNO in a grippingly-atmospheric and dramatic account of Sibelius's Nightride and Sunrise, where the chill, rustling pace of the gallop had the hair standing up on the back of my neck. The Herald Scotland 3 May 2015 Royal Scottish National Orchestra Storgårds conducted the most thrillingly dramatic performance of any symphony I have heard in years. Seen and Heard International 14 October 2014 BBC Philharmonic Orchestra Storgårds had the orchestra blowing the roof off The Arts Desk 12 October 2014 BBC Philharmonic Orchestra Both cycles are of such a unique quality that they not only outclass all other recording of the last centuries […] but that they are even reference recordings in the history of records. […] If we should not have understood Sibelius until now, Storgårds and his musicians give us a magic key to this dark shining, adventurous and mysterious world. Crescendo 01 October 2014 Sibelius CD (Chandos) Storgårds had begun by conducting the strings-only Bach [C. P. E Bach's Hamburg] symphony from the violin, a bracing performance more about urgency than suaveness; to end, he shaped the Sibelius suite [Rakastava] with such naturalness that no one would have ever guessed it began life as a work for male-voice choir. The Guardian 11 August 2014 The Lapland Chamber Orchestra at The BBC Proms The third piece of the matinee was a vivid performance of the more cheerful Pastorale d’été by Arthur Honegger. This pastoral was composed during a summer holiday on the Alps. The strings, woodwinds and horn worked together to depict the peaceful sensation of a summer idyll. The whole orchestra was vibrating with sentiment at the hands of Storgårds’s light yet impassioned 10 August 2014 The Lapland Chamber Orchestra at The BBC Proms Early evidence of the Storgards effect came in Beethoven's "Fidelio" Overture. Though brief, the program opener spoke volumes about the man on the podium, revealing him to be an artist of bold intention and possessed of both theatrical and lyrical insight. Not until later did the audience learn he's also an artist of great resolve. Under Saturday's conditions, plenty of musicians would have foundered, fallen victim to distraction by the incredible sights and sounds of nature. Not Storgards. Under duress, he responded by producing incredible Sibelius [Symphony 2]. In that sense, the evening hardly could have turned out any better. 28 July 2014 The Cleveland Orchestra  at the Blossom Music Center And who was the driving force behind all this [Holst's "The Hymn of Jesus"]? Conductor John Storgårds [...] It was him who gave us the delightful contrasts of tone and timbre with which the Holst was replete; and who supplied that remarkable energy that fired 'The Heav'nly Spheres make music for us' passage, which he drove particularly impressively. He also teased out those eerie Planets-like touches and gave the work such a satisfying overall structure.

The Herald Scotland 3 May 2015 Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Latest CD releases



Rolf Wallin:
Fisher King for Trumpet and Orchestra

Håkan Hardenberger, trumpet
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
John Storgårds, conductor

ODE 1267-2D
May 2015
The Blu-Ray Audio disc also includes a 2D & 3D Video by Boya Bøckman based on Wallin’s Manyworlds