John Storgårds



“Helios Overture developed out of nothing into a climax of majestic radiance.  This was just a taster for the palette of sounds Storgårds brought into play for the Sibelius.” The Guardian

Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, John Storgårds is one of Finland’s exceptional artists who have taken the classical music world by storm.  He has a dual career as a conductor and violin virtuoso and is widely recognised for his creative flair for programming and his commitment to contemporary music.  He additionally holds the title of Artistic Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland, whose latest disc, of chamber symphonies by Holmboe, has been recognised as one of the top ten recordings of 2012, by National Public Radio Washington DC.

Storgårds appears with such orchestras as Bayerischer Rundfunk, NDR Hamburg, Bamberger Symphoniker, City of Birmingham Symphony, Scottish Chamber, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Netherlands Radio, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino as well as all the major Scandinavian orchestras. Further afield, he has conducted the Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand Symphonies, Kioi Sinfonietta, Cincinnati Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra Washington DC, Toronto, Houston Symphonies, as well as Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood Festival.  Soloists with whom he collaborates include Gil Shaham, Christian Tetzlaff, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Sol Gabetta, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Colin Currie, Håkan Hardenberger, Sabine Meyer, Kari Kriikku, Dejan Lazic, Karita Mattila and Matti Salminen.

Following a summer tour with Helsinki Philharmonic and a return to BBC Proms with BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds begins the new season in Helsinki’s prestigious new Music Centre, with a new commission of the Eighth Symphony by Per Norgård, a work he will also perform with Danish National Symphony and BBC Symphony Orchestras.  Elsewhere in the season, he will return to such orchestras as WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, BBC Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Gothenburg Symphony, Stavanger Symphony and Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestras.  He also performs several times in North America, returning to Houston Symphony and St Paul Chamber Orchestra, and appearing for the first time with St Louis Symphony, NACO Ottawa, Detroit and Indianapolis Symphonies.

In the opera field, he recently conducted Verdi’s “Don Carlos” at Tampere Opera and gave the Finnish premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s “The Enchanted Wanderer”, in a concert performance to open his first season as Chief Conductor in Helsinki. This season, he performs a new opera by Uljas Pulkkis with the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland, at Helsinki Festival.

Storgårds’ vast discography includes the award-winning Vasks’ Violin Concerto Distant Light and Second Symphony, Saariaho’s Graal Theatre, works of Corigliano, Sibelius Violin Concerto with Frank Peter Zimmermann and, most recently, an extremely well-received disc of works by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and one of works by Rautavaara, which received a Gramophone Award 2012 and is nominated for a Grammy Award 2013.  With BBC Philharmonic, he will perform and record a cycle of Sibelius symphonies for Chandos Records.

John Storgårds was concert master of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra during Esa-Pekka Salonen’s tenure and subsequently studied conducting with Jorma Panula and Eri Klas. He received the Finnish State Prize for Music in 2002 and the Pro Finlandia Prize 2012.