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Artist Hyperion Records
Rouvali, Santtu-Matias (conductor)
© Camilla Greenwell

Santtu-Matias Rouvali (conductor)

In the 2019/20 season Santtu-Matias Rouvali continued as Chief Conductor of Gothenburg Symphony and as Principal Conductor Designate of the Philharmonia Orchestra, where he succeeds Esa-Pekka Salonen as Principal Conductor in 2021/22. Alongside these posts he retains his longstanding position as Chief Conductor with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, close to his home in Finland.His international profile continues to flourish. He debuted the season with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras in wide-ranging repertoire. He conducted the New York premiere of Bryce Dessner’s Wires, and at the Concertgebouw he conducted the world premiere of Ariadne by Theo Verbey, as well as Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex. In Berlin he performed Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G minor with Alice Sara Ott, alongside Sibelius’s Symphony No 1.

He has built a loyal following internationally after successful tour concerts last season with Gothenburg Symphony in Vienna, where he returned in December to conduct the Wiener Symphoniker and Nicola Benedetti. In 2019/20 he returned to several orchestras across Europe, including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.

Rouvali’s Gothenburg season opened with a programme featuring Leif Ove Andsnes, the orchestra’s Artist in Residence for 2019/20. Following last season’s successful tour of Germany and Austria with Alice Sara Ott and Martin Grubinger, Rouvali and Gothenburg Symphony were back on the road in February 2020 touring Japan. Together with violinist Fumiaki Miura and pianist Mari Kodama, they performed works by Shostakovich, Beethoven and Sibelius across eight major cities from Fukuoka to Tokyo. He also toured with the Philharmonia to the Canary Islands in January 2020, performing in Gran Canaria and Tenerife as part of the Canary Islands Festival. In London, highlights of his season with the Philharmonia include extracts from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Prokofiev’s Symphony No 5 and Sibelius’s Symphony No 5, alongside soloists Nikolai Lugansky, Behzod Abduraimov and Nemanja Radulović.

Adding another cornerstone to his tenure in Gothenburg, Rouvali is making his mark on the orchestra’s impressive recording legacy. In January 2019 they released a celebrated first disc of an ambitious Sibelius cycle, pairing Symphony No 1 with the early tone poem En saga. The album won the Gramophone Editor’s Choice award, the Choc de Classica, a prize from the German Record Critics and the prestigious French Diapason d’Or ‘Decouverte’.

With Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and violinist Baiba Skride, Rouvali has recorded five concertos on the Orfeo label: Nielsen, Sibelius, Bernstein, Korngold and Rozsa. Alongside a busy symphonic conducting career, as Chief Conductor in Tampere he conducted Verdi’s opera La forza del destino, and the world premiere of Olli Kortekangas’s Veljeni vartija (My Brother’s Keeper) with Tampere Opera in spring 2018.


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