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John Storgårds Named as Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic

The Finnish conductor has been the orchestra's Chief Guest Conductor since 2017


Finnish conductor John Storgårds has a long history with the BBC Philharmonic: he first conducted them in 2010 and has held the position of Chief Guest Conductor there for the past five years.

He succeeds the Israeli conductor Omer Meir Wellber, who is stepping into a new role at the Vienna Volksoper.

Originally a violinist, Storgårds studied with Esther Raitio and Jouko Ignatius at Finland's Sibelius Academy, and then with Chaim Taub in Israel. He returned to Finland in 1993 to study conducting with the famed Finnish teacher Jorma Panula.

Storgårds previously served as the Principal Guest Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Artistic Director of the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, and Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic.

In addition to the canonical repertoire, he has performed world premieres by Kaija Saariaho, Brett Dean, Per Norgard and Peteris Vasks, several of whom have dedicated their works to him. He also gave the Finnish premieres of Schumann’s only opera Genoveva and the early ‘Zwickau’ symphony, plus world premieres of Sibelius’ Suite Op. 117 for violin and strings and the Late Fragments.

A recipient of the Finnish State Prize for Music and the Pro Finlandia Prize, Storgårds has appeared with Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Vienna Radio Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and the London Philharmonic, among others.

"Over my many years of collaboration with the BBC Philharmonic, our partnership has been built on great music making and trust," Storgårds said. "Together, we have already completed a number of fantastic projects; tours in the North of England and at the orchestra’s home in Salford and at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, appearances at the BBC Proms, and our many international tours and festival visits."

"We have also made many dynamic recordings in our Salford studio, most prominently for BBC Radio 3 and our label partners at Chandos Records. The BBC Philharmonic is widely known as an extraordinarily brilliant, skillful and versatile orchestra. I am very proud to be continuing our musical journey together with the wonderful musicians and great staff of this fine ensemble!"

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