In the 2019/20 season Santtu-Matias Rouvali, whose “music-making positively blazes” (The Times), continues his positions as Chief Conductor of Gothenburg Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of Philharmonia Orchestra, where in May 2019 he was announced as Principal Conductor Designate, succeeding Esa-Pekka Salonen. He will begin his tenure in 2021/22. Alongside these posts he retains his longstanding Chief Conductor position with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra close to his home in Finland.
Highlights of this season include debuts with New York Philharmonic and Bryce Dessner, Berlin Philharmonic and Alice Sara Ott, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra where he conducts the world premiere of a new piece by Theo Verbey as well as Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex. Additionally, he returns to Vienna, this time with Wiener Symphoniker and Nicola Benedetti, following successful tour concerts in the city last season with Gothenburg Symphony. Rouvali has regular relationships with several orchestras across Europe, including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker, and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.
Rouvali’s Gothenburg season opens with a programme featuring Leif Ove Andsnes, the Orchestra’s Artist in Residence in 2019/20. Following a very successful tour with Alice Sara Ott and Martin Grubinger last season in Germany and Austria, Rouvali and Gothenburg Symphony are back on the road in February 2020 touring Japan. Together with violonist Fumiaki Miura and pianist Mari Kodama, they are performing works by Shostakovich, Beethoven and Sibelius across eight major cities from Fukuoka to Tokyo.
He also accompanies Philharmonia Orchestra on their tour to the Canary Islands in January 2020, performing in Gran Canaria and Tenerife as part of the Canary Islands Festival.
Adding another cornerstone to his tenure in Gothenburg, Rouvali is making his mark on the Orchestra’s impressive recording legacy. In January 2019 he released the highly celebrated first disc of an ambitious Sibelius cycle, starting with the First Symphony paired with the early tone poem En saga. Critically acclaimed, the album won the Gramophone Editor’s choice award, the Choc de Classica, a Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik as well as the prestigious French Diapason d’Or “Decouverte” The FFF Telerama commenting that “In directing this highly-esteemed ensemble, the young Finnish conductor transcends the repertoire of his fellow countryman. Breathtaking.”
In partnership with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and violinist Baiba Skride, they have recorded five concertos together with Orfeo — Nielsen, Sibelius, Bernstein, Korngold and Rozsa.
Alongside an extremely busy symphonic conducting career, as Chief Conductor in Tampere Rouvali has conducted Verdi’s La forza del destino and the world premiere of Olli Kortekangas’s My Brother’s Keeper (Veljeni vartija) with Tampere Opera in spring 2018.
Santtu-Matias Rouvali is represented by HarrisonParrott.